This is a guest post by Jillian Mckee on the benefits of healthy eating after being diagnosed with Cancer. It is important to look after your health all the time, but especially if you are battling this terrible disease.
Avoiding Nutritional Deficiencies When You Have Cancer
If you have cancer, you are at high risk for nutritional deficiencies. Some deficiencies come from the cancer itself, but many are due to the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and surgery. Cancer survivors need to watch their nutritional intake as well. Malignancies can alter your metabolism, which makes it important to consume enough calories to maintain a healthy weight. In addition, a high protein and nutrient intake are needed to nourish muscles and repair the damage that treatments often produce.
Alter Your Diet to Fit Your Side Effects
Getting adequate nutrition does not have to be unpleasant. If you develop an aversion to fats, experience taste alterations, or have gastrointestinal problems, diet alterations can safely accommodate your issue. Chicken can be baked. You can add extra herbs and spices to your meals or eliminate them if your senses are overreacting. You can avoid problematic foods, such as grains and dairy, until your intestinal tract begins to function more normally. Many side effects can be combated through a variety of healthy food options.
Avoiding nutritional deficiencies is particularly important if you feel exhausted. Cooking and eating takes motivation that’s difficult to find when going through treatment for mesothelioma or liver cancer. Nutritious foods can help give you the strength to continue on the rocky path of cancer survivorship, but when tired or nauseated, you might not see nutrition as a priority. To gain a better relationship with food, you have to enjoy what you’re eating.
Find Nutritious Foods You Enjoy Eating
While fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense, each variety tastes different. If you don’t like mushy apples, switch to sweet and crisp apples. If you don’t enjoy iceberg lettuce, pick out a dark green variety instead. Become acquainted with which foods are in season as they will be fresher and taste better. Try making dinner salads special by decorating them as if you were going to a salad bar. Try an assortment of crisp greenery, chunks of avocado, pecans, sprouts, and pineapple. The idea is to make eating more fun. Experiment with homemade dressings spiked with lemon juice for extra vitamin C.
Try New Recipes
Boredom will kill your desire to eat, so try not to choose the same foods every day. Purchase a new cookbook, take a cooking class, and keep your kitchen well stocked with a variety of foods. Cooking in bulk and freezing leftovers in meal-sized portions for the days you feel ill will also help in the long run. Search for meal ideas that take only a few minutes, yet taste like you spent all day in the kitchen. Alfredo sauce is incredibly easy to make, is high in calories, and can be used over vegetables as well as pasta.
When you have cancer, side effects can vary depending on your type, treatment, and affected areas. While symptoms can make adequate nutrition difficult, you’ll look better, feel better, and have a more positive outlook on life when you give your body the nutrients it needs to survive.