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Importance of Eating Well During Chemotherapy

Updated at: Jul 20, 2012
Written by: Gunjan RastogiPublished at: Jul 20, 2012
Importance of Eating Well During Chemotherapy

While undergoing chemotherapy it is extremely important to eat well to heal the damaged caused by cancer and deal with the side-effects of chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy, especially for prolonged period leaves you exhausted as a result of which your body requires more nutrition. Eating well during chemotherapy period is of crucial importance to reap maximum benefits from cancer treatment and speed up the healing process. If you eat well during your cancer treatment, you can cope with various side-effects of cancer and its treatment course.


What Eating Well Means?

Eating well while taking chemotherapy means having a diet that is inclusive of all nutrients required by the body to fight cancer and deal with the downsides of chemotherapy. Your diet during chemotherapy should contain the right amount of calories that you need to rebuild the cancer-damaged tissues.

Deal with Reduced Appetite

The first step to eat well during chemotherapy is to deal with reduced appetite, which is one of the side-effects of chemotherapy. Here are the tips to deal with it.

  • Take small meals, perhaps four to six times a day instead of three large meals a day.
  • Carry snacks with you wherever you go.
  • If you don’t wish to have solid foods, drink beverages such as fresh fruit or vegetable juices, vegetable soups or other healthful drinks.
  • Try to engage yourself in light physical activities so that you feel hungry much often.  
  • You can change your mealtime routine and even the place where you usually sit to eat.
  • Ask your friends or folks to give you company at dinner table.
  • Ask you oncologist about nutrition supplements, which will keep tiredness, fatigue and weight loss away from you.
  • Consult a dietician to learn about your increased need to consume more nutritional foods.


Protein is required for strong immune system and faster healing process— Along  with adding calories in your diet, you are required to meet your every day needs of protein. Protein improves immune functioning, strengthens cancer-fighting ability and provides physical strength. During chemotherapy treatment, proteins facilitate re-building of tissues, that are damaged by cancer and its treatment course. Doctors say that your ten per cent of daily calorie intake should be from protein sources. Cancer patients can eat lean meat, egg whites, cold-water fishes, nuts and nutritional dairy products to meet their protein requirements.


Importance of Vitamins and Minerals during Chemotherapy— Vitamins and minerals are essential to extract energy from the various foods you are consuming and building body-resistance against further damage caused by cancerous cells. Cancer patients should consume ample amount of fruits and veggies to get vitamins and minerals. Moreover, they can take nutrition supplement shakes to meet their vitamin and mineral needs.



Read more articles on Chemotherapy.

Also Read: Is Chemotherapy working for you?



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