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Nutrition 101 for Cancer Patients

Nutrition Matters

As you consider treatment options for your cancer, consider complementing that care with a nutrition plan that will support overall well-being and treatment outcomes. This guide will provide a general foundation essential in strengthening your vitality, boosting energy, and supporting the healing process including managing possible side effects from treatments.


1.     Stay hydrated

Water is a critical source for optimal cell function and during treatment, cells are under much more pressure. Drinking water that is clean and free of impurities such as spring water or reverse osmosis and eating foods high in water like fruits and vegetables is recommended particularly if patients experience nausea or have diarrhea side effects.


2.     Focus on nutrient-rich foods

In addition to fruits and vegetables, nutrient-rich foods like nuts and seeds, organic whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein should be on your diet. These foods are not only good for overall health, but also essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which can strengthen the immune system.


3.     Healthy weight

Cancer can wreak havoc on eating and nutrition leading to excessive weight loss. During treatment, it is important to maintain a healthy weight according to an individual’s body type. Increasing the frequency of meals and snacks plus reducing portion size can help especially if nausea is experienced. Integrating protein-rich foods to manage appetite and being physically active within what healthcare providers prescribe can also boost energy and positive mood-enhancing endorphins. 


4.     Consider Supplements

If eating doesn’t provide patients enough nutrients, supplements can be used. Before doing this, patients should consult their healthcare team to determine safety and effectiveness.


5.     Manage the side effects

Nutrition can play a positive role in managing the side effects of various cancer treatments. For example, ginger can help reduce nausea. Foods that are bland like rice and crackers are easier on the digestive system and may be more sensitive to nausea or vomiting. Talk to the care provider to get suggestions on potential food choices.


6.     Be flexible

With anything, cancer treatment can affect unexpected changes to one’s health and body. It’s important to be flexible when taste and appetites change as a result of cancer treatment. A strong healthcare team can make suggestions to help you try different foods and flavors that work best to promote your overall health and well-being. It’s important to listen to how the body reacts or changes throughout treatment and to change accordingly.

You Are What You Eat

The adage you are what you eat is widely known. For cancer patients, how one feels can also be driven by what one eats as well so it’s important to include nutrition as part of one’s cancer treatment plan. Eating well may be a challenge especially as side effects arise, but working with a knowledgeable healthcare team can mitigate those issues. At Dayspring Cancer Clinic, we understand and have years of experience helping patients work through the many challenges that arise from cancer with many solutions including healthy nutrition. Call us to learn more or schedule a consultation by calling 480-699-7400 or going to



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