Maintaining a Healthy Diet with Breast Cancer
Proper Nutrition and Breast Cancer
Eating a balanced diet is especially important when you have breast cancer. Proper nutrition may help your body heal from cancer treatment, which can have numerous side effects such as mouth sores, low appetite, nausea and vomiting.
A healthy diet may help you:
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Keep body tissue healthy.
- Lessen cancer symptoms and side effects of treatment.
- Keep your immune system strong.
If you have breast cancer, you’re most likely undergoing chemotherapy, hormone therapy or taking HER2-targeted drugs. Your treatment depends on the type and stage of your cancer. You may also need radiation. Among the different side effects, you may experience loss of appetite.
Although it can be difficult, making good food choices can help nourish your brain and body as you keep fighting the disease. The following foods are based on general recommendations to maintain overall health while living with breast cancer:
- Whole, nutrient-dense foods;
- Foods high in healthy fats and protein;
- Blended liquids such as milkshakes, smoothies, juices or soups for those times when you don‘t feel like eating solid foods; and
- High fiber foods like whole grains, flax seeds, legumes, vegetables and fruits to treat constipation.
Breast cancer symptoms and treatment side effects may leave you feeling too unwell to cook, plan meals or eat as you normally do. Here are some tips to help make eating healthy easier:
- Shrink the size of your meals.
- Meet with a registered dietitian.
- Use different utensils.
- Add more fluids.
There are many recipes that utilize healthy ingredients. Cooking your own food will help you know exactly what goes in your meals and will help you avoid what might cause you harm.
It can be helpful to plan and prepare meals ahead of time. That way, you’re more likely to stick to a healthy eating plan. Create a meal plan for the entire week and cook an entire week’s meals over the weekend when you have more time.
In addition, you can consider purchasing The Breast Cancer Cookbook: Over 100 Easy Recipes to Nourish and Boost Health During and After Treatment, a cookbook specifically designed for breast cancer nutrition. Eating a nutritious diet when you have breast cancer has many health benefits. Not only can it make you feel better faster but it can boost your immune system and keep you strong. If you’re considering trying a new diet or are having trouble sticking to a healthy eating plan, talk to your doctor or a dietitian.
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