Sticking to a healthy diet for cancer patients is particularly crucial when undergoing chemotherapy or another type of treatment, yet can be quite a challenge, in part due to the change in how foods taste. It’s necessary to conquer this and other challenges to healthy eating in an effort to sustain the strength needed for chemotherapy treatments and protect against infections. Eating a balanced diet may possibly even help cancer patients better handle higher dosages of certain types of medications.
When experiencing challenges with changes in taste that impede adhering to a recommended dietary plan for the duration of cancer treatment, the following cancer nutrition guidelines from Harmony Home Health & Hospice, providers of the home health and pediatric home care services families trust, can help:
- Experiment with various food temperatures. For some people undergoing cancer treatment, cold foods are more palatable, providing less aroma than hot foods, which may perhaps increase nausea.
- Experiment with different seasonings. Marinades, spices, and herbs can make food more appealing. Some options to try include mint, rosemary, garlic, lemon, dill and basil.
- Ensure good oral health. Taste buds may become irritated by chemo, and bacteria amounts may become out of balance. Cleaning the teeth with a soft toothbrush and mild toothpaste a few times during each day, as well as visiting the dentist for further recommendations, can help.
- Consume smaller portions. Smaller, more frequent meals are often easier to digest. Make sure to incorporate plenty of fluids, both during and between meals, as well.
- Try gum and mints. Sugar-free mints and gum, or other flavored hard candy, can help lessen the metallic or bitter tastes in the mouth that can arise from chemotherapy treatments. They can also promote production of saliva to relieve a dry mouth.
- Partner with a dietitian. A professional dietitian who has a specialty in cancer nutrition can help with advising food options specific to the person’s particular challenges. He or she can also recommend suitable vitamin supplements, high-nutrition liquid shakes, etc.
For additional tips to overcome changes in taste or other side effects of chemotherapy, contact Harmony Home Health & Hospice. Our personalized home health and pediatric home care services can help those undergoing cancer treatment, or struggling with other medical challenges, in a variety of ways. Contact us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE to find out more about our professional in-home healthcare services and to request a complimentary assessment in the comfort of home.