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Healthy Eating with Chemo

We talked about taking vitamins with chemo. Which is correct but we also need to talk about healthy eating. A lot of those vitamins is taken with food. Yes food.

You hear a lot of people say they cannot eat because of the chemo. It gives the food a metallic taste, for most reasons. Yes it does. Some say it makes them nausea, Yes it does. Some say they have no appetite. Yes also correct.

I’m here to say food plays a huge part of healing. Not just any food. Healthy foods. You can eat any kinds of foods but it will affect you.

First drink plenty plenty water at least 2 liter a day. It to help kidney function and helps the flow of the medication. Water also helps prevent sores from forming in your mouth. Chemo will cause dry mouth. With dry mouth you can get sores in your mouth but drinking water helps a lot.

During the chemo process eating can be challenging, eat several small servings throughout the day. I advise to eat slowly and be still after so your food can settle. It is very busy inside your body. You can actually feel the noise and that what makes you nauseated.

In case of nausea, eat dry foods like crackers or something a little salty.

Try to avoid sweets.

You may want to eat foods like:

Oatmeal- it is naturally rich in fiber and antioxidants which helps aid many systems in the body.

Avocado has- Vitamins C, E, K, and B6. It also has Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Pantothenic acid, Magnesium and Potassium.

Eggs has- Vitamin B12, Folate, Biotin and Pantothenic acid(vitamin of the B-complex)

Bone Broth has- Iron, Vitamin A and K, Fatty acids, Selenium, Zinc and Manganese

Almonds and other nuts has- High sources of vitamin E, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamin B, Niacin, Thiamine and Folate

Pumpkin seeds- rich in Manganese and Vitamin K

Broccoli, has- Calcium, Iron, Phosphorous, Potassium, Zinc, Thiamine, Riboflavin and Niacin

Kale has,- Vitamin A, K, B6, C, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese

Spinach has- Vitamin A, K, B6, C, Calcium, Folic Acid, and Iron

Caluiflower, has- Vitamin C, K, B6 and Folate

Smoothies are made from fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables which contains many sources of vitamins.

Crackers or Bread – has very little vitamin but helps very well with nausea.

Fish has- Thiamine, Riboflavin, Vitamin B, Vitamin B-complex, Nicotinic Acid, Biotin Folic and Vitamin B12

Chicken is good for- High protein, Healthy bones, Stress reliever and Immunity boost

These are some foods you can eat to help you get the vitamins and nutrients you need for your body. It can help you through your healing process and wean you off the Vitamins. It helped me.

These are some food I was eating and still is to keep me healthy and strong

Thank you so much

Carrie

46 Comments

  1. Wow-what perfect timing coming across this site as I currently have a family member going through chemotherapy at the moment.

    She is always struggling to eat as she says she feels sick so I will definitely pass on the advice about the 3 small meals daily and to eat them slowly.

    I also know she is not drinking near enough water after reading your recommendation.

    I will let her know the list of foods that she should be eating.

    Thanks for the great information.

    Mark

  2. I think its very important to eat healthy whilst having chemo so your immune system can cope cancer is a horrible d my farther died from it many years ago he didnt eat very healthy at all when having chemo im sure if post had been around then i could of told him what good foods to eat.

    1. I am so sorry for your loss. There is a lot of cancer patients out there that would not eat. I am so thankful to my Oncologist. He broke it down to me. He explained the seriousness of it all. He was also the one who encouraged me to write this blog. Thank you so much Ginny for visiting.

  3. Thanks, Carrie for this article. I hope it reaches people with how important it is to still eat healthy during chemo, as it is worth the great effort. I appreciate your list of practical suggestions of what to eat, and why, as well as how to get that food down even when you are feeling nauseous. Chewing slowly, letting your food sit a bit. This one tip could help a lot of people. I have a family member and a family friend who have gone through chemo. Thank you so much for reaching out to help these people during such a difficult process. 

    1. Thank you so much Beth,

           I know how difficult it is to eat when dealing with Chemo. My Oncologist broke it down to me how important it is to eat and drink water. As scary he made it sound, I needed to hear it. I’m trying to help others in a more loving and caring way. Thank you so much for noticing it. 

  4. Hi Carrie, I hope I never need the information you have in your post, but in case I ever do, I did bookmark it. It is useful to know that even if others are going through a hard time, they can look for the positive to work their way through. God bless.

    1. Thank you so much Carolyn,

      I hope you never need this information as well. If you know anyone going through something, it do not have to be the same thing I have. If you know someone maybe you could send them my site and hopefully I could could help them.  Thank you again.

  5. Healthy eating is good all of the time I had just never though about how hard it could be when you are on chemo I know a few people who are on chemo now and this site can be a great help I learned lot from this article I have had a lot of cancer and been operated on several times and had the upset stomach the salt crackers are a great help  

    1. Hi Walt,

      I am happy my article helps you. I am so sorry you had to go through what you went through. I thank God you are all right. Cancer is no joke, but I am praying I could help people by telling them what I been through. I want them to know they are not alone and they are going to be alright. 

      Thank you so much Walt

  6. Hi Carrie

    Thank you for your advice on these healthy foods. You are right the food you mentioned is easily accessible and doesn’t break the bank fortunately and easy to digest so for cancer patients it will definitely be of great nutrition and healing. Hpw are you doing with your health?

    1. Hi Janine,

      Thank you so much for your interest in my health. My health is very good. My doctor encouraged me to write my story because he is so impressed with my recovery. I have not had a cold or any illness since 2017. All my blood levels are good as well. Thank you again

  7. My mother is a cancer survivor it she experienced the same symptoms I described with the way food tasted. They told to drink Ensure to replace nutrients in her body but she said it tasted way to sweet. 

    Now she’s eating normal again.

    And for you, I’m glad you wrote and sharing this article to help others who may be going through a difficult time trying to eat while going through chemo. God bless you.

  8. Hello there, Carrie. This is an informative post. Just last year, my dad was diagnosed with cancer and it can’t be emphasized enough just how important drinking water is. He wasn’t as proactive about drinking water and I think that might’ve been what caused him to go downhill. That also probably caused him to have a low appetite for healthy foods and so he craved a lot of non-nutritious foods. Wished I had this detailed list of foods at the time to help encourage him to eat healthy. Thanks for creating this post!

    1. I am so sorry about your dad, Mike. I pray he is alright. Thank you so much for taking an interest in my story.  My doctor encouraged me to write it. He said I have a lot to offer and he was right. You just showed me how important my story will help others and that’s my goal. To help others. 

      Thank you so much, your kind words means a lot to me.

  9. Carrie, thank you for this article. I hope it gets across to people how important it is to make healthy choices even while undergoing chemotherapy, as it is well worth the effort. I appreciate your list of constructive tips for what to eat and why, as well as how to eat while feeling nauseous. Chew slowly and allow your food to sit for a few moments. This one tip has the potential to benefit a large number of people. I have a close relative and a family friend who have undergone chemotherapy. Thank you very much for having reached out to assist these people during such a trying time.

    1. Hi Ben,

      Thank you so much for visiting my site and reading my article. It’s always so refreshing to have people like you with such kind words. Thank you again

  10. Hi,

    I often see people, who have been going through Chemo, and they get so weak during the process, they complain they cannot eat anything, it affects them so badly recover from cancer but cannot get away with the “Chemo” side effects.

    Our nanny had it too now she has recovered but not from the side effects, thanks for the sharing it’s very helpful.

    1. Thank you so much bakhtshah. I pray my article do help your nanny. I know what it’s like going thru that process. 

      I am praying for your nanny. I am praying for her full recovery. I see how much you love and need her. Here is a small tip for you: Sometimes drinks are to sweet for her. Tell her to try Pedialyte or the off brand kind. Yes it’s for babies but it helped me with my potassium and electrolytes and it’s not too sweet.

      Thank you again bakhtshah

  11. I found this post to be well researched and informative.  I actually clicked through your site reading your other posts as well.  In some of the research I have done for my site I have found that collagen may also play a role in your immune system as well because most of our immunity is in our gut.  I also liked the layout of your post.

    1. Thank you so much Siobhan41,

      I am so happy you enjoyed my site. You gave me the courage to continue writing my story. 

      Thank you again!!

  12. I was happy to find your article about what to eat during chemo.  It’s tough to write this comment because tomorrow I see my doctor about treatment for a recently found blood disorder.  I hope that chemo is not involved, but your calm, detailed approach to the subject was quite calming for me.  At least you have given me some answer to one set of questions I have… what will my diet be like.  Thanks.

    1. Hi Anastaza,

      I know it could be scary when you are facing these kind of adversaries. I’m so sorry you have to go through this. I am praying for you as I write because I know this is hurting your heart. You have to know you are not alone. I want you to keep saying these words: God got this! No matter what the outcome is God got you! When you are alone start talking, Tell God you trust him. If you have to take chemo, It’s going to be alright. You remember this to will pass.  I love you and I am really praying for you as well.

      Thank you so much

  13. Hi Carrie, this is a very important information which everyone going through chemotherapy needs. I am very happy to have read about the vitamins the foods you mentioned have, this is awesome.

     I was not aware of how rich some can be in nutrients, for instance avocados. I think anyone should consume more of these nutritious foods even without chemo, right? This is very important, thank for sharing.

  14. Great Website! I think that this is a god tool to that people should be usuing figure out a good diet to be eating when you are going through chemo. When going through chemo you are already weakened and fatigued by it so your diet needs to be on pint and this website helps.

    Thanks, Mason

  15. I really liked your post on Healthy Eating With Chemo. It was straightforward to understand and navigate. I had an Aunt that died from cancer in 2019. I remember what the chemo did for her, and I wish I would have had this information then. I agree when you are nauseous, sweets are the last thing you need. I have been told something salty is best. However, I would have never thought of all the foods you listed. You would be surprised how some hospitals and hospices are not aware of what’s best to feed a chemo patient. Thank you for providing a great wealth of information. 

    1. Hi Moody,

      Yes, sweets are the worst. They talk about ensure and boost but to me they are too sweet. Also the best drink you can have is the baby’s Pedialyte or the off brand type. I prefer the off brand. It helps the potassium and electrolytes. And it’s not too sweet. What you use for babies are just as good for adults at a time like chemo.

      Thank you so much

  16. I don’t know many people in my life that haven’t been affected by cancer in some form or another. This is a great article that needed to be written for those people. I’ve had 3 family members that have had cancer. Eating healthy is very important for helping them during their treatment and more importantly, it’s a very good preventative measure! 

  17. Hi there. I was reading some of your previous blog articles concerning CLL recently and found them very educational as i’d never heard of it before. I like your article here and how it shows what nutrients you can get from all the various foodstuffs you have listed. This is very handy for anyone really, even if they dont have Cll.

    Thanks

    kev

  18. Excellent and helpful article for all to use, I like the fact of each food kind is broken down of their benefits. I believe that everyone should incorporate these healthy food sources daily to live a better lifestyle.
    My family and I do uses many of these veggies and fruits daily, mainly in smoothies drinks. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Yes fruit and veggies taste so good. I wish more people realize how good and helpful they are to their bodies. People at work thinks I eat strange foods but I don’t, I just love fruit and veggies. 

      Thank you so much

  19. First of all, I must give you a huge thank you. Your post has been encouraging for me. Thank you!

    I have been experiencing a lot of nausea so I’ll start eating dry foods. And Avocado is one of my favorites, so I don’t know I haven’t been taking advantage of this, but from here on, I will!

    1. Hi Abel,

      I am happy that my article will help you. There is something I forgot to put in my article I would like to share with you. Pedialyte or an off brand. Yes it’s for babies ,but it’s not as sweet as Gatorade and Powerade stuff. It helps with your potassium and electrolytes. I was getting Charlie Horses and it helped me Sit still when you feel nauseated, and let it pass.  

      Thank you so much Abel, I really hope this will help you. I am praying for you.

  20. Thank you for your article about healthy eating during chemo. I’m glad that you are on your way to a full recovery.

    I suffered from hives years ago and was itching all over for days. It was a really horrible experience. Looking back i should have definitely drunk more water.

    The foods that you indicated were they recommended to you from doctors or nurses?

    What is bone broth? This is the first that i’ve heard of it.

    What is kale?

    The food that you suggest, are they suitable for all kind of cultures?

    May your experience and the way that you have overcome, continue to be a great inspiration to many during their time of struggle, with that awful illness of a disease.

    Stay well!

    1. Hi Dayo,

      Unfortunately, doctors don’t recommend much. My daughter and I had to do our own research. Bone Broth is like Beef Stock. Found in the gravy isle. Kale is a dark green leafy vegetable like Spinach, Collard Greens. It may have a different name. The foods are for all cultures. 

      Thank you so much Dayo

  21. Hey Carrie, thanks for another valuable article from your website. I can tell that you put a lot of effort and heart into your posts. All of those foods are super healthy and I can imagine that they are good for chemo. I’ve used many of those foods when I was teaching myself how to build muscle at home. I didn’t know that chicken could be eaten to aid in reducing stress. That is helpful information for sure. What are your favorite foods from this list? 

  22. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to eat when having Chemo.  I’ve had loved ones with Cancer and I’ve seen what they’ve gone through. You provide excellent advice on healthy food to eat while going through Chemo.  Drinking a lot of water would definitely help to cleanse the kidneys. It is amazing how many different vitamins and nutrients are in food.  

    1. Thank you so much Misty.

      Eating healthy food is a major part of the healing process and drinking lots and lots of water.

  23. I can attest personally to your recommendations eating healthy when you are going through chemotherapy. I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer 5 years ago, and a friend of mine who is a certified nutritionist educated me to the benefits of eating well when you are being treated for cancer. She explained I would go through in terms of having no appetite and feeling nauseous; and when I do eat food it, it will have a metal taste.

    This did not sound very appealing and deflated my motivation; until my wife pointed out the alternative if I didn’t take an active approach is supporting my cancer treatment. All I did was focus on how important eating well was to my recovery from cancer. At first, it was very challenging, but after a week, I got into full swing with the diet and the regime of eating multiple small meals every day. Today, I am cancer free for 4 years; and I continue to eat very healthy.

    1. Congratulations terryiching,

      I am happy to know you are Cancer-free. Food does play a huge part in the healing process.

      Thank you so much 

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