Cancer Nutrition Tips – Eating Healthy When Tastes Change

Grilled chicken fillet with fresh vegetable salad on white wooden background, selective focus
Eating healthy during cancer treatments can be difficult.

Eating healthy is particularly important for those undergoing chemotherapy or another form of cancer treatment, but one of the leading side effects blocking patients from eating well is a difference in how foods taste. It’s important to overcome this and other barriers to healthy cancer nutrition habits in order to sustain the strength needed for chemo treatments and safeguard against infections. Eating a balanced diet might even help cancer patients better contend with higher doses of particular types of medications.

When suffering from challenges with taste changes that interfere with adhering to a recommended dietary plan throughout cancer treatment, the following cancer nutrition tips from Live Well at Home, providers of the best respite care Sacramento, CA and the surrounding area families need, can help:

  • Try various food temperatures. For some people undergoing cancer treatment, cold food is more palatable, providing less aroma than hot foods, which could increase nauseous feelings.
  • Experiment with a variety of seasonings. Marinades, spices, and herbs can make food more appealing. Some options to try include mint, rosemary, garlic, dill, lemon and basil.
  • Pay attention to oral health. Taste buds can become irritated by chemo, and bacteria amounts may become out of balance. Brushing the teeth with a soft toothbrush and gentle toothpaste a few times during the course of the day, as well as visiting the dentist for additional suggestions, can help.
  • Eat smaller portions. Smaller, more frequent meals tend to be easier to digest. Make sure to include plenty of fluids, both during and between meals.
  • Try mints and gum. Sugar-free gum and mints, or other flavored hard candy, can help minimize the metallic or bitter tastes in the mouth that can manifest from chemo treatments. They can also stimulate production of saliva to relieve a dry mouth.
  • Work with a dietitian. A professional dietitian who has a specialty in cancer nutrition can help with suggesting food choices specific to the person’s particular difficulties. The dietitian can also recommend suitable vitamin supplements, high-nutrition liquid shakes, etc.

For more tips to overcome changes in taste or other side effects of chemotherapy, contact Live Well at Home. Our Sacramento in-home care services can help those going through cancer treatments in a number of ways, such as planning, shopping for, and preparing nutritious and delicious meals, supplying accompanied transportation to medical appointments and procedures, and serving as a comforting companion. Contact us at 800-478-1209 to learn more about our professional in-home care services and to request a complimentary assessment in the comfort of home.

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