When undergoing treatment, dietary considerations are extremely important. There is a lot of advice available and many people have ideas of what the best diet is to follow. From a low carb diet, to macrobiotic, to the Mediterranean diet, or even veganism, options and opinions abound.
In all actuality, there currently isn’t enough research to know which restrictive diet is the best for people undergoing treatment, however the bottom line is that good nutrition is extremely important.
Many people will have to consider dietary changes during treatment. A healthy diet will help you stay stronger, help you maintain a healthy weight, and help maintain your immune system health, which will help to fight off infections. Different side effects from treatment will also guide what is proper for one to eat, as some foods may accentuate irritation, while others will be soothing.
Hydration is very important when going through treatment. Drinking plenty of water is very important. One can also get hydration through things like soup, fruit juices, teas, smoothies or even popsicles. Especially if one is going through radiation treatments, it’s important to make sure your tissues have plenty of moisture to stay healthy during treatment.
Taste changes are also common during treatment, which can make maintaining a healthy diet a challenge. When food just doesn’t taste the same, the idea of maintaining a healthy diet can literally be hard to swallow. When patients experience nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, food can just seem unappealing. When mouth sores or a lack of saliva become an issue, the simple act of chewing can be a chore. Diarrhea and constipation can also make eating seem not quite so enjoyable as it used to be. It is very important to keep up with caloric intake and other nutritional requirements during these challenging times. Many of these side effects can be managed better with proper nutrition.
Protein is a very important consideration. There are many sources of protein available for people of all dietary persuasions: Nuts, cheeses, lean meats, beans, fish. Milkshakes and smoothies are a popular way for patients to get appealing nutrition during treatment. Bone broths and soups can be easier to consume than whole cooked meals at times. Getting creative and being open to try new things is an important way to maintain a healthy attitude about diet when eating becomes a challenge.
Keeping calories up is also incredibly important. Stay away from foods that are “low-fat” or “nonfat.” At the same time, avoiding highly processed foods and refined sugar based calories is also recommended. While these foods may taste great and have a lot of calories, they also lack fiber, vitamins and minerals, and other important nutritional needs. Maintaining calories with whole grains and fatty fruits such as avocadoes or olives can help keep the weight on while giving your body a break processing foods that don’t have a lot of substance to them.
Taking vitamins and supplements can be also helpful however you should consult your medical provider in order to make sure they do not interfere with your treatment.
When it comes to maintaining an appetite, Protectival, which has been heavily researched for safety in conjunction with conventional treatments, has been shown to help patients keep the weight on. In a study published in the Integrative Medical Insights Journal, Protectival helped 89% of patients to maintain their appetite. Along with the fact that 70% percent of patients indicated that they did not experience nausea symptoms, and 80% reported healthy bowel function, evidence shows that Protectival helps people maintain a healthy dietary tract at a time when it’s most important.
With the right diet that suits your specific needs you can improve your quality of life, keep yourself stronger and accelerate recovery at every step of your treatment’s journey.
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