Maintaining a healthy diet for cancer patients is especially critical for those undergoing chemo or another type of cancer treatment, but one of the significant side effects stopping patients from eating well is a change in how food tastes. It’s important to conquer this and other challenges to healthy eating in an effort to maintain the strength needed for chemotherapy treatments and to safeguard against infections. Eating a balanced diet might even help cancer patients better manage higher amounts of certain types of medicines.
When experiencing challenges with taste changes that conflict with adhering to a recommended dietary plan during cancer treatment, the following cancer nutrition tips from New Horizons In-Home Care, providers of the home care Corvallis families need, can help:
- Experiment with different food temperatures. For some people undergoing cancer treatment, cold food is more palatable, providing less aroma than hot foods, which may increase feelings of nausea.
- Try various seasonings. Marinades, herbs, and spices can make food more appealing. Some choices to try include mint, rosemary, garlic, lemon, dill and basil.
- Pay attention to oral health. Taste buds may become inflamed by chemo, and bacteria may become out of balance. Cleaning the teeth with a soft toothbrush and mild toothpaste several times throughout each day, as well as visiting the dentist for additional recommendations, can be helpful.
- Eat smaller portions. Smaller, more frequent meals are often easier to digest. Be sure to incorporate plenty of fluids, both during and between meals, as well.
- Try mints and gum. Sugar-free mints and gum, or other flavored hard candy, can help minimize the metallic or bitter tastes in the mouth that can arise from chemotherapy treatments. They can also trigger production of saliva to soothe a dry mouth.
- Work with a dietitian. A professional dietitian who has expertise in cancer nutrition can help with suggesting food choices specific to the person’s particular challenges. He or she can also recommend appropriate vitamin supplements, high-nutrition liquid shakes, etc.
For more tips to combat changes in taste or other side effects of chemotherapy, contact New Horizons In-Home Care. Our Corvallis in-home care services can help those undergoing cancer treatment in a number of ways, such as planning, shopping for, and preparing healthy and delicious meals, supplying accompanied transportation to medical appointments and procedures, and serving as a comforting companion. Call us at 541-752-9059 in Corvallis , 541-687-8851 in Eugene, 503-400-3000 in Salem, or 541-997-8115 in Florence to discover more about our professional in-home care services and to request an assessment in the comfort of home.