Brenda Spriggs, MD, MPH, MBA
Chemotherapy is a last resort treatment for many cancer patients. This is because there are so many side effects associated with chemotherapy, such as nausea, diarrhea, weight loss and vomiting. Though chemotherapy is difficult to go through, it destroys cancer cells and often saves lives. According to Bill Misner, Ph.D., of the Cancer Cure Foundation, eating the right foods can help reduce the side effects associated with chemotherapy and boost the immune system and speed healing.
Yogurt is a good choice of food to eat after chemotherapy for several reasons.The Cancer Cure Foundation states that yogurt is mild and bland so it may help to reduce nausea. It also contains protein and calcium, which helps keeps bones and muscle healthy. The Cancer Cure Foundation also explains that the healthy bacteria found in yogurt, such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus, can boost the immune system. It is important that chemotherapy patients eat only pasteurized yogurt, because unpasteurized yogurt can cause food-borne illness.
Foods that are high in protein, such as beef pot roast are also encouraged for people who have gone through chemotherapy. The cancer-based website ChemoCare.com explains that high protein foods increase energy and help spare muscle tissue from being wasted. Protein found in beef also helps the body to heal itself and fight infection, which is a common concern among chemotherapy patients, according to ChemoCare.com. To help avoid nausea, make a bland pot roast, with potatoes, carrots and few spices.
ChemoCare.com recommends eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, each day, to increase energy levels and help fight cancer. Unfortunately, raw vegetables should be avoided after chemotherapy, as they may harbor dangerous food-borne illnesses. Misner of the Cancer Cure Foundation states that cooking vegetables like broccoli kills harmful microorganisms, making these foods safer for chemotherapy patients to eat.
Fruits like bananas contain antioxidants which help to fight cancer, according to ChemoCare.com. Bananas are a better choice of fruit for chemotherapy patients than many other types of fruit because of the peel. The Cancer Cure Foundation states that fruits with protective barriers, like bananas with peels, have fewer microorganisms which could make a chemotherapy patient sick. Bananas go well with many foods and it is easy to add a high-protein food, like cottage cheese or peanut butter, to a snack with bananas.