Cancer treatments can take a toll on your body no matter what form you end up doing. Radiation and chemotherapy can truly mess up how one absorbs nutrients as well as surgery and other forms of treatment. It is important to focus on every aspect of your health after treatment and nutrition is a great way to keep all other systems in balance while you are recovering.
There are a couple of tips that may be helpful to make sure you are getting the best nutrition post-treatment are:
Making sure you do not have any diet restrictions due to your type of treatment.
If you had throat cancer and received surgery, you would be advised to have a liquid-based diet until you had fully healed, and this idea carries over to many different types of cancer and the treatment you receive. Sometimes radiation and chemotherapy may make certain types of foods like certain types of meat and heartier foods harder to digest which may cause sickness, so it is best to speak with a doctor or nurse as to what foods are best for you after treatment.
Ask for someone’s help to develop a meal plan which will require less thinking and allow you to focus on healing.
Sometimes already have a meal plan made out for you can help you stick with it easier. Making sure you have a good balance of all the food groups will allow for your recovery to run a lot smoother because you will be receiving all the essential nutrients your body needs—and you didn’t have to worry too much because it was all laid out for you!
Allowing your friends and family to become involved in the entire process to make everyone, including yourself, be a part of the recovery.
It may be hard for you to understand what your body needs, but it is even harder for others who may not be going through what you are to understand what your body needs as well. It is good to involve the whole family in your nutrition plan which can make meal prep easier and allow your family to also get involved in your meal prep as well which could be a time for you all to be together.
Rushing too quickly once you are done recovering into foods you were restricted from consuming.
It will be very tempting to indulge in a lot of the foods you had been restricted from while recovering, but it is also important to slowly put them back into your diet. Too much of any meal you haven’t had in a while may cause adverse effects such as nausea and vomiting which makes you lose essential nutrients your body still needs even after recovery. Work your way back into some food items you enjoy at a slow pace to avoid complications.
These are a few suggestions to help make nutrition after cancer treatment a little easier to adjust to and organize with others who are caring for you. If you need nutrition assistance, please reach out to the Christine B. Foundation’s Nutrition Assistance program.