Maintaining A Healthy Diet During Radiation Treatment
The impact of radiation therapy on an individual's body can vary from patient to patient. Some patients have few side effects while others may feel uncomfortable and fatigued, making day to day life much harder. One way to fight the side effects of radiation therapy is to change your diet while you are going through treatment. A healthy diet of nutrient rich foods can dramatically change your disposition and how your body fights to recover from certain cancers.
Give Your Body The Nutrients It Needs
You can help your body fight the effects of radiation treatment by arming it with the proper vitamins and nutrients. A healthy, well-balanced diet includes the following ingredients:
- Vegetables: Dark green vegetables like watercress, chard, and spinach are high in nutrients and should be a staple in your diet and the focal point
of each meal.
- Fruits: Apples, açaí berries, and bananas are great fruits packed with nutrients and make a great snack or breakfast to start the day.
- Lean Meats: While your body is fighting cancer, it needs protein to help rebuild and repair your tissues. Lean meats like seafood, and poultry are great options to include in your meals, as well as other forms of protein like greek yogurt, eggs, and nuts.
Make Meals Ahead Of Time
One of the easiest ways to change your diet, especially during radiation therapy, is to prepare your meals ahead of time. This way, if you’re feeling too fatigued to make a meal, it will already be waiting for you to enjoy. If radiation therapy has caused nausea, try breaking your meals into five small meals to help ease digestion.
Drinking lots of water helps bring nutrients where it needs to go and flush out your system. Here is a great way to keep your body hydrated during and after radiation therapy:
- Get a reusable water bottle and take it everywhere you. To keep your water cold, purchase a double-walled insulated aluminum water bottle.
- Take sips from your water bottle often, to spread out your water consumption throughout the day.
- Never have an empty water bottle. If your water bottle is empty, there’s a greater chance for you to forget you’re trying to stay hydrated.
Listen To Your Body
Maybe the most important thing to do during radiation treatment is to listen to your body. If you’re having trouble eating three meals a day, tone down on rich foods and break your meals into five smaller meals. They’re easier to digest, helping to quell any stomach pain or nausea.
If you’re itching for more flavor in your diet, try incorporating more bold, rich foods into your diet. Lean meats, seafood, beans, nuts and seeds are great protein sources that are both nutrient-rich and low in saturated fat.
At the Northeastern Nevada Radiation Oncology Center, we’re committed to providing professional care for individuals undergoing radiation therapy. If you have any additional questions about radiation therapy, feel free to contact us today.