To help you during the treatment process, it’s important to eat well, get enough sleep, take in plenty of fluids, and stay active. If you find that you don't feel up to cooking, take a look at our list of Easy Meals to keep handy in the kitchen.
A well-nourished body:
- tolerates treatment better.
- maintains muscle.
- has more energy.
- is quicker to heal and recover.
What do I do the day of my treatment?
- Eat a light meal before coming in for treatment.
- An empty stomach can be easy to upset.
- You can also bring in snacks or beverages to eat and drink while you’re in the clinic.
Do I need to change my diet to prevent side effects?
- No. You do not need to change your diet unless you experience side effects.
- Many people have no problems with side effects and food during treatment.
- Many of the newer medications work to prevent side effects.
- If you experience diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, etc., tell your doctor or nurse and dietitian.
- Medicine is often the first approach to help manage these side effects.
- Your Registered Dietitian can help you choose foods that help manage side effects.
Should I eat whatever I want?
- Healthful foods nourish your body for optimal health and healing.
- During treatment, the type of foods you like or can tolerate may change.
- Choose foods you like and tolerate. This may mean eating less healthful foods for now.
- You can get back on track when you feel better.
- Eat smaller meals more often if you need to gain weight or to avoid losing weight.
- Pay attention to portions to avoid gaining weight.
Do I need to eat a lot of protein?
- You need enough protein to heal and support new cells.
- Try to eat some protein at each meal – about 1- 3 ounces.
- Good food sources of protein include fish, poultry, lean beef, lean pork, eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt, peanut butter, beans and peas.
Do I need supplements?
- Not usually.
- During treatment avoid high doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, beta carotene, selenium, Vitamin E.
- It is fine to eat foods high in these nutrients
- Ask your doctor or dietitian about any supplements you are taking to be sure.
Choose as healthful a diet as possible:
- provides cancer fighting nutrients
- gives your body energy
- supplies the building blocks for a strong immune system
- increases the healing power of your body.