Tips to Maintain a Healthy Diet for Breast Cancer Recovery



Eating a healthy and balanced diet is an important part of recovery after breast cancer treatment. Although the side effects of the treatment like nausea, vomiting, and mouth sores may make mealtime dreadful, it’s crucial to ensure proper nutrition to strengthen your immune system and help your body heal completely post-treatment. Below are some tips to help you maintain a healthy diet if you are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Plan Your Diet

Consult with a professional dietician or your doctor to prepare a healthy diet plan that includes all the essential vitamins and minerals to keep body tissue healthy and lessen cancer symptoms as well as the side effects of treatment. This way, you can include all your food preferences in the meal plan; your dietician may even guide you on how to manage the side effects of breast cancer treatment so that you can eat healthy.

Eat Smaller Portions

A healthy diet is vital to maintain optimal body weight and reduce fatigue. However, the side effects of breast cancer like bloating and constipation can make it difficult to eat normal-sized meals. The simplest way to deal with this problem is to shrink the size of your meals to get all the calories you need. You can eat smaller portions five to six times instead of large meals three times a day.

Try Different Utensils

Breast cancer treatment like chemotherapy can leave a bad taste in your mouth, which may make the food you eat unpleasant. For instance, meat products may produce a metallic taste and make it unbearable to consume. To tackle the problem, you can avoid using metal plates and utensils while cooking meat. This will improve the taste of your food and make it easier to maintain your diet.

Consume More Fluids

It is likely that your mouth may hurt when you eat solid foods post breast cancer treatment. So you may need to replace solid foods with enough liquids to get the nutrition required and maintain healthy body weight. You can prepare smoothies and nutritional beverages to keep your macronutrient intake in check. Drinking lots of fluid is also beneficial to counteract the side effects like vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration.

Prepare Meals in Advance

Your breast cancer treatment schedule can take up most of your day and may often leave you feeling exhausted. It may even make you feel too tired to work in the kitchen and cook food. It may help to prepare your meals in advance so that you can stick to your diet plan easily. Your dietician can help with this and may be able to suggest cancer-friendly recipes that you can cook ahead of time.

Contact CCCHC to learn about our breast cancer treatment options, and how we may be able to help you.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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