Eat Right for Best Results

As chemo meds do their job, you may not feel well enough to enjoy food. Still, eating the right foods and drinking plenty of liquid, such as water, can help ease side effects, enhance your body’s ability to fight cancer and speed your recovery.

Ask your healthcare providers if any dietary tweaks could help, and consider these guidelines, which can make any meal plan easier to tolerate:

Eat smaller, more frequent mini-meals. It’s easier on your stomach than eating three larger meals a day.

Avoid drinking liquids with food. This allows your digestive juices to work at full capacity, reducing indigestion, gas and diarrhea.

Sip frequently between meals. This will help you stay hydrated. In addition to water, try herbal teas (hot or iced), diluted fruit juices and clear broth.

Stay upright after eating. Give yourself at least an hour to get the digestive process going before you lie down. If you need to rest, sit with your legs stretched out and your head propped up on comfy pillows. Staying upright can also be important after taking some medicines, especially ones that build strong bones.

Don’t panic if you gain weight. Some people do gain weight during chemotherapy—partly because they may be less active, and partly because loved ones are bringing them comfort foods. Don’t beat yourself up if you do—you can ramp up your weight-loss efforts as soon as your treatments are over.

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