Nutritional Guidelines to Follow During Breast Cancer Treatment

Warm Chicken Salad

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and you are beginning your treatment of chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation therapy, your primary focus should be on staying strong and healthy through your treatment. Proper nutrition will be an asset as you struggle with treatment side effects like fatigue and nausea, and it is important to know what you should be eating to combat these effects. Not only will the tips below help you stay well throughout your treatment, but they can also be vital for preventing new cancers after the breast cancer is eradicated.

Boost your protein intake

Lean protein takes longer for the body to break down than carbohydrates, so you will want to have some protein on your plate at every meal. Protein also helps build and maintain muscle tissue, which is important as you find yourself decreasing your physical activity during treatment. Lean meats like chicken and certain cuts of beef are great choices, but you might also add some vegetarian protein sources like beans and nuts.

Try new foods

Some cancer treatment drugs can throw off your taste buds, which means that foods you didn’t like before might now taste good. Alternatively, you can develop a distaste for some of your reliable comfort foods. Don’t be afraid to pick up some different choices as you notice your tastes changing, and remember that some veggies you once hated could become staples of your diet.

Incorporate more vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients that are vital for cancer care: antioxidants. There are many different types of antioxidants that have been shown to fight cell damage caused by free radicals in the body, which may lead to the growth of cancer. Fruits and veggies that are packed with antioxidants tend to be the most darkly colored choices like berries, sweet potatoes, beets, and dark leafy greens. You can find antioxidants in supplements, but these do not have the same positive effects as nutrients derived from whole food sources.

Eat small, regular meals

It may be a challenge to eat right if you are experiencing nausea as a side effect of chemotherapy or radiation, but this may be relieved with smaller meals eaten throughout the day.

For the support and state-of-the-art care you need to fight breast cancer, connect with West Hills Hospital today. You can find a physician on our website or through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (818) 676-4000. 

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