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Good nutrition is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle and is even more important if you are fighting cancer. A healthy diet can help you feel better, fight infections and keep your body strong. A nutritious diet can also help you get through and recover more quickly from treatments.
A proper diet when you have cancer is different than following the guidelines recommended by the typical food pyramid. The National Cancer Institute says eating habits that are good for cancer patients can be very different from the usual healthy eating guidelines.
Depending on the type of treatment you’re undergoing, you may need to change your diet to help build strength and fight off side effects. This might mean eating things you don’t normally eat — like high fat, high calorie foods. Your cancer team can help you determine a specific treatment plan for your type of cancer.
If you can, try to plan ahead before your cancer treatment begins by:
When treatment begins, maximize nutrition by eating:
If you are looking for healthy recipes, the American Cancer Society has many recipes for people with cancer. There are also websites with recipes to help those battling specific conditions.
Keep in mind that food, not supplements, is the best source of vitamins and minerals. Diet and nutrition, as well as a physical activity, like walking, can help you stay active. Talk to your care team, listen to your body, and change your diet and exercise levels as needed throughout treatment.
Learn more about cancer support services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
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