6 Tips to Try When Chemotherapy Affects Appetite
Eating healthy is especially crucial for those undergoing chemotherapy or another type of cancer treatment, but one of the major side effects preventing patients from eating well is a change in how foods taste. It’s important to overcome this and other obstacles to healthy eating in order to maintain the strength needed for chemotherapy treatments and protect against infections. Eating a balanced diet may even help cancer patients better manage higher doses of certain types of medications.
When experiencing challenges with taste changes that interfere with adhering to a recommended dietary plan during cancer treatment, the following cancer nutrition tips from Hired Hands Homecare, providers of the home care and specialized dementia care Pleasanton, CA seniors need, can help:
- Experiment with different food temperatures. For some people undergoing cancer treatment, cold foods are more palatable, providing less aromas than hot foods, which may increase feelings of nausea.
- Try different seasonings. Marinades, spices, and herbs can make food more appealing. Several options to try include mint, rosemary, garlic, lemon, dill and basil.
- Pay attention to oral health. Taste buds can become irritated by chemotherapy, and bacteria levels may become imbalanced. Brushing the teeth with a soft toothbrush and mild toothpaste several times during the day, as well as visiting the dentist for additional suggestions, can be helpful.
- Eat smaller portions. Smaller, more frequent meals are often easier to digest. Be sure to include plenty of fluids, both during and between meals, as well.
- Try mints and gum. Sugar-free mints and gum, or other flavored hard candy, can help reduce the metallic or bitter tastes in the mouth that can occur from chemotherapy treatments. They can also stimulate production of saliva to relieve a dry mouth.
- Work with a dietician. A professional dietician who specializes in cancer nutrition can help with recommending food choices specific to the person’s particular difficulties. He or she can also suggest appropriate vitamin supplements, high-nutrition liquid shakes, etc.
For more tips to combat changes in taste or other side effects of chemotherapy, contact Hired Hands Homecare. Our California in-home care services can help those undergoing cancer treatment in a variety of ways, such as planning, shopping for, and preparing nutritious and delicious meals, supplying accompanied transportation to medical appointments and procedures, and serving as a comforting companion. Contact us at (866) 940-4343 to learn more about our professional in-home care services and to request a complimentary assessment in the comfort of home.