Foods to Improve Appetite for Cancer Patients

Cancer is physically and emotionally tough. The medical condition and its treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation greatly affect lifestyle, including one’s appetite. It makes cancer patients lose their desire to eat despite the needs to maintain their protein, calorie, fluid, and other nutrients consumption during the entire treatment for better recovery. Read on and learn some of the ways that can help cancer patient deal with their eating problems. These include foods for cancer patients with no or bad appetite and other diet tips that will greatly help you go through this tough condition.

Foods for Cancer Patients with No Appetite

The body, based on its design, can heal on its own. However, the high levels of toxins and pain can greatly affect the body’s functions and senses including taste. You may lose appetite and eating tends to be the last thing that you want to do. Thus, it is important to consume foods that can stimulate your appetite by delivering the necessary biochemicals to the body. More than increasing the desire to eat, these foods can also help rebuild the damaged tissues, fight infections, and regain the overall health.

· Avocado

Avocado is a rich antioxidant that helps repair the damaged tissues. It contains a high amount of Vitamin E which fights bad estrogen, balances the cholesterol, and provides “good fats” in the body. The lack of good fats slows down metabolism, which in turn lessens the body’s energy.

Eating fresh avocado uncooked is healthier, and in a smoother texture can be easier for consumption. Be sure to include some in your diet plan daily.

· Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is not your typical food but it is a kind of sugar that offers a bitter taste. A freshly picked aloe vera usually contains around 200 nutrients. This makes it an essential for cancer treatment due to its amazing healing benefits.

Aloe vera can be combined with avocado to create a perfect smoothie that can help rebuild damaged tissues and fight infections.

· Banana

When considering foods for cancer patients with no appetite, banana is a healthy and hydrating fruit that provides electrolytes to maintain the needed energy of the body. It is naturally sweet, and gives better nutrition when added to dark leafy green vegetables. This will create a perfect smoothie that stimulates the appetite while providing the much-needed nutrients.

· Sweet Potatoes and Carrots

The combination of sweet potatoes and carrots offers an anti-oxidizing property that will enhance appetite, especially in cancer patients. This will also deliver beta-carotenoids which are essential Vitamin A compounds that help build tissues, aid in proper digestion, and maintain eye health.

· Freshly Made Nut Butter

Nut butter, that is freshly made and with no added preservatives, increases the fat and protein levels in the body. This will not only add creaminess to your dishes, but also gives the energy to help build the tissues for better recovery.

· Gluten-free Grains

Buckwheat, quinoa, whole oat groats, and other gluten-free grains are healthy additions to cancer patient’s diet. These healthy foods will help stimulate your appetite to help regain energy, especially during treatments.

· Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables have high antioxidants, anticancer, and antiviral properties, so this must be on the list of foods for cancer patients with no appetite. They are important bitter foods that helps stimulate the appetite while improving the immune system. Some of the cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and spinach.

· Olives

Olives are vital foods that are known for centuries. It is another bitter food that offers special fatty acids which aid in better metabolism and faster healing process. The best olive and olive oil should come from organic sources and undergo minimal processing.

· Bitter Substances

Bitter food substances including lemon juice, sauerkraut, vinegar, wine, and bitter herbs help enhance appetite. The stimulation of the gastric juices and saliva in turn induces hunger. Making a salad or dishes using any or a combination of these components will not only add flavor, but will also improve health. Be creative in using them and add them to every meal that you prepare.

More Diet Tips for Cancer Patients with No Appetite

There are dietary guidelines that you can use in order to stimulate the appetite, besides including more foods for cancer patients with no appetite above. Some of these helpful diet tips include the following.

  • Increase calorie and protein intake to help repair damaged tissues and regain health. Try preparing meals with butter, nuts, seeds, and biscuits to get those extra calories. Add some meat, cheese, high-protein milk, and beans to provide the added proteins. Be sure to check with your dietician or doctor about any concerns regarding the changes in your diet.  
  • Drink plenty of fluids, at least 64 ounces or 2 liters in a day, especially during treatments and procedures. If possible, drink products that are high in calories and dilute those that are too sweet such as fruit juices with water. Check with your doctor the possible restrictions on your fluid intake.
  • Eat small amounts of food several times within a day. An eating schedule may be helpful instead of relying on your appetite.
  • Limit your fluid intake during meals. This can easily fill you up and limit your calorie intake. Drinking is best done at least half an hour before and after meals.
  • Make your meals more appealing and appetizing to the eye and to the stomach. Choose a variety of colors, textures, and flavors. Avoid smelly foods that can have a negative effect on you and your desire to eat.
  • Always keep a variety of snacks and bedtime foods handy. Choose foods that are easy to prepare and at the same time rich in calories. This may include canned fruits, nuts, ice cream, cracker, cheese, and chocolate milk.
  • Try eating cold foods and cold drinks. This may be more appealing to your appetite especially if strong smell affects you.
  • Exercise more often to increase your appetite. Be sure to check with your doctor about the safe routines that you can perform.
  • Consider drinking multivitamins to get the needed vitamins and minerals. Be sure to check the labels prior to use and inform your doctor about this. 
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