Food for Cancer Patients

Food for Cancer Patients

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Supper Food for Cancer Patients

Cancer patients must eat a balanced diet enriched with nutrients or some super foods that can help to stay strong and energetic. Cancer treatments cause side-effects like nausea and taste changes which leads to loss of appetite, it is important that patients don’t have too many dietary restrictions imposed on them. After a person  diagnosed with cancer, he/she tends to change his/her lifestyle, diet, and health practices. Many patients start significant dietary changes to support their treatment consequences and recovery. A good food for cancer patients contains a mix of vegetables and meat, and avoids extremely sweet and oily foods. Preferred cooking methods are steaming, boiling, and stir-frying rather than deep frying etc.

Here are some foods help to cure cancer:

1. Vegetables:
  • Carr​ots, peas, pumpkin and turnips are good source of vitamins and fiber
  • Tomatoes, tomato puree and parsley (for prostate cancer patients)
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage contain plant chemicals that can convert bad estrogen into good estrogen, and hence reduce cancer risk or relapse risk
  • Asparagus and Brussel sprouts enrich with antioxidants
  • Bitter gourd for lowering blood sugar levels
  • Green leafy vegetables for calcium and iron
Food for Cancer Patients
2. Fruits
  • Oranges provide vitamin C
  • Bananas​, kiwi, peaches, mangoes, pears and strawberries are good source of vitamins and fiber
  • Avocadoes, guava, apricots, figs, prunes and raisins  good for energy
3. Proteins
  • Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs
  • Dairy products, nuts, dried beans, legumes and chickpeas
  • soy foods (especially for prostate cancer patients)
4. Carbohydrates
  • Rice, noodles, chapatti, wholegrain bread and pasta
  • Wholegrain crackers, oats , potatoes, beans and dairy products used to make nutritious recipes 
  • Honey, consumed for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which helps from preventing infections
  • Soy contains a phytonutrient called isoflavones, and has anti-cancer properties. Reasonable amounts of soy food such as soy milk or tofu are safe.  
Food for Cancer Patients

There are many food for cancer patients which you need to eat to keep up strength to deal with the side effects of treatment. When you are healthy, eating sufficient food is not a problem. But when you are suffering with cancer, this can be a challenge.

Try to eat at least 2 1/2 cups of fruits & vegetables a day. Include dark green and deep yellow veggies, and citrus fruits like grapefruits. Just make sure to wash fruits and vegetables before use.

Drink plenty of  liquids all day. Water is a good choice. Try fresh-squeezed juice. It provide you some extra vitamins.

What Foods are good for Cancer patients with no appetite?

During cancer treatment, you may feel:

  • Depressed                                     
  • Anxious   
  • Afraid
  • Angry
  • Helpless

It is normal to have these feelings. These are not eating problems, strong feelings but these can affect your interest in food. Appetite loss in this instance is unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean we should just sit back and let it run its course. Every day with insufficient food intake bring a poorer immune function and lead to weight loss.

Ways to Manage Appetite

  • Dry foods hold the power of cutting nausea as they are not strong smelling like salted biscuits, plain crackers. 
  • Drink a liquid or powdered meal replacement, such as “instant breakfast,” like oats shake when it is hard to eat.
  • Eat 5 or 6 smaller meals each day, instead of 3 large meals. Doing so can also keep you full.
  • Keep snacks near to you when you feel like eating. Take easy-to-carry snacks such as peanut butter crackers, nuts, granola bars, or dried fruit when you go out and also fruit purees, yogurt (plain or vanilla), Avocado.
  • Add high protein and calories to your diet. You can add protein through hard or semisoft cheese, milk, eggs, nut ,seeds & wheat germs and calories through granola bars, Dried fruits( raisins, prunes, apricots, dates, figs)
  • Drink liquids throughout the day. These liquids fulfil your calorie or nutrient intake such as Vegetable juices, Fruit punch, milk, Cranberry or grape juice, soups and soy-based drinks with protein.
  • Eat soft, cool foods like yogurt, milkshakes, and popsicles.
Food for Cancer Patients

A simple option to manage appetite like slice of toasted bread topped with mashed avocado, sprinkled with a few cashews or walnuts, topped with cilantro and lime juice.

High-calorie food for cancer patients

Even with a cancer disease , calorie intake may vary from person to person. Energy requirements are depend upon various factors, including age, weight, height, physical activity level, medical conditions and the course of cancer treatment.

Calories from food are important to maintain body’s energy needs and a healthy weight. During treatment, your calorie intake may increase.

Here are some food for cancer patients to get extra calories:

  • Add nut butters to meals and snacks.
  • Try full-fat dairy products (milk, yogurt, cream cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream).
  • Add oil, butter or cream which are source of added fats. Adding fats to meals is a great way of addition more calories to your diet
  • Add Plant-based fats such as oils, avocado or hummus are preferred over fats from animal sources.
  • Adding gravy, sauces, salads , mayonnaise or sour cream to your diet .
  • Add some sweeteners (sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup and honey) to foods such as hot cereals or to beverages like tea.
  • Drink calorie- liquid nutritional supplements. Use such supplements that contain at least 250-350 calories


High-Calorie Milkshake

½ cup ice cream and 1 avocado

8 ounces whole milk
1 scoop whey protein powder

Yield: 12 ounces (about 1 ½ cups)
450 calories, 28 grams protein

What Food Cancer Patients Should Avoid?

There are some food for cancer patients that no matter how good they sound are best food avoided due to the risk of foodborne illness like food poisoning or it can weaken your immune system.

So, foods cancer patients should avoid:

  • Raw fish or shellfish, such as sushi and oysters.
  • Rat raw nuts.
  • Foods or drinks that pass their freshness or expiry date.
  • Buy foods from bulk bins
  • Foods that express signs of mold, such as moldy cheeses such as bleu cheese and Roquefort.
  • Eat leftovers that have been in the refrigerator or on shelf  longer than 3 days.
  • Leave meat, chicken, turkey or fish sitting out to thaw.
  • To much intake of salt, sugar and oily foods
  • Red meat or processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausages
  • Preserved foods like pickles, jams and century eggs because they have nitrites which are carcinogenic
  • Alcohol and hot, spicy foods or liquids
  • Acidic foods like citrus fruits and drinks like fizzy soft drinks
  • Unpasteurized fruit juice or cider
  • Undercooked eggs like soft boiled, over boiled, and poached
  • Dry-cured, uncooked salami
  • Cold hot dogs or deli lunch meat (cold cuts).Always cook or reheat until the meat is steaming hot.
Food for Cancer Patients

Additionally, cancer patients should avoid excessive intake of vitamin supplements, as they act as antioxidants and can interact with chemotherapy when taken in large doses.

Easy to Swallow Food for Cancer Patients

Cancer patients often find difficulty in swallowing foods, a condition also known as dysphagia. Dry mouth from chemotherapy force the person to eat less. Other problems, like saliva, hiccups, heartburn can also make swallowing difficult. If you have trouble chewing and swallowing, several food for cancer patients available, you may need to add to your diet (sauces and gravies). 

For many patients, dry or tough foods (meats, breads, crackers and chips) can be hard to swallow. Soft, pureed and liquid foods are a better option and can provide all nutrition you required without medical treatment.

Foods that may be the easiest to consume:

  • Soups(Tomato soup, Potato leek soup ),Clam chowder, Chicken noodles, Butternut Squash
  • Pureed meats that are completely smooth
  • Nutritional shakes such as protein shakes and homemade smoothies
  • Juices and beverages like milk, tea, coffee or water
  • Popsicles, pudding, flavored gelatin
  • Ice cream and yogurt without fruit
  • Eggs scrambled with milk, butter or custard if the egg texture is too much hard
  • Eat more stews and casseroles. Long and slow cooking softens the meat, beans, pulses and vegetables.
  • Try soft meals such as shepherd’s pie and fish pie or scrambled eggs with baked beans.
  • Use more sauces, gravies to soften foods. Moist food is easier to swallow than dry foods
  • Try fish with a parsley sauce, fish gravy or sponge cake with custard
  • Use milkshakes (banana, chocolate, strawberry) and add ice cream for extra calories.
  • Use dairy free alternatives to butter, milk, cream and ice-cream and cottage cheese
  • Eat cereals such as porridge and other soft cereals like milk oats
  • Mash or puree food (meats, cereals, and fresh fruits) so that they’re soft as baby food
  • Dunk breads in milk to soften.
  • Avoid foods that require a lot of chewing and are hard to swallow such as nuts, raw vegetables, dry biscuits, tough meat.
Food for Cancer Patients

Best Food for Cancer Patients to Gain Weight

Eating is sometimes restricted, it can become a major complication for the cancer patient leading to weight loss. Excessive weight loss weakens immune system and makes it difficult to handle the stress. Certain food for cancer patients helps in maintaining good nutrition to fighting against cancer and overcome weight loss.

If any person experiencing weight loss, add oils, butter, full cream, whole milk and high-calorie nutritional shakes to increase caloric intake and prevent further weight loss.

  • Use milk or cream instead of water when mashing or liquidizing foods.
  • Have plenty of high calorie drinks.
  • Add butter to liquidized foods.
  • Have more soft snacks between meals
  • Shift from skim milk to whole milk, if you’re suffering with weight loss
  • Melt cheese on sandwiches, stir into scrambled eggs or grate on soups, starches or meats
  • Add cottage or ricotta cheese to fruits ,vegetables, egg dishes or desserts to fill it with calories
  • Get an extra energy by mixing powdered milk into milkshakes and smoothies
  • Spread peanut butter on sandwiches, vegetables or add them into shakes & smoothies
  • Sprinkle nuts over cereal, salads, vegetables
  • Add chopped or minced meat to salads, omelets and quiches etc.
  • Eat more beans and tofu. Hummus is high in protein and can be spread on breads & vegetables
  • Use whole wheat pastas and add cream sauces into it
  • Mix legumes, lentils and beans into chicken or beef broth or salads.
  • Cook vegetables and meats in olive oil and coconut oil

Baby Food For Cancer Patients

If kids are suffered from cancer, the best way for kids to keep up their strength and deal with side effects is by staying hydrated or eating properly. For some kids who experiencing treatment, that might mean getting enough to eat food ; for others, it could mean not to eat too much food.

Kid needs:

  • protein to grow, repair damage tissues, build blood cells. Foods like cheese, eggs, milk, yogurt, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, peanut butter, nuts, lentils, legumes and soy are all great sources of protein.
  • Carbohydrates work as body’s fuel, providing energy for cells and maintain organs function. Such carbs include breads, pasta, potatoes, rice, cereals, fruits, corn, and beans. Whole-grain breads and pastas, which helps kids feel fuller and prevents constipation
  • Fats help the body to store energy, protect body tissues, and carry vitamins. Fats also are packed with calories. Unsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, olive oil, and vegetables like avocados are much healthier than saturated fats

Some cancer patients turn to baby food, which are usually very nutritious. Baby food is also enriched with many vitamins and minerals, which means it’s both easy to eat and healthy.

Some baby food for cancer patients are:

  • Sweet potato puree
  • Peach puree
  • Pea puree
  • Brown rice cereal
  • Delicious combination of green beans, potato and kale puree
  • Beets and blueberry mash
  • Apples and oats puree
  • Shredded chicken with carrots
  • Quinoa ratatouille
  • Baby food lasagna
  • Scrambled egg with vegetable puree
  • Mashed boil eggs with cream
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Mild curry with fresh herbs or veggies

These baby foods are easy to chew and swallow help to fulfil the nutrition need for adults. Although, cancer is disease which may lead a person to death but sometimes its severe reactions are cure by using a healthy diet or balanced diet.

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