Maintaining a healthy diet is especially crucial for those undergoing cancer treatment, but one of the top side effects to prevent patients from eating well is a change in taste. It’s important to overcome this and other barriers to healthy eating in order to maintain the strength needed for chemo treatments, guard against infections, and a number of other benefits. Eating a balanced diet also helps patients cope with any chemo side effects and may even be able to help them better manage higher doses of certain medications.
When experiencing difficulties with taste changes that interfere with the ability to follow a recommended dietary plan during cancer treatment, the following cancer nutrition tips from Hillendale Home Care’s professional Northern California home care team can help:
- Try different food temperatures. For some cancer patients, cold foods are more palatable, providing less aromas than hot foods, which can be a trigger for nausea.
- Experiment with seasonings. Use of marinades, herbs and spices can make food more appealing. Good options to try include mint, rosemary, garlic, lemon, dill and basil.
- Maintain good oral health. Taste buds can be irritated by cancer treatment and bacteria levels become imbalanced. Brushing the teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild toothpaste several times throughout the day, as well as visiting the dentist for additional recommendations, can be helpful.
- Reduce meal size. Smaller, more frequent meals are often easier to digest. Be sure to include plenty of fluids both during and between meals as well.
- Try gum and mints. Sugar-free gum and mints, or other flavored hard candy, can be helpful in removing metallic or bitter tastes in the mouth that sometimes occur from chemo treatments. They can also stimulate production of saliva to help relieve dry mouth sensations.
- Check with a dietician. A professional dietician who specializes in cancer nutrition can help with food choice recommendations specific to an individual’s difficulties. He or she can also recommend appropriate vitamin supplements, high-nutrition liquid shakes, etc.
For more cancer nutrition tips to combat changes in taste or other side effects of chemotherapy treatment, contact Hillendale Home Care. Our Northern California home care services can provide help to those undergoing cancer treatment in a variety of ways, such as planning, shopping for, and preparing healthy and delicious meals, providing transportation to medical appointments and procedures, and serving as a comforting companion to listen. Contact us to learn more about our professional in-home care services by calling 925-933-8181.