As one of the most common cancer treatment options, radiation therapy is used to shrink tumors and stop the growth of cancerous cells. Similar to other treatment solutions, radiation therapy can make individuals with cancer become fatigued or disinterested in eating, among other side-effects. That’s why it’s important to maintain a healthy diet during radiation therapy. If you or a loved one are undergoing radiation therapy, RCCA can help you find a nutritious diet for maintaining your health during and after treatment.
The Difference Healthy Eating Can Make
While it’s true that healthy eating is good for everyone, those undergoing radiation therapy especially benefit from the effects of nutrient-rich food. Certain types of radiation therapy can lead to issues with malnutrition or loss of appetite, and these side effects may last anywhere from a few weeks to years after ending treatment. Fortunately, healthy eating can help patients maintain body weight, preserve their strength and replace tissue.
For your overall wellness, strive to eat a well-balanced diet that includes:
- Protein-rich foods, such as fish, lean meat, legumes, nuts, eggs and dairy, to rejuvenate the immune system
- Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for improved energy
- Carbohydrates from whole grains, including those found in breads, cereals, quinoa, rice and more
- Fiber from beans, vegetables, fruits and grains for proper digestion
- A variety of vitamins and minerals to support overall good health
Finally, stay hydrated. Dehydration can present serious health risks during treatment, and it’s important to drink additional water if your side effects include diminished appetite, vomiting or diarrhea.
Consult Your Dietitian
Still not sure how to eat the right foods to support recovery? It’s important to remember that not all patients experience the same side effects during radiation therapy. In these cases, working with a dietician can be a great way to assess your nutritional needs and ensure you receive the nutrients necessary during each stage of treatment. A dietician can also help you build lasting smart eating habits and provide suggestions for easy recipes, ways to prepare healthy foods to your liking and more.
Uncover the Latest News on Healthy Living at RCCA
If you have questions about keeping a healthy diet during radiation therapy, our expert team of doctors can help. Contact us today to discover why we’re considered the leading center for cancer care and treatment in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and the surrounding areas.