Health: Eat Well To Get Well

By Syida Lizta Amirul Ihsan

Cancer patients undergoing treatment need to eat well to replenish lost energy.

FOR someone undergoing cancer treatment, eating is the last thing he or she wants to do. With mouth ulcers, soreness and body ache, meals are no longer a delightful routine. But a patient must eat good food to replenish the energy lost during treatment.

Mayo Clinic website suggests that food must be packed with nutrition and calories to nourish the body. Schedule mealtimes and eat small portions if the patient cannot eat a regular-sized meal. Select foods that don’t have strong smells in case he or she is put off by the aroma.

Always consult your doctor on what’s best to consume. But here are some tips and food suggestions for those undergoing treatments:

1. Butter and olive oil

To increase calorie intake, use butter on potato, bread and toast and olive oil on rice, pasta and vegetable. Don’t worry about the fat quotient. When you feel better, you can make better food choices.

2. Peanut butter

Peanut butter makes you feel full fast and the natural ones are packed with protein and good fats, so spread it on banana, apple, toast or pretzel.

3. Sandwich

Sandwich is an all-in meal that takes minimal effort to prepare. Fill up with tuna, lean chicken or turkey and vegetable. Add avocado as dressing.

4. Milkshake

Packed with calories, milkshakes can be made easily with fresh milk, ice-cream and your favourite flavour (chocolate or fruit) for a delicious refreshing drink. Or make a float or drink chocolate milk.

5. Fruit juice

It provides calories and vitamins and when tastebuds are off, a glass of fruit juice is refreshing and invigorating. Try mixing different types of fruit for a different taste.

6. Dried fruit

It provides energy, vitamins and fibre. You can also add dried fruit to cereal.

7. Honey

Another calorie-dense option, honey is a good antidote for that bitter taste in the mouth. Add to drinks, water, cereal, bread or waffle.

8. Canned fruit

An easy way to get calories is from canned fruit in syrup since the sugar will deliver the much-needed extra energy. Canned fruit is also softer and easier to chew.

9. Beans

A good source of protein which is important for muscle building, beans (like black, kidney, pinto) can be added to soups and stews to warm the tummy.

10. Water

It is important to stay hydrated during treatment as water flushes out toxins, keeps the body cool and helps metabolise food better. So drink up to get well faster.

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