Chemotherapy affects people in different ways. You may find it no more than a minor inconvenience, and be able to keep to your usual ‘real food’ diet.

Or it may be that you greatly feel the side effects of chemo, potentially resulting in loss of appetite, constipation and other digestive compromise. In which case, this advice is for you.

Food recovery
You are effectively convalescing whilst you recover from treatment. Hence soft, easy to digest yet nutritious foods will help with your healing:

  1. Chicken broth – not just good for the soul, but rich in minerals & amino acids and soothing for the digestive tract too. Simply toss a chicken carcass into a slow cooker, cover with water and leave it to simmer overnight. The next day, strain and keep refrigerated.

Drink before or between meals – half fill a mug with stock (it now has a jelly consistency), add 1 tsp of bouillon powder, and top up with boiling water.

  1. Lamb casserole with slow cooked veg – lamb is a very easy to digest meat and the high fat content will restore much needed calories. Soft cooked veggies are full of flavour and add vitamins and minerals in abundance. The more the merrier! Try onions, garlic, carrots or butternut squash, peppers and courgettes. Use bouillon powder or stock and herbs for flavour.
  2. Poached fish and mashed sweet potato with broccoli – steam a portion of fish alongside green vegetables until cooked, and serve with sweet potato mashed with a good dollop of butter. Comfort food at its best.
  3. Stewed apple with coconut cream – a comforting and nutritious snack or pudding. Apples contain pectin which is a soluble fibre, and supports your digestion. Coconut cream, or the milk from a tin, is just plain yummy.
  4. Smoothies – try almond milk with half an avocado, 1 tbsp shelled hemp seeds and frozen berries.

Feeling a little better
As you start to improve, increase your range of foods, and do your best to get out for some fresh air each day. Laughter is very healing, so snuggle down and watch some funny films, or invite some friends over for a giggle.

  1. Fresh vegetable juices – packed full of a ton of vitamins and minerals, and easy to absorb too. Try cucumber, celery, a handful of rocket, half a lemon, half an apple and some fresh ginger.
  2. If you need to keep your weight up, keep some healthy treats to hand. These chocolate brownies are made with love and natural goodness – ground almonds, eggs, butter and banana. Keep some in the freezer and defrost in portion sizes.

Back to full steam
Cancer – we know what you want and you’re not going to get it. No added sugar. No processed junk. We’re into just pure, unadulterated, health giving natural foods.

  1. Increase your vegetable intake. Veggies are a nutritional powerhouse and studies consistently show that increased veg intake is associated with better health. Try some new varieties – asparagus with roasted tomatoes, fennel and orange salad, beetroot roasted with garlic and apple, a creamy mushroom soup… the opportunities are endless.
  2. Add pulses to your meals. A great way to do this is to sprout beans and add handfuls to a big colourful salad.
  3. Increase your raw, and try to have some with every meal. That might mean a handful of berries with breakfast, or if you’re tucking into roast chicken with cooked veg, add a portion of raw on the side. Finely chopped broccoli, for instance. Or ditch the pasta and spiralise courgettes instead.

Research shows that taking supplements not only helps how well people tolerate treatment, but they improve outcome too. At a minimum this could include a very good quality multi vitamin and vitamin D (best to test levels first). Supporting digestion and immune health may also be helpful. See Eat to OUTSMART Cancer for more info, or contact me for a bespoke programme.

Recommendation: Propax Gold is a high quality multivitamin that has been tested alongside chemotherapy. Here is a clinical paper that you may like to show to your oncologist if you are thinking of taking it: propax info

Purchase Propax Gold online here

Wherever you are on your cancer journey, just know that the treatment is killing the cancer cells, but it is your job to rebuild your body. Have faith, draw on the love of those around you, and give your body the nutrients it needs to recover.

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