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Food for Managing Nausea During Treatment

Food for Managing Nausea During Treatment



Shenell Malloy

When you’re feeling sick from cancer treatment, nothing sounds that great to eat. Trying to eat at all is a big ask, and it’s even more draining to think about keeping foods healthy and nourishing. We’ve talked about the benefits of a ketogenic diet, but when you’re in the throes of treatment, getting nutritious calories in should be the focus!

Here are some tips to help guide you and some snack ideas for those days you’re just not feeling into food.

Tip #1

Eat bland foods whenever possible. Foods that have too strong a taste or scent, or that are too spicy, can set off bouts of nausea and vomiting. Foods that are greasy or too fatty could do the same thing. Start off with easy-to-digest foods and add other well-balanced foods on the days when you feel better.

Tip #2

Cook all your food thoroughly. This is important because raw foods can contain microbes, and people undergoing chemotherapy may not be able to fight them off because their immune systems won’t be working optimally. This doesn’t mean you have to cook all your food to mush, though. Lightly steaming vegetables for about three minutes helps keep the nutrients while killing off microbes, so you can get the best nutrition while staying safe.

Tip #3

Eat small meals throughout the day. Keeping your stomach full with small meals can help keep the nausea at bay

Tip #4

Eat whole, organic foods. This means foods that are not / minimally processed and do not contain trace pesticides. Your body is fighting hard and you need to fuel it with the most pure, nutrient-dense food possible.

Nutritious snack ideas for a nauseous stomach:

  • Oats or oatmeal is packed with fiber, provides antioxidants, and can be made sweet (berries and monkfruit), savory (nut butters and seeds), or just plain.
  • Cabbage soup is another staple for a sick stomach, add some superfoods like spouted broccoli or microgreens.
  • Sip bone broth with fresh ginger, and even add some fresh spinach in it. Drink it daily like a tea, especially when nauseous.
  • Smoothies made from frozen organic wild blueberries, strawberries, and whey protein to keep weight up.
  • White jasmine rice with eggs with some sea salt can provide calories with little volume.
  • White Bean soup is a nice way to get some mineral-packed broth into you as well, even the broth alone would be good to have on hand, something to sip that doesn't require much appetite.
  • Crackers and toast are solid options, some clean sprouted options are Ezekiel bread and Hu crackers. Organic sourdough is a great option as well.
  • Find teas you really like: dandelion, ginger, and peppermint tend to be the most helpful.  

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