Cancer and cancer treatments often come with many side effects that make cooking and eating a challenge. It’s also a time when every bite counts. Wherever you are in the treatment process, it’s important to nourish yourself in order to minimize nutrition-related side effects and give you the strength to keep soldiering on.
Cooking Through Chemotherapy
From one treatment trooper to another – our founder Ann Ogden Gaffney gives her tips for how to eat well and cope with familiar side effects.
Recipes for the Most Common Treatment Side Effects
When your appetite isn’t what it was, focus on easy, nutrient-dense, small meals.
High fiber, warm beverages, and probiotic foods to promote a healthy gut.
Manage this side effect with low-fat, low-fiber, and soluble foods.
Soft-textured foods to help you nourish yourself when you’re experiencing dysphagia.
Focus on smaller and more frequent calorie-dense meals for when you feel full too soon.
Easy to prepare, comforting, and energy-dense recipes to help you manage a lack of energy.
Cold or room temperature recipes that are soft and low in acidity.
Smaller, more frequent meals that are soothing and easy on the stomach.
Recipes that are rich in umami, acid, sweet, and spice to reenergize your palate.
Tempering Taste Changes Through Cooking
Salty, Sweet, Sour, Bitter
Taste buds in need of a pick-me-up? Recipes packed with tons of umami flavor, like this tangy Thai curry, are just what you and your palate need.
HOW TO MAKE
Infusing lemonade with lavender gives this classic refresher a calming aroma, plus the acidic flavor of lemon can help mask metallic flavors if you’re experiencing taste changes.
Coping With Taste Changes
Nearly half of people going through treatment experience taste changes, which can make even water taste awful. Use our best culinary tricks and recipes to help combat this sneaky side effect.
Capsaicin-rich chiles add a special kick to food, but also contain important antioxidants and heat that can break through a chemo palate.
Stopping Weight Loss During Treatment
High Protein, High Calorie
Weight loss is a real issue during treatment. These salty-sweet chocolate tahini bars are perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth and adding calories to your diet when you need it most.
HOW TO MAKE
Spicy Pasta With Kale & Almonds
We’re firm believers in using whole grain pasta to pack in more cancer-fighting ingredients, and this quick, Sicilian-inspired dish is an example of just how effortless (and delicious) it can be.
Weight Loss During Treatment
Losing too much weight can be a sign of malnourishment, meaning your body isn’t getting the energy it needs to tolerate treatment. Learn how to get the calories you need.
This beloved condiment is more than just the perfect counterpart to jelly – it’s a boon for people who need to add more calories and healthy fats to their diet.
Managing Nausea During Treatment
Simple & Soothing
If eating solid foods isn’t on the menu currently, small meals and fortified, blended drinks like this warm smoothie can give you the comfort (and the calories) you need.
HOW TO MAKE
Ginger Poached Pears
Dessert can be healthy and delicious. Plus, this recipe has all the classic ingredients that can help you cope with nausea.
Top Tips for Nausea + Treatment
Sip slowly, avoid favorite foods, and lean into room temperature meals – these are just a few smart ideas for staying nourished while experiencing nausea.
These kitchen counter favorites are a perfect on-the-go snack, but they’re also a great soother and source of nutrition for unsettled stomachs.