The challenge of a mouth cancer diet is your ability to eat enough of the right nutritional foods even while living with the side effects of treatment. To meet the challenge you may need to change the way you eat your food.
Body reactions to treatment
Once you are under surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, many of your body's healthy cells may be damaged or destroyed. Your body needs a higher amount of nutrition to repair the cells. Without this nutritional boost, you could face malnutrition. Malnutrition occurs when your body is forced to pull nutritional supplies from your fat or muscle tissue, because it is not getting enough in the food you eat and drink.
Often people stop eating or only eat a limited variety of foods when going through cancer treatment. This prevents them from getting the nutrition they need.
You need to maintain a diet rich in nutritional foods including:
Fruits and vegetables
Whole grain breads and cereals
Lean chicken, turkey and fish
Low-fat dairy products
You should cut back on salt, fat, alcohol and sugar. These items not only affect blood pressure, kidney function and your heart - but tests have shown that sugars can actually feed a tumor.Lack of interest in eating
You will probably find that the treatments you are receiving make it difficult to eat the proper foods. You may be experiencing:
The national cancer institute reports that about one-third of all cancer deaths are due to malnutrition. Your survival depends on your ability to maintain proper nutritional levels, even when side effects are debilitating.
Mouth cancer diet tips on specific mouth cancer diet exists. Your doctor or dietician will recommend that you concentrate on developing an eating plan that makes sure you receive vitamins and minerals your body will need to have a balanced diet.
You may find it difficult to eat with oral cancer. Nausea, soreness and loss of appetite may take away your will to eat, but these difficulties can be overcome with a few healthy eating tips:
Eat small meals.
Eat the most when your feel the best, such as in the morning or mid-day.
Rinse your mouth before eating to get rid of any unusual tastes.
Take very small bites and chew the food until it is liquefied in your mouth.
*eating after radiation
As radiation treatments continue, you may find that you are unable to tolerate some foods and that your mouth is too sensitive to enjoy eating. You can combat this by:
Avoiding acidic or strongly spiced foods
Using plastic utensils if you are experiencing metallic tastes
Trying soft or moist foods that are easier to chew and swallow. Poaching fish in liquids or adding creams and gravies to foods will make them easier to chew and swallow.
Avoiding foods that adhere to the roof or sides of the mouth
Eating after chemo
Sip fluids throughout the day, particularly if your mouth is blistered.
Avoid strong aromas that might increase your nausea.
Avoid hot foods, particularly those with steam. Steam carries nausea-producing aromas.
If eating or chewing solid food becomes too painful, sip nutritional supplement drinks such as boost or ensure.
Make blender drinks from fresh fruits combined with soy or whey protein powders.
Extra nutritional insurance with supplements
Your doctor and dietician will want you to get as many nutrients as possible from whole foods; however, they may also recommend that you supplement your eating by adding powdered or liquid nutritional supplements to blender drinks. Be sure and ask them for their ideas on what you should be eating and in what quantities.
Fill your plate
Divide your plate into quarters.
Fill half your plate with vegetables (five or more servings of fruits and veggies daily).
Fill a quarter of your plate with protein foods.
Fill a quarter of your plate with whole grains or starchy vegetables.
Eating the right proportion of carbs, proteins, and fat is beneficial.
Eat protein at every meal.
Aim for 30 to 45 grams of fiber daily.
Focus on healthy fats, such as fatty fish, avocado, olives, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and plant-based oils.
Eat less than 30 percent of your calories from fat (fewer than 67 grams daily for a 2, 000-calorie diet).
Add foods that are beneficial for fighting cancer because they are rich in phytochemicals and/or antioxidants (with the exception of water, which helps hydrate).
Fill half your plate with a variety of fruits and veggies. John hopkins medicine says fruits and veggies containing cancer-fighting phytochemicals (which help inhibit cancer cell growth) include:
Colorful produce source
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, kohlrabi, watercress, bok choy, collards, rutabaga, mustard greens, and brussels sprouts
Carotenoids, which are found in green, orange, and dark yellow fruits and veggies
Cucurbitaceous (plants from the gourd family) fruits and veggies, such as muskmelon, watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber, and squash
Umbelliferous (aromatic flowering plants) vegetables, such as carrots, celery, parsnip, and parsley
Solanaceous (nightshade) vegetables, such as tomatoes and eggplant
Other cancer-fighting fruits and veggies including citrus fruits, berries, apples, broccoli sprouts, legumes, garlic, shallots, leeks, and onions
Add the following phytochemical-rich herbs and spices to your diet to flavor food, as recommended by john hopkins medicine and ucsf medical center:
Choose protein-rich foods at each meal (especially plant proteins), including:
Nonfat greek yogurt
Soy products (tofu, tempeh) - note: soy appears to be beneficial for breast cancer patients, but specific amount recommendation aren't established
Nuts and seeds
Eat up to 30 percent of your total calories from fat (67 grams or less daily for a 2, 000-calorie diet).
Choose healthy fats, such as:
Fill 1/4 your plate with whole grains and starchy vegetables, such as:
Hydrate your body with:
Antioxidant-rich green tea