Diet while doing chemotherapy and at the end of the chemotherapy sessions

Nutrition for chemotherapy


Chemoterapy diet instructions

Summary sheet diet for 2 days before chemotherapy

Feeding patterns between sessions of chemotherapy

Usually chemotherapy is performed in sessions with breaks of 2-3 weeks for the body to recover and to tolerate chemotherapy treatment better.

Chemotherapy treatment can be responsible for digestive symptoms such as:

  • Anorexia, loss of appetite, nervous stomach
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • Stomach pain or bellyache
  • Constipation or diarrhea


Reduce stress

Photograph of two people in a botanical garden. In treating cancer it is recommended to suppress stress.

Recommended beverages during chemotherapy treatment

Dinking very much is VERY IMPORTANT throughout the chemotherapy treatment because all toxins must be removed by the kidneys. There have been cases of renal failure because of not drinking enough fluids.

Beverages that are recommended:

  • Apple or pear juice
  • Carrot juice
  • AppleCarrot juice
  • (Not too hot) warm vegetable broth
  • Vegetable drinks organic soy type

Maintain so much hygiene as possible

The immune system is depressed, so avoid possible infection through food or environmental sources. The basic precautions are:

  • Clean hands before cooking and clean utensils well (in the dishwasher).
  • Buy canned or frozen vegetables (packaged vegetables are usually prewashed). Wash vegetables before peeling.
  • Do not eat food that has fallen to the ground, but “clean it up” with water.
  • Keep food in the fridge. Do not eat food that has been out of the fridge for long. Thaw frozen food from the fridge.
  • Do not eat homecanned “vacuum packed” food.

Proper diet for chemotherapy

A proper diet is suitable for the digestive organs to tolerate the chemotherapy treatment so as to diminish its side effects. All dietary changes should always be consulted with a doctor. Recommended foods are:

  • Potato and rice: purees, soups, boiled, etc.
  • Oil or extra virgin olive oil with low acidity (0.2 °)
  • White fish (monkfish, hake, cod, etc., frozen or fresh), egg, cheese (or lowfat cheeses)
  • Consult your doctor if you can take yogurt (if tolerated) or yogurt with bifidus if constipation. In some cancers like leukemia it is not convenient to take this food because the lactic bacteria of yogurt increase immunity.
  • Garlic and radishes: Boiled, garlic raw or preserved, to strengthen the heart, circulation and help remove toxins.
  • Lowfiber vegetables: carrots, zucchini, squash
  • Cooked or stewed fruit: (More digestible) apples and pears preferably:

Consult with your doctor

Walking In Sunshine 10 minutes a day to make vitamin D.


Sample menu after chemotherapy

Pumpkin cream

Pumpkin cream– 2 potatoes

– 3 egg whites (or 3 cheeses)

– 100 g. pumpkin

– 30ml. olive oil

– Pinch of salt

Apple and carrot juice drink

Dessert: apple and pear compote with no added sugar

Turmeric against cancer

Turmeric spice

Soft diet high in calories during chemotherapy

Soft foods improve swallowing problems so chemotherapy patients can ingest more calories. A soft diet is easier to swallow, and it must be very rich in nutrients. It must include such nutritious foods as:

  • Rice or tubers (carbohydrates), egg, fish or cheese (proteins) and olive oil (fat).
  • Apple juice: Apple juice stimulates the production of saliva. (Drink natural apple juice during meals).
  • Carrot juice: With the same applications as above, it does not contain so much sugar as apple and it is recommended if diarrhea or flatulence. (Drink carrot juice during meals)

Turmeric to strengthen the body during chemotherapy

Turmeric is one of the most recommended spices. It contains curcumin and curcuminoids, yellow pigments with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective properties.

Scientific studies have shown that turmeric helps improve the health of the body and repair the damage caused by cancer medication.

Specifically, it could help correct the damage to the heart and kidneys caused by doxorubicin in chemotherapy.


After the chemotherapy sessions and once starting to relax, chemotherapy treatment symptoms are decreasing. We already can introduce some foods that have had to be avoided during the period of chemotherapy.

Food should be introduced gradually, observing at all times the patient’s tolerance. The following advice should be taken into account:

Follow the basic diet, gradually adding these foods:

Three days before the next session of chemotherapy, a diet for gastritis is recommended.


The food patterns at the end of chemotherapy treatment are those of a balanced diet, if possible for cancer prevention.

We recommend:

  • Avoid obesity
  • Decrease saturated animal fats or industrial products
  • Increase antioxidant foods (fresh fruits, juices, vegetables, grains, beans, all vegetables)
  • Reduce consumption of smoked meats, pates and saltcured foods.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco.

*Related information

What fats to eat during chemotherapy

Minerals and vitamins for chemotherapy

Carbohydrates for chemotherapy

What to drink during chemotherapy

A menu for chemotherapy

Best food for chemotherapy

How to overcome vomiting from chemotherapy

red dotMore information on cancer and food.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

28 January, 2022

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