Nutrition for chemotherapy

What to eat while doing chemotherapy and the end of the chemotherapy sessions


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.


Drink at least 2 litters of liquid

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

- Apple-Carrot 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 home-canned "vacuum packed" food.

Keep a proper diet

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 low-fat 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.

- Low-fiber 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

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

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 .

Chemoterapy diet instructions
Summary sheet diet for 2 days before the 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:

- Whole egg (not fried)

- Vegetables cooked and very small portions (chickpeas, lentils,...)

- Salads: raw fruits and vegetables.

- Vegetable fiber: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, etc.

- Dairy: First enter if tolerated yogurt and milk. (Some patients can be lactose intolerant)

- Nuts in moderate doses (maximum 25 g portions.): Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.

- Continue including garlic and radishes in the diet to help improve circulation and the state of the organism.

- Moderate (eat infrequently) oxalate-rich foods: spinach, chard, beets, strawberries.

- Chocolate, coffee, alcohol and carbonated colas are not recommended.

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 salt-cured 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 dot More information on cancer and food in the listing above.

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.