How does cancer affect your tastes

Cancer & Nutrition In everyday life

  • Eat and drink whenever you get an appetite, quietly every two hours and at night too. Hand out small treats such as B. Nuts, crackers and cookies at home where you spend a lot of time. Or use them as a snack on the go. Prepare meals so that they are quick to prepare, e.g. B. Frozen dishes.
  • Eat whatever you crave, even if it is different from your habits. Season everything with the herbs and spices that taste good and do you good.
  • Many small portions are easier to create and more digestible than a few large ones.
  • If you want to make food and drinks more energetic, go to waste with high-fat additives. Suitable are e.g. B. Oil, butter, cream, sour cream and nut butter.
  • A small aperitif before a meal can stimulate the appetite. Teas containing bitter substances made from sage, yarrow or wormwood as well as fruit juices with a high acid content (e.g. orange juice, pineapple juice) are suitable. A strong vegetable or meat broth can also be a good appetizer. It is best to discuss with your doctor whether alcoholic beverages such as sparkling wine, beer or wine are suitable.
  • Certain herbs and spices in the food stimulate the appetite and facilitate digestion, e.g. B. ginger, fennel, bay leaf, rosemary, dill, chives, mustard, curry and pepper. Vegetables and fruits with a bitter taste such as chicory and grapefruit are also beneficial.
  • The appearance of the meal is important: it tastes better when served up. This also applies to passed food.
  • If intense food smells are filling you, good ventilation helps. In addition, hot dishes usually smell more intense than lukewarm or cold ones.
  • Get distracted while eating. In company, while reading or watching TV, it slips much easier "on the side".

You can also get help from your doctor: He can prescribe nutritional supplements and appetite-increasing medication.

Fatigue (tiredness, weakness)

Every second person with advanced cancer suffers from chronic fatigue.

  • A good supply of nutrients is a prerequisite for being as powerful and resilient as possible. Fatigue can also be caused by a lack of z. B. iron or vitamin B12 are caused. Discuss the need for action with your doctor.
  • Exercise reduces the symptoms of fatigue. It improves oxygen uptake, lifts mood, maintains muscles and reduces the side effects of therapy. Therefore, you should exercise a few minutes a day if possible. That can be B. Regular walks, exercises at home or in a movement therapy group.
  • Be aware of everything that is good for your body and soul. Pamper yourself or let others help you.
  • The so-called "integrative oncology" knows other possibilities of fatigue treatment. Medically recognized are now z. B. acupuncture, mistletoe therapy, relaxation therapy and water treatments. Simply discuss with your doctor which help he sees as useful.

Changes in smell and taste

  • If you are very sensitive to smells and flavors, it is better to avoid odor-intensive preparations. Have a strong aroma z. B. fried, deep-fried or baked dishes, onions and cabbage vegetables. Also avoid spices that seem too strong, such as B. Garlic. Prefer mild dishes such as mashed potatoes, pasta or rice dishes with tomato sauce.
  • If cooking smells bothers you, ventilate well while cooking. A lighted candle while eating also helps to neutralize odors.
  • When cooking, use caution when seasoning. Do not add salt, pepper and fresh herbs until you reach the table.
  • Dishes made with poultry or minced meat are often preferred to other meats. If you marinate meat with fruit juices, wine or soy sauce before preparing it, it will get a different flavor.
  • In addition to meat, good sources of protein are dairy products, eggs and products made from soy. The flavors should be mild, e.g. B. tofu, young cheese, cottage cheese or cream cheese. Fatty dairy products such as cream and crème fraîche can neutralize the inherent taste of food if necessary.
  • If something tastes unpleasant or bland to you, a squirt of lemon juice in the food can help. Or you can drink slightly bitter or lemony-tasting drinks with your meal, such as B. Bitter Lemon or Tonic Water.
  • Hot dishes usually smell more intense than lukewarm or cold ones.
  • If the taste sensation is metallic, it can help to replace stainless steel or metal cooking utensils with materials such as glass and plastic.
  • Take sips more often to get rid of bad taste in your mouth. Before starting to eat, rinse your mouth out briefly.
  • Even sweet additions can mask an unpleasant smell / taste in hearty dishes. Combinations are e.g. B. game with applesauce, camembert with cranberries, poultry with banana or curry dish with pineapple.
  • Do not force yourself to eat or drink foods that you do not like.
  • If you let others cook for you, you have several advantages: Firstly, your appetite will be preserved because you did not have kitchen smells around you while you were preparing it. Second, it allows people who care about you to be of very practical help. And thirdly, you can freeze portions of food and use them depending on your appetite.
  • It is best to strengthen your immune system with fresh foods. They contain all of the nutrients and protective substances you need. You should discuss with your doctor whether additional supplements will help you. Vitamins and minerals ingested without authorization are often too high and can even cause damage.
  • Strengthen the immune system in the intestines by giving preference to foods rich in fiber. Lactic acid bacteria also support the immune system there. Your nutrition therapist will tell you which foods are particularly good for you and what to look out for.
  • Avoid the ingestion of unwanted germs from food. Always wash and peel raw vegetables and fruits. Avoid raw milk cheese, blue cheese and raw sausage products. Meat and eggs should always be well cooked.
  • Meal leftovers that are reheated must be cooked well. Unwelcome germs quickly settle in them.
  • Before using the food, check whether it is still edible. If in doubt: Put it in the garbage can!
  • Our hands are points of contact where germs like to collect. Hygiene protects! Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, before meals, and after using the toilet.
  • Do not smoke, as this puts a strain on the immune system. In addition, the body needs strength for detoxification.
  • Light exercise improves mood and strengthens the immune system.

Bloating and gas

  • Flatulent vegetables such as all types of cabbage, radishes, peppers, cucumbers, onions and legumes are often problematic. Rather, grab fruit and easily digestible, fine vegetables, e.g. B. carrots, fennel, Chinese cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, green salads. In general, steamed foods are often easier to digest than raw foods.
  • If you want to eat whole grains, look for finely ground flour. Whole grain bread made from coarse grist and fresh yeast pastries are more likely to cause discomfort.
  • Go lavishly on defalling spices like cumin, fennel, anise, basil and thyme - in food and as tea preparations.
  • Pepsin wine and artichoke extract are known to be good home remedies. Plant extracts from z. B. fennel, ginger, chamomile, angelica root or milk thistle fruit can reduce the symptoms. Let yourself be expertly advised on this.
  • Has an intolerance to milk sugar (lactose) crept in? Once your doctor determines this, discuss possible solutions with your nutritional therapist.
  • Carbonated drinks and hasty meals often bring a lot of air into the stomach. Take time and rest for meals.
  • A "digestive walk" can also prevent or improve symptoms.
  • Chewing gum and acidic foods such as citrus fruits or sour candy stimulate the flow of saliva. In the case of inflammation, you prefer gentle variants, e.g. B. Sage sweets.
  • Drink small amounts often, preferably water, tea or juice. If plain water does not improve the feeling of dryness, mix it with mild fruit or vegetable juices.
  • Coffee and black tea have stimulating effects, but promote dry mouth. An energizing alternative is tea made from fresh ginger.
  • Mint tea increases the feeling of dryness in the mouth. Prefer tea made from sage, chamomile, marigold or thyme.
  • If you find it difficult to drink, eat plenty of water-rich fruits.
  • Dishes with a thick consistency such as stews, minced meat sauces, vegetable puree or fruit compote are beneficial. Dry, crumbly or crumbly foods are unsuitable.
  • Dry mucous membrane is prone to inflammation. An infusion of marshmallow or lukewarm flaxseed slime contains substances that protect the mucous membrane.
  • The gel-like "artificial saliva" that your doctor can prescribe for you is very helpful. You can keep your lips moist by wetting them with a damp sponge or cloth.
  • Soft foods make eating easier, e.g. B. porridge, mashed potatoes, ice cream, mild fruit compote, soft-boiled eggs, tender fish, finely chopped meat in a mild sauce. Hard, crumbly and hot foods, on the other hand, can be unpleasant.
  • Fat-rich additives such as oil, cream or crème fraîche make the food smoother. Lightly toasted, warm bread with butter promotes salivation and is easier to swallow.
  • Swap acidic foods like oranges or tomatoes for a milder option like pear or avocado.
  • Dairy products, an infusion of marshmallow or lukewarm linseed slime contain substances that protect the mucous membrane.
  • Saline solution, sea buckthorn oil or lukewarm tea made from sage, chamomile, peppermint or calendula have proven effective for soothing mouth rinses.
  • Ice tablets (= rounded ice cubes) can prevent inflammation of the mucous membranes. You can easily make them yourself by e.g. B. Freeze sage tea in an ice cube bag. You will achieve a particularly good effect if you let the ice tablets melt slightly defrosted in your mouth shortly before and during chemotherapy.
  • Soft food makes it easier to eat, e.g. B. porridge, mashed potatoes, cream soup, cream pudding, fruit compote, scrambled eggs, tender fish, finely chopped meat in sauce. Dry, crumbly, or crumbly foods are not good choices.
  • Thick foods and drinks are easier to control when swallowing than thin ones. You should therefore tie some clear soups. For beverages, there are powdery, tasteless thickeners that are easy to stir in.
  • Fat-rich additives such as oil, cream, mayonnaise or crème fraîche make the food smoother. This also makes lightly toasted, warm bread with butter easier to swallow.
  • If pain and inflammation accompany the swallowing disorder, give preference to mild spices and low-acid foods. Ice has a soothing effect, e.g. B. as cream ice cream, sorbet made from mild fruits or ice tablets (= self-made in an ice cube bag).
  • If you find it difficult to swallow chunky dishes, puree the finished components separately. Then arrange everything on the plate in an appetizing way.
  • If you feel an unpleasant build-up of mucus in your throat when you drink milk, give preference to soy milk or sour milk products such as kefir and buttermilk.
  • Drinking and nutritional supplements are also suitable as snacks between meals. If the consistency seems too milky to you, choose a fruity-clear variant.
  • Concentrate on eating and drinking and take your time and rest. Specially trained swallowing therapists can show you techniques that will make it easier for you to swallow.

Menopausal symptoms (through anti-hormone therapy)

  • Drink plenty to make up for fluid loss through sweating.
  • Sage contains substances that work against excessive sweating. You can drink it as a tea preparation or use it to wash your body.
  • Spicy food, coffee and black tea are so stimulating that the heat can rise to your face. Therefore, prefer mild spices and decaffeinated drinks.
  • Water also helps against outbreaks of sweat: regular alternating pouring, sauna and cold washing create temperature stimuli that train the body's own nervous system.
  • Regular exercise can significantly reduce hot flashes and sweats. Activity is also a good protection against osteoporosis.
  • Discuss with your doctor whether they think adding extra vitamin D or calcium is useful for preventing osteoporosis.
  • Relaxation techniques such as yoga can noticeably reduce hot flashes.
  • If you suffer from mild depressive moods, a cure with St. John's wort can help.
  • Many small meals are easier to digest than a few large ones. Eat and drink slowly and with small sips.
  • Warm dishes are pleasant, e.g. B. a warm cereal porridge for breakfast, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, shredded meat or fish ragout. However, avoid particularly flatulent, very fatty or spicy foods.
  • The bitter substances contained in chicory, endive or rocket improve the digestibility of food.
  • Porridge, which you can prepare sweet (with steamed fruit and honey) or savory (with herbs and salt), also has a calming effect on digestion. It is best to use fine-leaf flakes or melted flakes for this.
  • Dry pastries such as shortbread biscuits, pretzel sticks or toasted bread are easy to chew on the side and are easy to digest.
  • Teas made from these plants can help relieve nausea:
  • Chamomile (also has an antispasmodic effect)
  • Ginger root (also has a warming effect)
  • Peppermint (also has a cooling effect)
  • Nausea automatically leads to previously consumed and then vomited food being rejected immediately. If you suffer from nausea as part of chemotherapy, it is better not to eat anything right before starting therapy.
  • The smell of lavender and aniseed can reduce nausea.
  • A hot water bottle on your stomach, a gentle arm or leg massage and distraction also have a relaxing effect.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to replace the fluids you lose when you have diarrhea. Warm water, tea or vegetable broth are better tolerated than cold drinks.
  • Compensate for mineral loss with food, e.g. B. still mineral water or strong broth. If your diarrhea persists, you should eat particularly rich in potassium, e.g. B. banana or apricot.
  • Blueberries have a firming effect on stool, as juice or tea. This preparation gives energy, tastes good and binds water in the intestine: ½ liter of water with ½ teaspoon of salt, 4 teaspoons of grape sugar and a dash of blueberry juice.
  • The tart tasting tannins from black tea (steeping time approx. 20 minutes) and cocoa have a healing effect on the intestines.
  • Pectin is a fiber that can bind water in the intestine. Therefore, prefer foods rich in pectin, e.g. B. Apple (grated with skin), banana and carrots.
  • Cooked vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, fennel, celery, parsnips, skinned tomatoes, zucchini and young kohlrabi are easy to digest. If you season suitable dishes with nutmeg, this delays the transport of the food in the intestine.
  • Soups made from rice, oatmeal, barley or flaxseed meal contain mucilage that has a healing effect on the irritated gastrointestinal area. If you add anise, fennel or caraway seeds to these spicy mucous soups, they also have an anti-cramping and exfoliating effect.
  • Bread is best digestible when toasted. Whole grain bread with coarse grains is unfavorable, it is better to choose finely ground variants.
  • Operations in the gastrointestinal area and chemotherapy can cause lactose intolerance. A lactose intolerance test by your doctor will provide clarity. Small amounts of sour milk products such as yoghurt, quark and kefir are usually better tolerated than milk. As an alternative to milk, you can try rice, oat, or soy milk.
  • Since sweeteners and sugar substitutes can aggravate diarrhea, it is preferable to use sugar for sweetening.
  • If a disturbed intestinal flora is the cause of diarrhea, you can support it with lactic acid foods such as yoghurt, kefir or bread drink.
  • Dietary fiber counteracts constipation. They bind water and, thanks to their volume, ensure that the intestinal contents are transported more quickly.They also support the immune system in the intestines. Whole grains, vegetables, legumes and fruits are good sources of fiber, e.g. B. as muesli made from cereal flakes with unpeeled fruit. If you want to increase the fiber content, stir in flaxseed meal, oat or wheat bran. Important: Without enough fluids, fiber increases constipation. They can only develop their effect if you drink plenty of them. If you switch from a low-fiber to a high-fiber diet, please get your body used to it slowly.
  • Thoroughly chew prunes (3 pieces) soaked for a day. Also drink the soaking water. An alternative to dried fruits are 1-2 glasses of naturally cloudy plum juice.
  • Sauerkraut (as cabbage or juice) and lactose get the intestines going. Since both can have bloating effects, increase the amounts slowly.
  • A glass of cold or lukewarm water on an empty stomach is good for digestion. Stirring in some lactose can aid a laxative effect.
  • Take your time and rest to eat and also to use the toilet. Thorough chewing, regular meals, exercise and abdominal massages support the digestive work.
  • Medication, anxiety, excitement, and a sedentary lifestyle can all trigger constipation. Ask your doctor what solutions he can offer you.

Nerve damage (polyneuropathy)

  • Eat fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as: B. Salmon and Herring. These fats are anti-inflammatory and can have a soothing effect on unpleasant sensory disorders in the hands and feet.
  • Calcium and magnesium are involved in the transmission of stimuli in the body. Calcium is z. B. in dairy products, magnesium z. B. in whole grain products, legumes and meat.
  • Get enough vitamin B1. This "nerve vitamin" occurs particularly in whole grain products and legumes.
  • Many sufferers also help with light exercise, pouring water over arms and legs, and acupuncture.
  • Protein serves as a building material for wound healing and supports regeneration. Therefore, eat foods that are as rich in protein as possible, such as B. Fish, meat, eggs, legumes and dairy products.
  • The need for vitamin C and vitamin E increases during wound healing. Reach more citrus fruits, currants, peppers and potatoes (vitamin C) as well as nuts and vegetable oils (vitamin E).
  • Zinc is important for wound healing and your immune system. Good sources of zinc are meat and fish.
  • The anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids can promote your regeneration. They are in oily fish such as B. contain salmon and herring.