Healthy eating is an important part of looking after yourself after your cancer treatment ends.
There’s a lot of information in the media about different foods and diets that are good for cancer and this can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know what to eat and what to avoid.
A healthy, balanced diet with a range of fresh food from the five major food groups is recommended to help you feel better, maintain a healthy weight and have more energy. You may not feel like eating or have problems with your mouth or teeth. Food may also not taste the same.
Tips for healthy eating after cancer
- Soups, smoothies and juices can be easy and simple ways of taking in good nutrition.
- If you’re too tired to cook, ask a friend who wants to help to make you a healthy meal in portions to freeze for those times when you’re not up to it.
- Have some healthy snacks on hand for in-between meals – some fruit, a tub of chopped raw vegetables in the fridge, a pack of nuts or a muesli bar.
- Avoid processed or tinned foods as much as possible – fresh is best.
- Spend some time in a health food shop or in the health food section of your local supermarket and have fun experimenting with new foods.
- Take time to enjoy and savour your food – eating without the TV on can be helpful.
- Food supplements can be helpful, but are generally a poor substitute for the food itself.
- Make sure any changes you make to your diet are ones that you find enjoyable – it’s no good eating or drinking something if you don’t like it.
Living with cancer has other tips to help with eating problems and help with side effects such as nausea, vomiting and mouth sores that can affect your eating.
More information about healthy eating and cancer
Several state and territory Cancer Councils produce booklets about diet and cancer (call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13•11•20).
You can also get detailed advice on your particular needs from an accredited practising dietitian.