Cancer can be hard on your appetite. Whether you’re recovering from surgery or doing radiation, chemotherapy, or another kind of treatment, there may be days when you don’t want to eat anything. You may also have days when only certain foods taste good.
When you feel nauseated, stressed, or depressed, food can lose its lustre. Treatment can change the way you’re able to taste and smell, too.
It’s important to listen to your body, but good-for-you food is a form of medicine. It rebuilds healthy cells and tissues, gives you strength, and also helps fight infection. Some treatments work better when your body has enough nutrients.
Healthy juices on their own don’t make up for entire meals. But they’re an easy way to work fruits and vegetables into your day.
Whether you make your own at home or buy pre-made, these juices are loaded with the most benefits:
Beet juice: Often mixed with fruit juice to offset its earthy taste, beet juice has betalains, or plant nutrients that are anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants. Betalains also give beets their color.
Pomegranate juice: Fruit and vegetable juices that contain pomegranate juice have polyphenols. These naturally occurring chemical compounds have anti-inflammatory properties that can suppress cancer growth.
Orange juice: Acidic liquids may not sound or feel good, especially if you have mouth sores from chemotherapy. Mix it with another juice, like carrot or beet, to get the benefits and avoid the drawbacks.
Work in other citrus juices, like lemon and lime, if they taste okay. In fact, both are good for digestion. But avoid grapefruit juice, which can interact with chemotherapy and certain drugs.
Cruciferous vegetable-based juices: Look for juices containing kale, collards, bok choy, cabbage, or spinach. They’re all in the cruciferous family of vegetables and have loads of vitamin A. They also have phytonutrients, or plant-based compounds known to decrease cancer risk.
Carrot juice: Carrots have beta-carotene, which your body uses to make vitamin A. It’s good for your eyesight, reduces your risk of certain cancers, and can also offset some of the side effects of chemotherapy, like white patches, swelling, and ulcers in your mouth.
Try these juice combos:
- Orange, carrot, turmeric
- Kale, green apple, beet
- Beet, carrot, orange, cucumber
Feeling nauseated? Add ginger. This spicy root has compounds that soothe your stomach and intestines. It also absorbs into your body quickly.
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Juice for Constipation: High-Fibre Carrot Juice
Kick-start your digestive system with this high in fiber Carrot Juice!
Why it’s great: In cancer patients, chemotherapy and pain medications, lack of fiber, and inactivity can lead to constipation. To combat this uncomfortable side effect, try this carrot juice!
Cut and press carrots, and peel and press oranges. A squeeze of lemon is always a great touch!
Juice for Nausea: Apple & Ginger Juice
Two incredible ingredients can help with nausea: apples and ginger. Pectin (a water-soluble fiber) found in apples both aids digestion and is rich in water, while ginger soothes the intestinal tract and has anti-nausea properties.
Why it’s great: Some cancer patients experience nausea triggered by their treatments and others from cancer. In addition, anxiety about cancer can cause a physical reaction, such as vomiting. If you are experiencing nausea, try this Apple & Ginger Juice!
- Celery Stalks
- Juiced Ginger
- Cold Water
Blend and enjoy!
Juice for Cancer Patients With Diarrhoea: Soothing Stomach Juice
Sometimes when cancer patients start treatment, they can experience digestive upsets or changes, including diarrhea. Help combat this side effect with the Soothing Stomach Juice.
Why it’s great: With carrots, ginger, and other nutrient-rich ingredients, the Soothing Stomach Juice has soothing benefits. This smoothie will help you regain lost nutrients if you have diarrhea.
- Ginger Root
Clean, juice, and drink!
Smoothie for Cancer Patients Who Experience Weight Loss or Loss of Appetite: Protein Power Smoothie
Cancer patients may experience weight loss and loss of appetite for various reasons. Loss of appetite is one of the side effects of treatment. In addition, the body produces cytokines that can lead to muscle and weight loss during the fight against cancer. Help combat this by drinking this Power Protein Juice.
Why it’s great: Foods high in protein and calories are especially crucial to people who experience weight loss. This juice is filled with items that are high in calories to help combat this.
- Oat Milk
- Peanut Butter
- Cocoa Powder
- Chia Seeds
Blend and enjoy!
Juice that Helps with Dry Mouth: Tart Green Juice
Saliva glands can be damaged by chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Certain medicines and immunotherapies can also lead to dry mouth, as well.
Why it’s excellent: Consuming acidic foods increases saliva production. With spinach, citrus, and fruit, this Tart Green Juice is not only a healthy drink, but it can also combat dry mouth.
- Granny Smith Apples
- Asian Pears
- Fresh Spinach
- Limes (juiced)
- Lemons (juiced)
Remove all the seeds, slice and cut your fruit, then dump all your ingredients into a blender and blend!
All About Balance
Juices are an excellent way to get fruits and vegetables, but whole foods are always best. The juicing process strips most of the fiber from fruit.
Juice is also low in protein, which you need more during treatment to rebuild healthy cells.
To make more of a meal out of it and to keep your energy levels stable, shake an unflavored protein powder into your juice or pair it with a side of Greek yogurt, nuts, or a peanut butter sandwich.