How can managing nausea and eating well benefit you?
If you are undergoing cancer treatment, eating well will assist you in maintaining your weight, improving your immunity, strengthening your bones, skin, and teeth, as well as improving your eyesight and dental health. This results in stronger muscles and bones, which leads to fewer side effects and delays in treatment.
What can I do if I can not eat?
You should not be hard on yourself if you are unable to eat for a few days following treatment, because you can compensate for the calories you lose between treatments. In times when you are very ill, it is recommended that your stomach is not completely empty as this can cause you to become even more nauseated. You are encouraged to eat every 2-3 hours, as this will help reduce this side effect.
The challenge can be made easier if you choose to eat small snacks instead of large meals. Sticking to plain, simple foods can help. Instead of foods with strong smells that can trigger nausea, crackers, toast, fruit, and yogurt are easy to eat.
What do I eat when feeling nauseous?
Plain Dry Foods
Dry foods such as crackers, pretzels, toast and cereals are easy to eat due to no strong smells or tastes that can trigger nausea.
You may tolerate cold foods better than warm dishes. That’s because they generally have weak odours. Try yoghurt, jelly or fruit.
Fluids are better tolerated when you’re nauseated. Soup provides hydration and electrolytes, which are particularly helpful if you have vomited.
Soft Energy-Dense Foods
It’s important that the foods you eat are nutritious and provide energy to help your body stay strong and recover. This includes avocados, porridge, stewed fruits, mashed potatoes, peanut butter and bananas.
Starchy, plain foods like rice, potatoes and noodles are suitable choices. They’re easy to prepare, high in calories and settle your stomach.
Protein Rich Foods
It’s unclear why protein affects nausea. The hypothesis is that it helps normalise stomach activity by increasing the secretion of the hormone gastrin. Protein is a macronutrient, which helps keep your body strong and reduces the risk of malnutrition.
Why should avoid your favourite food when you feel sick
When you feel sick, your mind may trigger a negative experience with a particular food, which is called anticipatory nausea and vomiting. You can find the blog here: ANTICIPATORY NAUSEA AND VOMITING (ANV)
When I had my first chemo session, I experienced ANV. At first, I thought I was doing fine, since I had previously undergone surgery and felt worse. To celebrate completing my first session, I chose Planet Organic, thinking I could handle the nausea. When I looked for vegetarian foods, I found a wide range and was eager to try them out. But when Imy stomach turned and the food looked and smelled gross! After that, I haven't gone back to Planet Organic or eaten the food I had then. Being a vegetarian has become more difficult since vegetarian meals rely on foods found at Planet Organic.
How to get rid of nausea
Talk to your Doctor about Nausea Medications
The best thing to do is to talk to your doctor if you are really struggling, they may be able to prescribe you different sickness medicines to try. It's best to take your sickness medication about an hour before eating, so that you can eat as much as possible and fully enjoy your meal.
Avoid Warm Foods
Cold foods like yogurt and ice cream are often well tolerated. Less risk of cooking smells to trigger nausea.
Eat What You Want!
Don’t try to force yourself to eat a meal that causes your stomach to turn at the thought of it. It might be something healthy but it is more important you can eat than risking vomiting.
Drink Liquids in-Between Meals/Snacks
Don't drink too much water, as this will make you feel fuller and make eating harder.
Avoid Mixing Hot & Cold Foods
This can increase nausea.
Have Several Small Meals/Snacks
Having large meals can be overwhelming. Try breaking your meals into 6 small ones throughout the day.
Eat and Drink Slowly in Small Amounts
This allows you to relax during meals. You may also want to avoid consuming liquids and solids at the same time.
Do Not Lie Flat After Eating
Avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after eating, as this can put pressure on your stomach.
Avoid Food Preparation
Strong smells from cooking can worsen nausea.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Nausea and vomiting can leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth, which may prevent you from eating. Rinse and brush your teeth regularly.
For more help read - 'Pressure Points for Nausea'