Cancer can take a real toll on your overall health and wellbeing. But guess what? We believe in you if you are still in the treatment process because you are a warrior, and you WILL kick cancer in the butt.
If you are battling cancer, staying in the right mindset is crucial for your health and recovery. Start your day out with a positive mindset, and no matter how hard things get, keep pushing. Additionally, the food you consume plays a significant role in your recovery process. So we have compiled a list of five healthy snack ideas for cancer patients to keep your health on the right track while ensuring your taste buds are happy.
Why Snacking Is Important If You Are A Cancer Patient?
Doctors usually recommend cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have tiny and frequent meals since it may be challenging to keep a big meal down. Hence, snacks can play a crucial role in the recovery of cancer patients.
Now, let’s debunk the myth that snacks are unhealthy. When you think of snacks, what comes to your mind? A tempting bag of chips? A chocolate fudge brownie? YUM! But let me stop you there, my friend, because all these snacks come under the category of unhealthy food.
Healthy Snack Ideas For Cancer Patients
Below is a list of five healthy snack ideas for cancer patients to help you maintain your health.
1. Nutritious Trail Mix
Even though you can get trail mix from the store, we recommend making it at home since it’s cheaper, and you can also customize it by adding all your favorite ingredients. To satisfy your sweet tooth, you can mix in nutritional components such as high-fiber cereals or protein-rich nuts and some dark chocolate bits. Here is a simple recipe for a tasty trail mix:
- Seeds:Pumpkin or sunflower
- Nuts:Almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, soy nuts, or pecans
- Cereals:Multi-Grain Cheerious, Weetabix whole grain cereal, Kasha, Fiber one
- Spices: Turmeric, Parmesan, Chilli powder, Sea Salt, Cinnamon,
- Dried Fruit:Peaches, Raisins, bananas, apples, apricots, dates
- Bite-size crackers or Pretzelsof your choice
- Fun additions:Popcorn, M&Ms, Chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, coconut flakes
Important note: Control your sodium intake by opting for unsalted nuts
Mix in all the ingredients of your choice and store your trail mix in a zip lock bag or tight container. You can also divide small portions of your trial mix into small reusable ziplock bags and carry them with you on long chemotherapy days.
Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast option packed with protein, healthy fats, and fibers. However, it is not only a breakfast food and can also be consumed as a snack. For days when you don’t feel like cooking anything, you can make a sizeable batch of oatmeal and refrigerate it.
Whenever you feel hungry, you can take out one portion of the oatmeal, heat it for around thirty seconds to one minute and add some milk and some delicious toppings.
3. Homemade Smoothies
For patients struggling with chewing food, homemade smoothies are a great way to get all the necessary nutrition. You can add healthy fruits and vegetables of your choice to make a power-packed smoothie. The following smoothie recipe is ideal for berry lovers.
- 1 cup water (250ml)
- 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt or almond yogurt (250ml)
- Frozen strawberries (150g)
- Frozen raspberries (150g)
- Frozen blueberries (150g)
- 1 cup red grapes (150g)
- Combine all the ingredients mentioned above into a blender
- Start off blending at a low speed and then put it on high speed right away
- Blend for around one minute
4. Hummus With Fresh Vegetables
Hummus is made out of chickpeas that are great for your digestive system. You can buy premade hummus and pair it with some baby carrots and cucumbers, or you could make it at home. Making hummus at home is extremely easy; all you need is a strong blender, canned chickpeas, lime juice, olive oil, tahini, cumin, salt, and garlic cloves.
Just all these ingredients to a blender and blend until you get your desired consistency. To serve, add your desired amount of hummus on a plate and serve with breadsticks or vegetables of your choice.
5. Apples And Peanut Butter
You must have heard the phrase ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ So, try snacking on apples throughout the day to boost your health. You can also pair apples with peanut butter since the combo tastes divine and peanut butter is rich in protein and healthy fats. Here are a few other benefits of snacking on apples and peanut butter:
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Numerous studies show that apples are rich in flavonoids (chemical compounds with anti-inflammatory potential).
- Balancing blood sugar levels: One extensive study concluded that fresh fruit intake is linked with helping maintain healthy sugar levels.
- Digestive support: Both peanut butter and apples are rich sources of fiber which assists your body in growing healthy gut bacteria.
- Heart-healthy: Research suggests that individuals who consume more fruits like apples or peanut butter are less likely to develop heart disease. (1)
Our Final Thoughts!
Cancer and chemotherapy treatments can give birth to unpleasant side effects such as weakness, dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, mouth sores, etc. Developing healthy snacking habits can help you curb the side effects and provide your body with the necessary nutrition to fight off this disease. Not to mention healthy snacks can take so much better than store-bought snacks if you know the right way to make them.
You can begin your healthy snacking journey by trying out the five healthy snack ideas for cancer patients mentioned above. Feel free to look up any other healthy snack ideas, try out new stuff every day, and provide your body with carbs, vitamins, proteins, and minerals.