Whether you are undergoing cancer treatment or have recently completed treatment, it is important that you focus on eating well-balanced and complete meals. Below are three steps to remember when putting together a nutritious lunch.
- Choose whole grains. Look for labels that are 100% whole grain. Whole grain products are packed with fiber and phytochemicals that protect healthy cells.
- Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, which offer a wide variety of minerals, vitamins, and cancer-fighting antioxidants.
- Pick a lean source of protein, such as chicken, fish, cheese, or yogurt. Protein is an important nutrient that helps repair and rebuild cells that can be damaged during cancer treatment. Protein also helps the body to maintain a healthy immune system and fight infection.
Remember, it’s important that you don’t skip meals, but instead eat several small meals throughout the day. Try these seven tasty, on-the-go lunches that are well-balanced, easy to prepare, and perfect to take with you to treatment or work.
- Make a sandwich using lean, nitrate-free ham or turkey and top with lettuce, cheese, tomato slices, and red onion between two slices of 100% whole grain bread. Add a piece of fruit such as an apple or pear for a side.
- Try having a cup of cottage cheese with grape tomatoes. Serve with whole grain crackers and cubed melon.
- Have a veggie wrap. Use a whole wheat tortilla spread with hummus, green and red peppers, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, and mushrooms. For a side try a few baked tortilla chips and black bean salsa.
- Mix tuna from a foil pouch with low-fat mayonnaise to make tuna salad. Pack with whole grain crackers. Pair with grapes and string cheese.
- Spread natural peanut butter on a whole wheat English muffin; top with sliced bananas and strawberries. Enjoy with a cup of Greek yogurt.
- Stuff a whole wheat pita with chicken salad, sliced grapes, cucumbers, and mixed greens. Add a cup of watermelon or cantaloupe.
- Pack twohard-boiled eggs, a fruit cup, and sliced bell peppers. Add some pretzels or whole grain crackers for a side.
Each person facing cancer can have unique nutrition needs, and these foods may not be appropriate for everyone. If you have specific questions regarding the best foods to eat during cancer treatment, please contact PearlPoint Cancer Support to speak to a registered dietitian.