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CANCER CENTER NEWS

Nutrition for Cancer Patients

Mar 14, 2022, 16:55 PM by OnCenter

Staying Hydrated

Every day, we lose fluid through normal bodily functions, making replenishing fluids very important for optimal health. For cancer patients, staying hydrated is essential because cancer treatment can be taxing on your body and increases your risk of dehydration.

WHY IS STAYING HYDRATED IMPORTANT?

Ridley-Tree Cancer Center Dietitian
  • Fluids transport nutrients and oxygen, protect our internal organs, lubricate our joints and digestive tract, help sustain energy and regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Fluids help your body get rid of toxins and the byproducts of chemotherapy.
  • Good hydration can reduce treatment side effects, such as dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, fatigue and nausea.

HOW MUCH FLUID DO YOU REALLY NEED?

Each person has unique hydration needs. For healthy adults, divide your weight by two to determine how many ounces of fluid to aim for in a day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, your daily fluid intake should be at least 75 ounces. If you are in cancer treatment, it is important to consult your medical care team, including your oncology nutritionist, to help determine your specific hydration needs.

COUNT ALL FLUIDS, NOT JUST WATER!

Tea, juices and liquid foods like soups, smoothies and yogurt can also count towards your fluid goal. The following options provide not only hydration, but also nutrients from food:

  • Coconut water, cactus water, aloe vera water
  • Electrolyte beverages
  • Juices, milks, lemonade, iced tea and popsicles that are unsweetened or lightly sweetened 
  • Protein shakes, smoothies and bottled nutritional supplements
  • Bone broth, soups, yogurts and frozen yogurts

MAINTAINING HYDRATION IS HARD. HERE ARE SOME TIPS:

  • Drink fluids throughout the day with a goal of 4-6 ounces every hour.
  • Fill a pitcher with your daily water needs and drink from it until it is empty.
  • Keep a hydration journal or use a smart phone app to track your daily progress. 
  • If water tastes funny or bad to you, try adding lemon, cucumber or watermelon.

 


 

Recipes to Promote Hydration

Ginger-infused Chicken Noodle Soup

INGREDIENTS:

noodle soup in bowl
  • 4 – 4 1/2 oz chicken breast (bone in or boneless)
  • 3 quarts of chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup spaghetti (broken into 1” pieces)
  • 1 small tomato, diced l Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium stock pot, add chicken stock and chicken, and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil for 5 minutes then skim the fat off the top.
  3. Turn to a simmer and add onions, celery, ginger, carrots, bay leaves and tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. 
  4. Remove chicken and let cool. 
  5. Chop chicken and place back into the broth. Add broken spaghetti and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add salt, pepper and parsley. Enjoy!

Recipe by Chef Marc Gilberti

Photo caption (top): Oncology Dietitian Nutritionist Rebecca Colvin, MPH, RDN, CSO

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