Eating well, managing stress and exercising are ways to promote your overall health and may help you better take care of yourself if you have ovarian cancer.
Good nutrition is especially important for people undergoing cancer treatment. But eating well can be difficult for a time if your treatment includes chemotherapy or radiation therapy. You may feel nauseated or lose your appetite, and foods may taste bland or unpleasant. You may find that the last thing you want to do is plan meals.
Even so, eating well during cancer treatment can help you maintain your stamina and your ability to cope with the side effects of treatments. Good nutrition may also help you prevent infections and remain more active.
Remember these strategies for eating well when you don't feel well:
- Eat protein-rich foods. Foods high in protein can help build and repair body tissues. Choices include eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, peanut butter, lean meat, poultry, fish, beans and lentils.
- Keep an open mind about the foods you might eat. Something that is unappealing today might taste better to you next week.
- When you do feel well, make the most of it. Eat as many healthy foods as you can. Prepare meals that you can easily freeze and reheat. Also look for low-fat frozen dinners and other prepared foods.
- Pack calories into the foods you eat. For example, spread butter, jam or honey on bread. Sprinkle foods with chopped nuts.
- Eat smaller amounts of food more frequently. If you can't face the thought of a large meal, try eating small amounts of food more often. Keep fruits and vegetables handy for snacking.
Even if you don't feel well, try to stay physically active. A regular, short walk or climbing the stairs can keep your muscles from deteriorating due to lack of use. Exercise can also help prevent fatigue and depression and reduce anxiety.
In addition, activities that require repetitive movement, such as swimming, can produce a mental state similar to that achieved with meditation. The same is true of yoga and other stretching exercises.
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Source: Mayo Clinic Online (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ovarian-cancer/DS00293)