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Fruit and Veg Smoothies for Chemo Patients

Published: 25 Jun 2019

Everyone knows fruit and veg are good for you. 5 a day, or is it 7? Whatever the numbers, they are an excellent source of carbohydrates, vitamins and fiber and many are high in antioxidants.

Simply put, the more you can eat the better; this is especially true if you’re undergoing chemo treatment. Your body is under attack – so it’s more important than ever to top up with the good stuff to keep you going.

But here lies the rub – if you are undergoing treatment you may well have lost your appetite, feel sick, have trouble swallowing, can’t stomach the thought of food, and when you do eat everything tastes metallic and downright nasty!  So how do you get those veggies down? 

Smoothies

For many cancer patients pulping, juicing and squeezing is the way to go.   It’s faster and easier than cooking, you can pack a lot in, they taste good and are easier to swallow than solid food.  And you can disguise your veggies with sweet tasting fruits – so you won’t even notice healthy kale lurking within. We’re not saying live off smoothies alone, you will still need good fats and protein in your diet, but when you can’t stomach anything else, a smoothie is a good alternative. 

You can follow a recipe – this blog has some great smoothie ideas Six sensational smoothie recipes to kick chemo into touch. Or if you’re feeling creative, empty the contents of your larder, throw everything in and see what happens.  

To give you some hints as to what makes a great smoothie, divide your ingredients into 6 areas and try to add something from each. We’ve listed some suggestions below – but add your own favorites. How much you put in of each is up to your taste, but make sure you don’t skimp on the greens, that’s the major source of the alkalinity.

FRUIT

BERRIES - Berries are low glycemic which is great for cancer patients.

GREENS

ROOTS

LIQUIDS

TEXTURE

The best of the veg

Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, contain large amounts of fiber, vitamins B12, B9, C and K, iron, calcium and a wide range of carotenoids. Carotenoids, in particular, can be protective against cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx. 

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts are known to contain phytochemicals with antioxidant, antiestrogen and chemopreventive properties. Although it would be a brave person to try brussels sprouts in a smoothie!

Before you get the smoothie maker out check with your medical team about any ingredients you need to steer clear of. For instance, grapefruit can block the activity of an enzyme in the intestine that is involved in the metabolism of certain medications. 

Let us know how you get on. Share your favorite amoothie recipes with the Facebook Chemotherapy Support Group; a network of 1000s of people fighting cancer right now and know, offering support and advice to others in a similar situation. 


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