A diagnosis of cancer and subsequent treatment can result in irregular food and fluid intake, weight loss, and nutritional deficiencies. There is frequently an increased need for calories and protein while there is usually a decreased appetite.
Chemotherapy, for example, works by killing or disabling cancer cells. Unfortunately, this targets not only the tumour, but some healthy tissues as well, including the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
While some of these drugs produce only mild side effects, others can pack a wallop. The effects of radiation therapy can be similar to those of chemotherapy, but these are usually related to the part of the body that is being treated. This means that radiation to the head, neck, chest, and abdomen can result in a lot of GI distress.
Side Effects That Cancer Patients Experience
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Open, sore areas in the mouth and/or throat
- Loss or change of taste perception
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Decreased appetite
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Feeling of fullness after eating or drinking very small portions
Following on yesterday’s blogpost on the importance of eating sufficient fruit and vegetables, we thought it a good idea to share some recipes suing fruit and veggies today, and as a bonus these recipes are all vegetarian/vegan so can be made for everyone. Enjoy!
Savoury Sweet Potato Soup
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onions
- ¾ cup chopped carrots
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 8 cups vegetable stock, divided
- 7 cups fresh sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 cup silken tofu
- Place celery, onions, carrots, and garlic in a large pot with a small amount of the stock.
- Sauté until vegetables are soft, approximately 2 minutes.
- Add the rest of the stock, sweet potatoes, and spices.
- Simmer, covered, until potatoes are very soft, approximately 45 minutes.
- In batches, place soup in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
- Return to stove, add syrup and tofu, stir, and remove from heat.
(Makes twelve 114-gram servings)
The pumpkin gives this recipe a ‘creamy’ appearance and taste.
- 3 cups canned pumpkin (not sweetened or spiced) or stewed and puréed fresh pumpkin
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 Tablespoon non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- 1 Tablespoon vegan brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- Combine pumpkin and stock together in a medium pot and allow mixture to simmer.
- Combine margarine and flour to make a roux (thickening agent).
- Slowly beat the roux into the pumpkin, stirring until smooth.
- Add sugar, pepper, and zest.
- Stir and allow soup to simmer until heated.
Chocolate Plus Smoothie
- 2 Tablespoons unflavoured soy yogurt or silken tofu
- 1 cup soy or almond milk
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ slice whole wheat bread
- 3 ice cubes
- Place all ingredients in the canister of a blender.
- Blend on high for 15 seconds or until mixture is slushy.
- Drink right away or place in freezer until ready to drink.
Note: This breakfast drink will start ‘falling apart’ after approximately 10 minutes and will need to be stirred or blended again before serving.
Bean and Pasta Soup
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup chopped vegan bacon
- 1 cup chopped onions
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon dried sage
- 4 cups mushroom broth
- 5 cups chopped canned tomatoes, not drained
- 2½ cups cooked white beans
- 285 grams uncooked pasta
- In a medium stockpot, heat oil and sauté bacon for 5 minutes to soften.
- Add onions and celery and cook until vegetables are soft. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and sage and cook for 1 minute.
- Add broth, tomatoes, and beans. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Break pasta into small pieces as you add it to the stock and reduce heat to medium.
- Cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente (just tender).
- If desired, continue to cook the soup awhile longer, but don’t let the pasta absorb all of the liquid.
Note: This soup can be puréed.
Vegetable Oats Pancake
by Tarla Dalal
Oats can be used to make more than just porridge! Mix them with carrots and spinach to prepare these colourful, low calorie pancakes that are as nutritious as well as innovative.
Oats are rich in the beta-glucan enzyme which helps to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels, while carrots and spinach are an excellent source of vitamin A.
Makes 5 pancakes
- 1 cup oats flour
- 1/2 cup grated carrot
- 1/2 cup finely chopped spinach (palak)
- 2 T finely chopped coriander (dhania)
- 2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp fruit salt
- 1 1/2 tsp oil for greasing and cooking
- Combine all the ingredients, except the fruit salt, along with 1 cup of water in a deep bowl and mix well to form a batter of dropping consistency.
- Just before making the pancakes, sprinkle the fruit salt and 2 tsp of water over the batter.
- When the bubbles form, mix gently.
- Heat a non-stick tava (griddle) and grease it using ¼ tsp oil.
- Pour a spoonful of the batter on it and spread in a circular motion to make 100 mm. (4”) thick round.
- Cook, using ¼ tsp of oil, till it turns light brown in colour from both sides.
- Repeat with the remaining batter to make 4 more pancakes.
- Serve immediately with dahiwali phudina ki chutney.