Ask the Nutritionist
Q: What foods are best during the healing period between chemo and before a mastectomy?
J, Tilghman, Maryland
A: Consuming an overall healthy diet will ensure that you are getting the best nutrition to recover from treatment and to help optimize the healing time after your mastectomy. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein with some healthy fats provides all the essential nutrients plus other cancer fighting compounds to help promote healing and help you return to a healthy life style.
Eating fruits and vegetables provide carbohydrates for energy which can help prevent fatigue during recovery. Try adding fruits and vegetables of all different colors to your daily diet. This ensures that you are getting a variety of cancer fighting phytonutrients with vitamins and minerals necessary to promote healing, like Vitamin C. Whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal provide zinc an important mineral for healing.
Proteins help cells repair and recover. Eating lean proteins provides the protein that you need without unhealthy saturated fat. Some good sources of lean protein include low fat dairy, poultry, eggs, cheese, fish and beans. Nuts are also a good choice and can provide additional vitamins or minerals needed for wound healing such as selenium.