According to the American Cancer Society and estimated 1,762,450 new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year (Cancer Facts & Figures***). With this diagnosis comes an overwhelming amount of questions, emotions, and decisions for treatment. Fortunately there is an entire medical team dedicated to helping ease any fears the patient may have and understand their diagnosis. Depending on the type of cancer the patient has determines the course of treatment. There are several ways to treat cancer this can include radiation therapy, surgery, and stem cell transplant. Many times the treatments are used alongside each other for optimal results. Among the various treatments is chemotherapy. This method of treatment is used for making tumors smaller before surgery, destroying cancer cells that could possibly remain after surgery, and assist in helping with other treatments. Associated with chemotherapy side effects are nausea, vomiting, dysgeusia, and difficulty with chewing and swallowing. All of these side effects can be areas of concern for patients, and can become barriers for getting adequate nutrition and calories affecting quality of life during treatment. The likelihood of a patient developing the side effect of dysgeusia is about 64 percent (Dysgeusia and health‐related quality, 2019). Dysgeusia is when there is constant unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth that makes many foods off putting leading to food aversions. This metallic flavor can even affect the taste of water. Patients who developed this side effect were ranked as having a lower quality of life while going through treatment. Luckily there are ways to circumvent these food aversions for patients that develop this side effect. Altering recipes, trying new foods, and cooking techniques will assist in improving the quality of food enjoyment. One way to help cover up this taste alteration is to use sugar and or salt to enhance and modify the flavor of food. Consuming smoothies is a yummy way to incorporate flavor, calories, and nutrients that are needed during this critical time in life. The natural sugars from fruit such as bananas and added sugar from foods like honey will aid in masking the metallic taste from dysgeusia and encourage eating. When creating the smoothie the type of ingredients incorporated in it can be tailored according to the patients preferences, allergies, sensitivities, and needs.
How to Build Your Smoothie- pick and choose from each category (any category is optional)
Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie: 1c Milk, 1 Lg Frozen Banana, 2 tbl Peanut Butter, 2 tsp Vanilla, 1 tbl cocoa powder.
Choose Your Base: 1-2 cups of liquid
milk, water, plant milk, coconut water, fruit juice.
Choose Your Fruit: adding 1-2 serving of any fruit to your liking, frozen fruit adds to the thickness.
bananas, pineapple, berries, mangoes, peaches.
Choose Your Greens: 1-2 servings.
spinach, kale, sprouts, cucumber, beet greens, dandelion.
Thicken it Up: 1-3 tbl create a consistency that appeals you your preference.
nut butters, yogurt, ice, chia seeds, silken tofu.
Flavor Your Smoothie: adding flavor your taste preferences is a technique that helps further with covering up metallic taste in the mouth. Such flavorings can be cinnamon, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, cacao powder or cacao nibs.
*Please consult your medical team before consuming any ingredients. This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat, or cure patients with cancer.
The Digestible; a site for easy to understand food, nutrition, health, and energy balance information.