There is no special menu program that will overcome or even address lung cancer. But you can give yourself a leg up in the course of remedy and further than by buying intelligent eats that will assist your physique and assist continue to keep up your toughness.

As an alternative of considering of meals as a “cancer fighter,” it can be practical — and perhaps fewer overwhelming — to stage back again and believe about having very good general nutrition, says Alicia Romano, a registered dietitian at Tufts Clinical Middle and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

“Eating a well-well balanced diet regime has the likely to assist in remedy tolerance, retain toughness in the course of remedy, and velocity recovering,” she says.

A crucial stage to remember, though, is that the “right” diet regime isn’t a a single-sizing-fits-all prescription. The foodstuff that function well for your sort and stage of lung cancer may perhaps not function for anyone else with the ailment.

“Every lung cancer is diverse,” says Zhaoping Li, MD. She’s chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition at the College of California, Los Angeles, and an investigator at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Middle.

“The ideal diet regime for you relies upon on your personal goals. If you are about to have surgical procedure for lung cancer, you have diverse dietary wants than when you are recovering from remedy.”

Still, there are normal recommendations you can comply with as you make your diet regime selections.

Foodstuff to Choose

As you program foods and grocery store, here are some nutrition recommendations to acquire with you:

Get adequate protein. Your physique wants protein for cell and tissue mend. “Protein is the setting up block of your immune process and critical for your organs to be in very good form,” Li says. She suggests aiming for about 20 grams per meal. For lean meats this sort of as hen, fish, or turkey, this implies a piece about the sizing of a deck of cards. Other sources of protein include:

  • Eggs
  • Minimal-body fat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Beans
  • Soy foodstuff (miso, tofu, edamame)

Set plants on your plate. Colourful fruits and greens increase highly effective anti-oxidants and phytonutrients to your diet regime, which can assist ward off cell destruction. Whether your fruits and veggies are raw or cooked, the crucial is variety. Fill up on about 5 diverse servings a working day. For most fruits and greens, a serving is about one cup for leafy greens, it is three cups.


Go with full grains. You need to have carbs to assist continue to keep your power up. Get your carbs from full-grain sources as an alternative of the refined sort. Great possibilities include:

Consist of nutritious fat. All fat are not established equivalent. Omega-three fatty acids and other nutritious fat assist assist your mind and nervous process and reduce swelling in your physique. These selections in good shape the invoice:

Continue to keep it easy. You never need to have to overhaul your entire diet regime, Romano says. “If you are emotion well — no remedy facet consequences, no bodyweight reduction or bad urge for food — aim on adding high-quality nutrition foodstuff to your diet regime.” She indicates simple alterations like adding a piece of fruit as a snack, subbing 50 percent your grains for full grains, or choosing fish as a protein option after a 7 days as an alternative of meat.

Having Ideas for Treatment Aspect Effects

Some of the most frequent facet consequences of lung cancer treatment options include nausea, absence of urge for food, bodyweight reduction, dehydration, and fatigue.

You can assist handle these discomforts with your diet regime:

  • For nausea: Try to eat recurrent tiny foods. If robust smells and odors established off your nausea, pick out bland and lower-body fat foodstuff.
  • For absence of urge for food: Try to eat snack-sized parts every number of hrs, about 4 to 6 instances a working day. Increase calorie-dense foodstuff to all your foods, this sort of as peanut butter, olive oil, avocado, butter, or cheese. These will give you a good deal of energy in a tiny volume. Talk to your health practitioner or dietitian about adding liquid nutrition health supplements to assist increase energy to your diet regime.
  • For bodyweight/muscle mass reduction: Finding adequate energy is crucial. Little foods a lot more frequently and calorie-dense foodstuff assist, as well as protein-rich foodstuff this sort of as eggs, poultry, fish, dairy, meats, peanut butter, and tofu.
  • For fatigue: Prep freezer foods when you have power, so you have completely ready-produced dishes you can simply just warmth and take in. Continue to keep wholesome treats on hand for when foods experience like too significantly. Stock up on granola bars, nuts, cottage or string cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, and fruit for east-to-seize nutritious energy in a pinch.
  • For dehydration: Purpose for at minimum sixty four ounces of decaffeinated fluids every single working day. If you just can’t seem to tummy plain h2o, consider sports activities drinks, juice, or milk.



Zhaoping Li, MD, professor of drugs and chief, Division of Clinical Nutrition, College of California, Los Angeles investigator, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Middle.     

Alicia A. Romano, registered dietitian, Tufts Clinical Middle spokesperson, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

American Lung Association: “Nutrition and Lung Cancer Treatment.”

Leukemia and Lymphoma Modern society Pearlpoint Nutrition Companies: “Lung Cancer.”

Mayo Clinic: “1-two-three approach to ingesting fruits and greens.”

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “Choose Healthier Fats.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Nutrition Throughout Lung Cancer Treatment.”

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