A "White Diet" to Combat Nausea

by Dana Demas

Chemotherapy can cause a variety of problems that interfere with a healthy appetite and – as a result – a healthy diet.

Nausea is a very common problem, especially the day of treatment. Many patients come to dread the treatment that is helping them, because it makes them feel so terrible. Some patients eat a “white meal” the day of chemotherapy. The soft, bland food can help reduce the risk of stomach discomfort and digestive upset.

Meals made of soft, white foods are also good to eat after chemotherapy – which can damage the fast-growing cells in the mouth and throat, leading to pain or increased sensitivity while eating.

Some white foods that are easy to eat include:

  • Cooked white rice
  • White bread or crackers
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes (mashed, baked, etc.)
  • Grits or other hot cereal
  • Yogurt (plain or vanilla)

And because it’s always good to have a well-rounded diet, when eating “non-white” foods, try incorporating real ginger at mealtime to ease digestion and combat nausea: track down some real ginger ale, brew some ginger tea, or freeze the tea into ginger ice cubes for a quick and soothing treat.