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Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK. Men can also develop breast cancer, although this is rare. This group is for anyone affected by breast cancer to get together, ask questions, share experiences and support each other.

food ideas for boosting immune system when low.

No. of entries: 5 | Posted on 11 Sep 2013 9:34 PM

food ideas for boosting immune system when low.

  • looking for food/meals ideas for boosting immune system when low if that is possible.  Heard green tea is helpful.  Also how do people get around their taste buds becoming very strange.  Sweet is becoming salty for me, and spicy fairly bland.  Ideas most welcome..... x


  • I have a green tea every day its meant to be an anti oxident and flush the system. Am through all my treatment now but found I could only taste salt and sweet for about 10 days in every one of 6 cycles. ice lollys were my salvation, especially the lemonade ones. Ginger and garlic just about got through so I had a fair few stir frys. Getting lots of veg with good digestable protein helped me. I also kept melon, peaches, pears and kiwis in the fridge as slices of cold ripe fruit went down well. I learned from a nutritionist in hospital that one kiwi gives you your vitamin c rda and we need it to get iron out of food. I found that porridge helped me in the mornings, though I went off making it with milk. I have it with ground flaxseed which helps with iron,and sweeten it with agave syrup or honey so not to keep having sugar. I sprinkle it with different healthy stuff each day, sometimes flaked almonds and raisins, sometimes a chopped apricot or strawberries. Depends what I have and feel like.

    If you have a blender homemade soup is good too, I made it on good days freezing some for bad ones.

    One thing I found hard was seasoning food, I was overdoing it for me so had to always get my daughter or husband in to taste. As takeaways are off the chemo diet I have also been treated to lots of homemade indian food, lots of the spices and pulses are really good to keep everything moving. I am a bit of a foodie but I had days where I wanted something then couldn't eat it, and ended up with something unhealthy like bread and jam because it was soft and sweet. The main thing the nutritionist told me was eat a little of what you fancy and keep a wide range of foods going in. I'm 5 weeks past radiotherapy now so tastebuds are pretty much ok but it really got me down in chemo, hang in there. There are books about helping to fight cancer and the side effects with food and I have one but I'm not sure if the forum lets us recomend them.

  • Hi Gillie, I found I needed salty and sweet flavours to help me eat, I struggled more with food as I got further down the road with fec and partic the evil taxotere, juicy foods such as beetroot, tomatoes, fresh pineapple,kiwis,passion fruit, mangoes, grapes, eventually lost sense of taste with most foods so always kept sachets of build up in the house for those times when I could not face eating, these stopped me getting really low. I also had peppermint tea handy , as I suffered  from wind/indegestion, it is a time of finding out what you can stomach and persuade you to eat, i did find several smaller snacks/meals far easier to tolerate than 3 bigger meals,and have been known to be eating weetabix at 4am glad to be feeling hungry, you will find on your good week you may make up for any defecit of the previous 2 weeks , the body need that help to prepare for the next onslaught. 

    On the hair front I used to have lovely chestnut  glossy hair, now it is battleship grey and curly, ok so I used to colour it,but am learning to live with it at least i don't have to brush it too often.I am 61 this year so on the one hand it is saving money on the colouring front, but still fell wistful at what was the old me.Just remember rest is paramount after chemo and there will be a time in the future when you can do more.

    hugs little jude

  • Thank you so much your informative reply, it is so helpful and given me some good ideas.  Before I found the lump I have lost 3 stones with weight watchers so eating well and healthily, unfortunately when I had my diagnosis my response initially was chocolate, alcohol and more chocolate.  Chocolate is fading now and alcohol has been put on the  back burner whilst on chemo.  So I certainly don't want to put anymore weight on , on top of the half stone I have already!  Stir fry are good for us, also make homemade soup so step in the right direction. 


    Are you happy if I request you as a friend then you could recommend the book to me via private email.  Not a problem if not. 


    Thanks again for taking the time and keep well.  Gillie


  • Thanks little jude I have found little and often more satisfying than larger meals.  This week certainly eating Weetabix at 5.00 am when I wake up,  like you say need to eat when you need to eat.  I am lucky that I can rest this week and don't have to be rushing around, so different sleep patterns can be accommodated. 


    My hair started to go white in my thirties,  'the Malan streak'  if you remember the book and I have spelt it right.  So I keep it short and the front is white, which I love and the back salt and pepper.  I do wonder how it will grow back.  I am expecting curly as post menopause when I grew it  did go curly!  Until I had it cut short.   I am 64 now and agree that not having to bother with hair colour is great for me but that is in the future for me, just ready to face the next chemo, the head shaving, wig wearing proud to be taking some control with the help of my new friends on this community, so thank you again, and will be stocking up on fruit, spices green tea ginger and garlic.  Bring it on.  Gillie