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Nutrition is an important part of life, cancer treatment, recovery, and prevention. Food is one of the few things you can be in control of during your treatment. The oncology certified registered dietitians at the Stanford Cancer Center are here to help you make informed choices about nutrition, answer your nutrition-related questions, and help you to achieve and maintain good health.
If you experience nutritional side effects during your cancer treatment, you will need to consider the different kinds of liquids that you may use for nourishment, to quench your thirst, or settle your stomach. Clear liquids are helpful for many of the side effects of cancer. Generally speaking, clear liquids are liquids that are easy to see through and to pour. A clear liquid diet is not nutritionally adequate and should only be followed for a short period of time to help control symptoms from cancer treatment side effects. If you are experiencing symptoms that will not allow you to consume anything more than clear liquids, talk to your physician or registered dietitian for recommendations. Full liquids have more calories, protein, and nutrients so they can be used to help meet your daily calorie and protein requirements. Full liquids include those that are easy to pour and/or can be sucked through a straw. Some liquids are considered both clear and full.
Examples of clear liquids
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) provides the following list of clear liquids:
Clear, fat-free broth
Clear carbonated beverages
Fruit ices without fruit pieces
Fruit ices without milk
Plain gelatin dessert
Strained citrus juice
Strained vegetable broth
Examples of full liquids
Full liquids include the following:
All fruit juices and nectar
Small amounts of strained meat – thinned
Fresh or frozen plain yogurt
Milk, all types
Plain cornstarch pudding
Plain gelatin desserts
Potatoes pureed in soup
Refined/strained cooked cereal in broth or gelatin
Broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are all cruciferous vegetables. This vegetable family contains powerful phytochemicals, including carotenoids, indoles and glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which have been studied and shown to slow the growth of many cancers.