What Is Protein Good For? Good For Healthy Eating During Cancer Treatment

Caprese chicken recipe is healthy eating for cancer patients best protein rich foods and also what is protein good for?

Healthy Eating During Cancer Treatment ! Why Is Protein Good For and Why Is Protein Important?

Healthy eating during cancer treatment is so important.  What you eat plays a major role in successful cancer treatment. You might wonder what is protein good for when going through cancer treatment? Caprese Chicken is a high protein dinner recipe and I thought you would enjoy this easy recipe for cancer patients. Adequate nutrition with cancer and diet has been shown to decrease side effects from treatment, prevent delays in treatment, and prevent hospitalizations.  Protein intake is one of the main factors in promoting adequate nutrition. Eating Well Through Cancer includes a chapter devoted to High Calorie-High Protein Recipes.  While many people are aware why is protein important,  they may not know why or even what are the best protein rich foods. In this post, we will explain what is protein good for, what a protein is, why cancer patients need it, and most importantly, how to get enough.

Healthy Eating During Cancer Treatment with Eating Well Through Cancer Cookbook
Eating Well Through CancerEating Well Through Cancer

Protein intake is one of the main factors in promoting adequate nutrition. Eating Well Through Cancer includes a chapter devoted to High Calorie-High Protein Recipes.  Caprese Chicken Bake is a recipe that includes best protein rich foods like chicken and cheese. We better understand what is protein good for so this chapter is important to identify the best protein rich foods.

This cancer cookbook addresses the side effects while going through cancer treatment and healthy eating during cancer treatment.  What you eat makes a difference! You’ll find lots of snacks with the best protein rich foods and recipes in this easy cookbook.


What Is Protein Good For and Why Is Protein Important?

Food is made up three main components called macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. All three are needed in a daily diet for different reasons. Building muscle mass and promoting healing are two of protein’s main jobs in the body. Best protein rich foods include meat (chicken, beef, fish, and pork), beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, soy, eggs, whole grains, and dairy products. Protein is also found in supplement form, through protein drinks, powders, and bars.

What Is Protein Good For And Healthy Eating During Cancer Treatment For The Cancer Patient

The goal of cancer treatment is to kill off the cancer cells.  However, with that, some good cells may be damaged too. Protein is critical to help the good cells heal in a timely manner, as well as help the body regain strength after chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. 2 Protein is also an essential component of a healthy immune system and it is important for cancer patients to be able to continue treatment and fight off infection. Why is protein important? 2 Without adequate protein, it is hard for cancer patients to maintain weight and muscle mass. This can also cause a delay in treatment and a decreased quality of life. 1,2 For these reasons, it is important for cancer patients to get enough protein in their daily diet and to understand why is protein important!.

Savor Health Explains How Do You Get Enough Protein and What Are Protein Rich Foods?

Most people do not have difficulty getting enough protein. In fact, the average American eats almost twice the amount of protein their body needs.3 Oncology patients are different.  First of all, most cancer patients need more protein than the average person. Cancer cells can cause an increase in protein metabolism, breakdown, and muscle wasting; therefore their protein needs are higher. 4 Treatment-related side effects, such as nausea, loss of taste, and decreased appetite can also cause oncology patients to eat less protein than they need.

Healthy Eating During Cancer Treatment Includes Best Protein Rich Foods

In order to get adequate protein, it is important to eat small frequent meals.  You want to eat at least 5 per day with protein in every one. As mentioned above, meats, beans, nuts, dairy products, and eggs are the main sources of protein. For a high protein breakfast, this Egg Dish recipe provides protein and can be eaten all day long for frequent high protein meals.  It is always best to get nutrients through food sources, protein shakes, drinks, and bars can also be incorporated into the diet to ensure adequate protein is being consumed.

Caprese Chicken Bake from Eating Well Through Cancer

Tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cook with chicken for a superb moist, full flavored caprese chicken bake. This is one of the best protein rich food.  I should say recipes, and also healthy eating for cancer patients. Lemon Feta Chicken is another one of the best protein rich foods.

Makes 4 servings

3 cups chopped Roma tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts quartered, drained
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless thin chicken breasts or tenders
2 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil leaves

1. Preheat oven 375° F. In large oblong baking dish, combine tomatoes, onion, artichoke hearts, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and season to taste.
2. Add chicken breasts and toss together spreading out in prepared pan. Bake 30-40 minutes or until chicken is tender.
3. Remove from oven and top chicken breasts mozzarella. Return to oven 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and sprinkle with basil.

Nutritional information per serving:  Calories 384, Calories from Fat  35%, Fat 15g, Saturated Fat 3g, Cholesterol 123mg, Sodium 517mg, Carbohydrates 17g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Total Sugars 9g, Protein 45g, Dietary Exchanges:  3 vegetable, 5 lean meat

Healthy Eating During Cancer Treatment With Easy Snacks

Nutritionspiced walnuts healthy eating during cancer treatment

Some Examples of Healthy Best Protein-Rich Foods for Sacks Include:

• Greek yogurt
• Cottage cheese
• Nut butters
• Nuts or trail mix-try my Spiced Walnuts
• Hummus or bean dip
• Soy or almond milk smoothie or shake

The best protein rich foods are easily accessible and frequently found in the American diet. For the oncology patient, it can difficult to get enough protein in the diet.  Yet, it is very important. Making an effort to eat protein throughout the day can help a cancer patient maintain optimal nutritional status. It can also help a person stay strong during and after cancer treatment. This Caprese Chicken recipe feeds the entire family and is healthy eating during cancer treatment. Plus, it is such a high protein recipe with chicken and cheese.

Savor Health Offer Nutrition Counseling For Healthy Eating During Cancer Treatment

For more information, you can visit Savor Health and check out their blog with many more articles that discuss dry mouth and other cancer related topics. Read more special Savor Healthy blog posts with cancer nutrition. There’s information and recipes to help during this challenging time.

Every Kitchen Needs Kitchen Scissors!

Premium Kitchen Scissors and Poultry Shears - Heavy Duty Multi-Purpose Cooking Tool for Cutting Chicken, Meat and Fish - Stainless SteelPremium Kitchen Scissors and Poultry Shears – Heavy Duty Multi-Purpose Cooking Tool for Cutting Chicken, Meat and Fish – Stainless Steel

Do you have kitchen scissors? If not, kitchen scissors are truly one of my favorite gadgets. I always use them to cut chicken into tenders or to trim chicken. When you are making Caprese Chicken or chicken recipes, you can buy chicken breasts and cut into tenders yourself.

They are dishwasher safe and any gadget that helps cut kitchen time is high on my list. I promise you will find so many uses for kitchen scissors from trimming chicken to cutting pizza.


  1. Isenring, E.A., Capra, S., Bauer, J.D. (2004). Nutrition intervention is beneficial in oncology outpatients receiving radiotherapy to the gastrointestinal or head and neck area. Br J Cancer. 91(3), 447-452
  1. Benefits of good nutrition during cancer treatment. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorship-during-and-after-treatment/staying-active/nutrition/nutrition-during-treatment/benefits.html.  Accessed November 3, 2017
  1. Adults’ daily protein intake much more than recommended. NCHStats: A Blog of the National Center for Health Statistics. https://nchstats.com/category/protein/. Accessed November 3, 2017
  1. Hurst JD, Gallagher AL. “Energy, Macronutrient, Micronutrient, and Fluid Requirements” in Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. The Clinical Guide to Oncology Nutrition: Second Edition. 2006; pg 54-69

Savor Health

Chief Operating Officer at Savor Heatlh
Savor Health is a technology-enabled platform designed by cancer nutrition experts.It provides evidence-based nutrition solutions. It also helps educate patients to be well nourished and gain control over side effects.With Savor Health on your team you can speak with one of their oncology dietitians from the comfort of your own home for nutrition counseling, menu planning and guidance with meal delivery.

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