As a cancer patient, you’re likely looking for anything that can help you during your fight—including the proper nutrition. This is because cancer patients have a common type of malnutrition called undernutrition.
Under-nutritions mean the body starts breaking down fat and muscle, which can result in unplanned weight loss. Ensuring the body has adequate energy and nutrition that supports recovery and healing.
Meal replacement drinks like Ensure have become a popular source of nutrition for people fighting illnesses like cancer. But, is it really good for cancer patients – both emotionally and nutritionally?
Ensure for cancer patients offers research-backed advice on fueling the body and mind during treatment. In this article, we’ll talk about what Ensure is used for, its potential benefits on the body, and the most important question: “Is Ensure Good For Cancer Patients?”. So keep reading to get all your answers.
Ensure is balanced nutrition for supplemental use designed to help people meet their daily protein, vitamin, and mineral needs. This may benefit patients who are malnourished, at risk of malnutrition, losing weight unintentionally, or following modified diets.
It is also used as an aid for those people who are ill or have difficulty eating regular meals due to cancer treatments. Ensure drinks come in various flavors, giving consumers the option to choose the flavor that best suits their tastes.
Ensure nutrition Facts
Ensure Original Nutrition Powder, recommended by doctors, gives you everything you need in one serving. Each 8-fl-oz serving contains:
- 9 grams of protein
- 25 important vitamins and minerals, with antioxidants
- 250 nutritious calories
- Yummy vanilla flavor
Understanding Ensure Nutrition
When choosing Ensure as a nutritional supplement for cancer patients, it’s important to know its nutritional profile. Ensure is fortified with a wide range of vital vitamins and minerals for overall health.
- Protein: Essential for repairing tissues and maintaining muscle mass, especially for cancer patients who may be experiencing muscle wasting.
- Vitamins A, D, E, and K: Fat-soluble vitamins necessary for various bodily functions including immune health, bone health, and blood clotting.
- B Vitamins (including B12 and Folic Acid): Vital for energy production and creating new blood cells necessary for patients who might be dealing with anemia or fatigue.
- Calcium and Magnesium: Crucial for healthy bones, especially for patients who are immobile or undergoing specific treatments.
- Potassium and Sodium: Electrolytes that help in maintaining fluid balance, nerve signals, and muscle contractions.
Ensure also has calories to help people gain or maintain weight. This can be helpful for cancer patients who are experiencing weight loss.
Ensure benefits and side effects
Ensure is especially beneficial for cancer patients who may experience weight loss, malnutrition, or difficulty eating due to their treatments.
Here are the benefits that it brings to our body:
- Provides a balanced, nutritional supplement to meet daily protein, vitamin, and mineral needs.
- Help maintain or gain weight, especially beneficial for those experiencing unintentional weight loss due to illness or treatment.
- Helps in managing malnutrition.
- Works as a dietary supplement for patients on modified diets.
- Supports immune health with antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, and Selenium.
Also Read: Is Vanilla Ice Cream Healthy For You?
Like other nutritional supplements, Ensure also has some potential side effects that most people experience.
- Digestive discomfort, including bloating, gas, or diarrhea, especially among those with sensitive digestive systems.
- Allergic reactions, especially for those who have allergic to milk proteins or other ingredients in Ensure. These reactions may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling.
- Depending solely on Ensure for nutritional needs leads to potential deficiencies in other essential nutrients that are not added to the supplement.
- Consuming excessive amounts of it, in addition to a regular diet, can result in unintended weight gain.
It is crucial to remember that Ensure should be used as a supplement, not a replacement for a balanced diet.
Talk to your dietitian before adding Ensure or other nutritional supplements into your diet, especially if undergoing cancer treatment.
Is Ensure Good For Cancer Patients?
Yes, Ensure can be beneficial for cancer patients as it is designed to help them meet their daily protein, vitamin, and mineral needs. But in most cases, it is advised to take Ensure into your daily routine along with a balanced diet that provides all other essential nutrients.
People undergoing cancer treatments often experience loss of appetite, weight loss, and malnutrition due to the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
In such cases, Ensure is the convenient and easy-to-digest source of balanced nutrition. It provides you with the necessary protein, vitamins, and minerals to meet daily nutritional needs, which can help with weight maintenance and overall health.
However, it’s advised to consult your doctor before taking any nutritional supplements.
Which Ensure drink is best for cancer patients?
The best Ensure drink for cancer patients is the one that meets your body’s needs and dietary preferences.
However, the original flavor of Ensure is recommended since it provides balanced nutrition to meet a person’s daily protein, vitamin, and mineral needs.
ENSURE PLUS is also helpful for cancer patients since it contains more calories and protein than other Ensure drinks. This works best if the patient needs extra nutrition due to unintentional weight loss or difficulty taking solid foods.
Instead of powder, the liquid form of Ensure is good for cancer patients as it is easy to consume if the patient feels difficulty consuming solid food.
In any case, consult a healthcare provider before taking Ensure into your diet regimen during cancer treatment.
Few tips for eating healthy during cancer treatments
- Eat all healthy foods like whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables in your diet.
- Limit or avoid processed and fried foods as they are usually high in fat, sugar, and sodium.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help with digestion and avoid dehydration.
- Eat small meals during the day instead of three large meals. It’ll keep your energy levels consistent.
- Feel free to add some of your nutritious and favorite snacks between meals if you need to meet your calorie goals.
- Talk to your nutritionist to identify foods that may be easier on your stomach due to cancer treatment.
How much Ensure should I drink in a day?
It is recommended to have 1-2 servings of Ensure per day for adults. Each serving should contain 8 fl oz (240 ml) of powder or liquid formula.
It’s best to first talk to your dietitian about the amount and frequency that best suits your dietary needs.
Ensure is just a nutritional supplement don’t replace it with your daily meals. So, it’s also necessary for you to get all the other vital nutrients from healthy food sources as well.
Are high-calorie drinks good for cancer patients?
Yes, high-calorie drinks can be a good choice for cancer patients, especially those at risk of unintentional weight loss due to the side effects of cancer treatment.
These drinks are often prescribed as a side to a balanced diet for cancer patients who need extra nutrition but have difficulty taking solid foods.
Ensure Plus is a high-calorie drink that can meet your daily nutritional needs with a high level of protein levels. It can help maintain or gain weight while providing essential nutrients.
Again, consult with your dietitian before incorporating high-calorie drinks into your diet. They can recommend the most suitable drink for your condition and help set a reasonable goal for calorie intake.
Ensure for cancer patients can be a beneficial tool in helping to fast recovery by providing essential nutrition and maintaining or gaining weight.
As cancer treatments often lead to weight loss and reduced appetite, supplements like Ensure can work greatly to maintain proper nutrition. Choosing Ensure Plus is advisable for those who need a higher calorie intake.
However, keep in mind that these are supplements and not meal replacements. So a balanced diet with regular meals is still essential. Always consult a healthcare provider before adding Ensure or any other supplement into your diet, particularly for cancer patients.
Is Ensure drink good for chemo patients?
Yes, Ensure drink is good for chemo patients, particularly those who are experiencing unintentional weight loss due to the side effects of chemo treatments.
Does Ensure cause cancer?
No, Ensure does not cause cancer. It is a nutritional supplement that can help provide essential nutrition to cancer patients during treatment.
- American Cancer Society. (2020). https://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorship-during-and-after-treatment/staying-active/nutrition.html
- Ensure Nutrition Products. (2021). Ensure® Plus. Retrieved from https://ensure.com/nutrition-products/ensure-plus
- Mayo Clinic. (2020). Cancer survivors: Care for your body after treatment. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer-survivor/art-20047129
- National Cancer Institute. (2020). Eating Hints: Before, During, and After Cancer Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/eating-hints