From OHC, Specialists in the Treatment of Adult Cancers and Blood Disorders

October 29, 2021

You know it’s important to have proper nutrition, especially while fighting cancer, but your appetite just isn’t the same, your mouth is sore, and many foods don’t smell as appealing as they once did. Enjoying an easily digestible smoothie is a convenient way to get nutrients and hydration while undergoing cancer therapy.

US Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults on a 2,000-calorie diet consume two-and-a-half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit each day. Of course, your dietary requirements can change when you are undergoing cancer treatment, so be sure to discuss your nutritional needs with your doctor. While providing you with the strength you need to heal, smoothie ingredients can easily be adjusted to get calories for weight gain or more protein as required.

To enjoy a proper smoothie, you will need some basic elements in addition to a quality blender. These include:

  • Fruit- fresh or frozen
  • Vegetables, including leafy greens
  • Liquid- water, milk, or juice
  • Optional protein- protein powder (check for hidden sweeteners), Greek yogurt, nuts or nut butters
Sacco-John-F-MD-2017 OHC

John Sacco, MD, radiation oncologist and integrative medicine specialist at OHC

Experiment with ingredients until you discover what is most appealing. For example, you might find the flavor of the leafy greens is too strong, so you can mask the flavor by adding cocoa powder or cinnamon. To add healthy fats, consider hemp or flax seeds, avocado, or coconut oil. If stomach upset is a concern, a touch of fresh mint, ginger, or lemon zest can offer relief. Adding ice cream will increase the calorie count.

OHC radiation oncologist, David Pratt, MD, has an excellent chocolate-peanut butter smoothie that has become a hit among his patients. John Sacco, MD, OHC radiation oncologist and integrative medicine specialist, created a berry smoothie recipe with an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Print out these recipes below.

While a cold smoothie can soothe a sore mouth and throat, avoid acidic fruit, fruit with small seeds, and whole nuts or seeds to minimize the discomfort.

Smoothies can conveniently be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for those who like to make them ahead of time or cannot finish a smoothie during one meal. Blend your ingredients and pour them into a popsicle mold to freeze for a tasty snack. Or, add your smoothie ingredients (without the liquid) to large storage bags and place in the freezer so that they are ready to blend with your favorite liquid throughout the week.

While OHC’s cancer experts treat patients with the most advanced therapies tailored to their individual cancer, they also surround patients with the supportive care they need to cope with symptoms and treatment side effects to promote optimal well-being. Nutritional recommendations are a critical component to fighting cancer and healing. For more information on dietary guidelines or to request a second opinion, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit

1 cup vanilla ice cream
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
2 packets Carnation Instant Breakfast
⅓ cup peanut butter
1 banana
Blend ingredients and thin with milk for desired consistency.

1 banana
½ cup frozen dark berries
½ cup frozen chopped kale
1 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp ground flaxseed or hemp seeds
1 half avocado
1 scoop whey protein powder (any flavor)
Choice of liquid (water, oat/soy/almond milk)
Blend ingredients. Ice is optional.

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