Community Shares: Advanced Breast Cancer and Comfort Foods
We all get cravings for our favorite comfort foods. When those cravings strike, enjoying your favorite snack or treat can give you a sense of pleasure and make you feel better.
Of course, everyone’s favorite comfort food is slightly different. To learn more about what you have been craving, we reached out to members of our Facebook community and asked: “In this current season, what is your go-to comfort food?”
Carbs to combat chemo
One of the most common cravings for women undergoing chemo is carbs – bread, potatoes, pasta, and the like. Carbohydrates increase the body’s levels of serotonin, so there can be a payoff in eating these types of foods.
For some people, a simple starch may not have any lasting consequence. Others may experience crashes from these foods that spike blood sugar. That being said, they are called comfort foods for a reason, so do as you see fit.
“Potatoes, prepared in any way.”
“Potatoes and corn.”
“Any potatoes or any pasta.”
“Macaroni and butter.”
“Bread, bread, bread.”
Salty foods for an emotional boost
It is common to crave salty foods. Sometimes we think this craving signals that our bodies are in need of salt, which can be possible. However, it is more likely that we have emotional associations with these foods. Perhaps we have linked chips to parties, or popcorn to seeing movies with friends. When we are feeling down, these foods give us an emotional boost by mentally connecting us to past times of happiness.
Plus, the brain’s pleasure center is rewarded when we eat that combination of salty and fatty foods. It might be worth tracking how often you are eating these foods to see how they are affecting you. For some, the habit might be harmless, especially if you are not experiencing negative effects like bloating or discomfort.
“Chips, cheeses, and salted caramel non-dairy ice cream.”
“Cheese crisps and Swiss rolls.”
“Chips and cheeses.”
“Pretzels and peanut butter.”
Ice cream in times of stress
Women are more likely than men to crave sugar, especially in times of stress. Plus, ice cream and other frozen treats are such a part of summer that most of us would feel like we were missing out if we did indulge during the season.
It’s also worth noting that sugar is another food that delivers a dose of serotonin to our systems. Sometimes our craving for ice cream is just the body’s way of getting more serotonin, a.k.a. the “happy drug.”
“Frozen yogurt. But only occasionally as it has too much sugar.”
Fruit to satisfy sugar craving
Many of you shared that you cannot get enough fresh produce right now, especially fruit. Fruit is a great way to give your body the sugar it craves. And because the sugar in fruit is natural and comes with fiber, it is a great choice for your health. Several of you mentioned smoothies, frozen fruit, and making your own popsicles.
“Frozen fruit and juice bars! And fresh cherries, melons, cuties, pineapple, pears, and tomatoes.”
“Frozen fruit and juice bars!”
“Fresh sweet corn, zucchini, and honey rockmelons.”
“Any fresh fruits and salads.”
Thank you to everyone who shared. We appreciate hearing from so many in the community!
Have you taken our Advanced Breast Cancer In America survey yet?