Recipes for Managing Side Effects Series: Fatigue
Fatigue is prevalent during and after cancer treatment and has been linked to chronic inflammation [i, ii]. To combat fatigue, it is recommended to include adequate protein, high fiber carbohydrates, and healthy fats in the diet [ii]. This recipe provides a combination of protein and carbohydrates to boost your energy, and antioxidants to reduce inflammation. Research also indicates that aerobic exercise is beneficial to fight off fatigue [iii]. Start with gentle movement and gradual progression, and always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Nutritional Content and Health Benefits
Blueberries are a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. The anthocyanins in blueberries have an anti-inflammatory effect [iv]. Moreover, research suggests that the phytochemicals in blueberries have anticancer effects across multiple cancer types [v].
This recipe also includes eggs, which are a great source of energy and protein. Eggs are high in choline and B vitamins. Choline may help improve cognitive performances, and B vitamins help the body break down the food you eat into energy [vi, vii].
This easy and quick recipe is perfect for breakfast, snacks, or dessert. You can add some toppings such as honey or dried fruits for additional energy and sweetness. If you want to increase fiber intake, feel free to change the white bread to whole grain. If you prefer other fruits, you can use bananas or apples instead of blueberries. You can also serve it with a scoop of Greek yogurt for extra protein.
Blueberry Bread Pudding
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup milk of your choice
- 1 thick slice of bread (choose whole grain for more fiber)
- 1 small handful of blueberries
- Optional toppings: honey, dried cranberries, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, or chopped nuts
- Spray a small baking dish* with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cut bread into pieces and place into dish.
- Add egg and milk to a bowl and mix. Add the mixture and blueberries to the baking dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Top with optional toppings as desired.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
*If you don’t have any single serving ovenware, you can double or triple the recipe to make multiple servings in a larger dish (ie: 8×8 pan).
For more tips on managing fatigue, check out this post.
[i] Bower J. E. (2014). Cancer-related fatigue–mechanisms, risk factors, and treatments. Nature reviews. Clinical oncology, 11(10), 597–609. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrclinonc.2014.127
[ii] Inglis, J. E., Lin, P. J., Kerns, S. L., Kleckner, I. R., Kleckner, A. S., Castillo, D. A., Mustian, K. M., & Peppone, L. J. (2019). Nutritional Interventions for Treating Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Qualitative Review. Nutrition and cancer, 71(1), 21–40. https://doi.org/10.1080/01635581.2018.1513046
[iii] Cramp, F., & Byron-Daniel, J. (2012). Exercise for the management of cancer-related fatigue in adults. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 11, CD006145. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD006145.pub3
[iv] Lee, Y. M., Yoon, Y., Yoon, H., Park, H. M., Song, S., & Yeum, K. J. (2017). Dietary Anthocyanins against Obesity and Inflammation. Nutrients, 9(10), 1089. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9101089
[v] Davidson, K. T., Zhu, Z., Balabanov, D., Zhao, L., Wakefield, M. R., Bai, Q., & Fang, Y. (2018). Beyond Conventional Medicine – a Look at Blueberry, a Cancer-Fighting Superfruit. Pathology oncology research : POR, 24(4), 733–738. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12253-017-0376-2
[vi] Blusztajn, J. K., Slack, B. E., & Mellott, T. J. (2017). Neuroprotective Actions of Dietary Choline. Nutrients, 9(8), 815. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9080815
[vii] Tardy, A. L., Pouteau, E., Marquez, D., Yilmaz, C., & Scholey, A. (2020). Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue and Cognition: A Narrative Review of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. Nutrients, 12(1), 228. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010228