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Food for Bladder Cancer: What To Eat And Not Eat

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Mar 13, 2023

Food for Bladder Cancer: What To Eat And Not Eat

If you have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, now is a good time to consider whether you can make some changes. Improving your general health and fitness before you receive treatment and/or undergo surgery is likely to help you recover from the effects better, and it can also give you a positive focus. Continuing with these positive changes to your diet and fit lifestyle can give you a positive focus. So what is the best food for bladder cancer recovery? 

Is there a diet to follow if you have bladder cancer?

The factors that will determine your ideal eating routine are when you’re tired or experiencing other symptoms. it might be difficult to eat healthfully because you may not be able to ingest as much as you once could.

To maintain your overall health, eat a variety of healthy foods. Some evidence suggests that specific dietary habits may help reduce the risk of bladder cancer and cancer in general. It is not recommended to follow a particular diet in order to treat or prevent bladder cancer.

According to Italian case-control research, a Mediterranean diet may help reduce the risk of bladder cancer. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. It also provides healthy fats from sources including fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. There isn’t just one diet that people with bladder cancer should adhere to. However, the Mediterranean diet may have some benefits in terms of lowering risk of heart disease and inflammation. Consult your dietitian if the diet is aligned with your food for bladder cancer prevention and recovery. 

What meals are best for bladder cancer patients?

Food for bladder cancer patients: What should be considered? A healthy, balanced diet is advised because it has been associated with a lower risk of cancer death and recurrence, even though there haven’t been any conclusive results from the numerous studies that have looked into the subject. Some evidence suggests that some foods, especially those high in antioxidants, may have anti-cancer properties.

A nutritious eating routine includes:

Produce and fruits

Because they are high in antioxidants, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts may be the best food for bladder cancer patients. Nevertheless, berries and citrus fruits are also fantastic options.

Fruits and vegetables both contain fiber, which can help with constipation. Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Your body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals, which can be found in fruits and vegetables.


All types of protein, including meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, soy products, nuts, seeds, and dairy products, help to maintain a healthy immune system and strong muscles. Include a protein source in each of your meals and snacks.

Wholesome fats

Another food for bladder cancer tip is to include this particular nutrient. Fats improve the flavor and texture of food. Also, our bodies require fat to produce hormones, absorb certain vitamins, and repair body cells. Fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, and olive oils are all excellent sources of fat.

Whole grains

Check the ingredient list of the items you are buying to verify if “whole grain” is mentioned. Since whole grains have not undergone considerable processing, most of their minerals and fiber are still there.


People with cancer should consult their doctor before adding tea to their regimen due to its high polyphenol content. Some plants contain compounds called polyphenols that may be beneficial for your health.

According to a follow-up clinical study conducted by the same group of researchers, people with bladder cancer, particularly men, who drank green tea had a better 5-year survival rate than those who did not.


You may be familiar with the word “superfood,” which is used to describe a variety of foods that are high in nutrients. However, there is no consensus on what exactly qualifies as a superfood, and there are plenty of nutrient-dense foods that are not included in this category.

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, preferably those with darker hues. Generally speaking, the darker the color of the meal, the more nutrients it contains. Fruits and vegetables of different colors have special chemicals that support health. You can improve your intake of numerous health-promoting elements by including a variety of colors in your diet. In addition, many herbs and spices, such as ginger, parsley, black pepper, cloves, saffron, mustard seed, and turmeric, are rich sources of plant-based compounds that support health.

Tips on nutrition and recipes

It’s ideal to eat a range of healthy meals, but if you’re concerned that you might not be getting enough nutrients from your diet, here are some suggestions for maximizing your food’s nutritional value.

  • Increase the number of vegetables you use. More vegetables can be added to casseroles, soups, and stews. Because they need less washing and chopping than fresh veggies while maintaining the same nutritional value, frozen vegetables can be handy.
  • Consider adding olive oil to recipes, sauces, or both.
  • You can also spread nut butters or avocado on toast or crackers.
  • Including a source of protein in your meals and snacks will help you meet your daily protein requirements. Healthy protein sources include whole eggs, salmon, almonds, seeds, and Greek yogurt, to name a few.
  • Anything milk-based can easily have skim milk powder added to it to increase the protein level.
  • You can also experiment with adding shredded cheese to eggs, potatoes, or cooked vegetables, as well as canned beans or peas.

Food for bladder cancer: meals and beverages to avoid

Arsenic can occur naturally in some locales or be a result of industry or agricultural practices. This causes bladder cancer. Rates of bladder cancer are higher in areas where the water supply contains more arsenic. If you use well water, make sure to have it tested at least once a year to check for arsenic levels. Arsenic may be removed from water supplies using specific techniques, making the water safe to drink.

Another area of research is the potential link between red meat, particularly processed red meat, and the risk of cancer. A 2018 meta-analysis found that people who consumed more processed red meat had a higher risk of developing bladder cancer. However, red meat that has not been processed may not increase the risk of bladder cancer. Research also shows that Western-style diets, which tend to be high in highly processed foods, increase the risk of bladder cancer recurrence.

Do any dietary supplements work well?

Should supplements be considered to complement food for bladder cancer patients? Based on your health, your doctor might advise taking particular vitamins. If you’re feeling lethargic, your cancer or treatment might be to blame. In that case, they might check your blood for iron and vitamin B12 levels.

Taking probiotics after receiving antibiotics for an illness may be beneficial. Low blood levels of iron or B12 may make exhaustion worse; supplements might help raise these levels. Antibiotics are necessary treatments because they eliminate pathogenic bacteria, but they also eliminate some beneficial bacteria that can cause stomach problems. Probiotics can increase the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract, which may help to lessen the symptoms of gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Probiotics may not be very effective at preventing bladder cancer recurrence. Though there is also little evidence to support this.

As some probiotic strains may not be suitable for some bladder cancer patients, it is important to consult your doctor before using probiotics. Additionally, other nutrients in the body, such as vitamin D and folate, may be depleted as a result of cancer therapy. If you have concerns about nutrient depletions brought on by cancer therapy, speak with your healthcare professional.

What if eating is challenging?

The American Cancer Society suggests accepting help from family and friends who offer to bring you meals or snacks or buy items. Keeping quick snacks and meals on hand to reduce preparation time. Try to eat something healthy every few hours. Try to eat something that will give you energy. There are a variety of reasons why it could be difficult to eat enough nutrition, particularly if cancer treatment has caused you to lose your appetite.

If you have trouble eating enough calories, concentrate on high-calorie, high-protein meals like eggs, peanut butter, and cheese. If drinking seems more convenient than eating a more substantial meal, consider using nutritional supplement shakes or making smoothies. Some people find relief from their symptoms by inhaling fresh lemon. Lastly, drink plenty of water. You might find bland, starchy foods easier to tolerate, such as pasta, crackers, bread, or cereal.

Key Takeaways

There is no one best way to eat when you have bladder cancer, but there are things you can do to improve your health. This includes reaping the rewards of a Mediterranean diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. If that’s not possible, try to eat a variety of healthy meals. If you’re having trouble eating, speak with a qualified dietician.


Learn more about Bladder Cancer here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Mar 13, 2023

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