Nutrition is an important consideration when you’re dealing with a disability that hinders your mobility. Good nutrition can help you resist pressure sores, urinary tract infections and even type 2 diabetes.
Work with your doctor or dietitian to develop a plan that’s geared to your specific needs. That said, there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind.
Calories per day: Your caloric needs are determined by the type of disability you have, your activity level and your age. Those calories should come primarily from low-fat, high-fiber foods. If you’re trying to cut back on calories, don’t skip meals. It’s not good for your health and can work against you by slowing your metabolism.
Calcium: To prevent loss of bone mass and maintain circulation in your legs, make sure you get enough of this mineral. Calcium works in tandem with vitamin D, so get enough of this vitamin, as well. Ten minutes of sunshine daily is generally sufficient. Or try adding low-fat dairy to your diet.
Protein: Protein is an essential nutrient for wound healing. Your physician might ask you to double your normal protein consumption if you have a pressure sore or other wound. Vitamin C and zinc can help with healing, as well. When you increase your dietary protein, remember that it’s still important to monitor cholesterol and serving sizes.
Fluids: Avoid soft drinks, and consume fruit juices sparingly. They’re loaded with calories and sugar. Water is a better choice. It stabilizes your body temperature and helps you digest food and maintain bowel regularity. Water consumption can also help you avoid bladder and kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
Fiber: Fiber improves bowel function, but too much can work against you by slowing your digestion. The right balance can help you avoid diabetes by normalizing your glucose levels.
The experts at Power Mobility & Lifts can help you with many questions related to wheelchair mobility. Call us or visit our website for information on wheelchairs or other assistive devices. We provide service throughout Arizona.
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