For most people, recovering from a stroke is a long and tiring journey. Very often, people recovering from strokes will experience loss of appetite, which makes it harder to give them the nutrition they need. For others, this might be coupled with a loss of hand or other muscle movement that makes the very process of eating much more difficult.
When planning a diet for a person recovering from a stroke, it is important to take all these things into consideration. Proper diet will not only ensure quicker recovery but may also stave off future episodes. In this article, you will find out what a person recovering from stroke should avoid and why it is important to manage the diet well.
A balanced diet matters in post stroke recovery
When planning meals for post stroke recovery, it is important to ensure that all the important elements of a balanced diet are covered. This means a well-thought out balance of proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. For proteins, it is important to ensure that the patient is eating fish at least twice a week and if taking beef or other red meat, ensure that they are consuming lean meat. This is to reduce the amount of cholesterol intake by the patient.
It is needless to say that the patient should avoid trans fats and saturated fats and so ensure that preparation of food is done without these fats. If the patient is undergoing post stroke therapy, you can get more specific advice from his or her caregivers on what to prepare for the patient and what to avoid.
Food that you should avoid and why
There are a number of food items that a post stroke survivor should avoid. As we have seen, these include trans-fats and saturated fats as well as fatty meat. Ensure that the patient’s salt intake is also moderate as excessive sodium in the salt can be harmful to the patient. Alcohol should be greatly moderated if not taken off the diet all together.
Because of possible reaction with some of the drugs that the patient might be on, it is important to get advice from the caregiver or doctor on whether the patient should take alcohol even in moderation. If you are not sure, it is better to simply take it off the diet until the patient is fully recovered.
How to make the diet management process easier
As mentioned above, there are other factors that may hinder your ability to provide your patient with a nutritious and balanced diet. These factors include loss of appetite, physical impairment as a result of the stroke among many other things. For your diet to be successful, you have to take measures to overcome these obstacles. Some of the things that you can do to ease the process is to ensure that you choose food that is visually appealing such as dark vegetables and salmon.
These must be cut into small pieces that will be easy for the patient to chew. Ensure that you lean more to softer and easer to chew food that will not tire your patient. Remember that there are special utensils that are adapted for patients recovering from strokes. These utensils are easier to hold and use, a particularly useful feature for a patient whose muscle coordination has been affected by a stroke. Other things that may make it easier for your patient include giving enough time for meals and avoiding distractions during meals.
Ensuring a patient that is recovering from a stroke gets a proper diet will go a long way in assisting in recovery. Proper diet helps build muscle and repair tissue that aid in recovery. When used as part of a proper post-stroke therapy in Toronto, a balanced and proper diet will speed up recovery. An additional benefit to this is that it will also create life-long eating habits that will stave off future stroke episodes.