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A Wheelchair User’s Guide to Balanced Nutrition
If you are dealing with a disability that reduces your mobility, nutrition plays a vital role in keeping you healthy. Proper nutrition will help you to avoid pressure sores, type 2 diabetes and urinary tract infections.
Consult with your physician or nutritionist to create a diet that is suited for you. Here are some important dietary tips you need to take into consideration.
Daily Calorie Intake: The number of calories you need on a daily basis will depend on your disability, how active you are and your age. Ideally you should be getting those calories from high-fiber, low-fat foods. If you are trying to cut back on calories again, eat at regular intervals. Skipping meals is not healthy and it can cause harm by slowing down your metabolism.
Calcium: Calcium is important to maintain circulation in your legs and to prevent any loss of bone mass. Calcium and vitamin D work well together, so make sure to get enough of both. All you need for your daily requirement of vitamin C is 10 minutes of sunshine per day. Low fat dairy is also another great source of vitamin D.
Protein: Protein is very important for healing wounds. Your doctor might even double your intake of protein if you have developed a pressure sore or other kind of wound. Zinc and vitamin C are also helpful in healing. While you are increasing your protein intake you must keep a close eye on your serving sizes and your cholesterol levels.
Fluids: Stay away from soda drinks and only drink fruit juices sparingly because they have high levels of sugar. A better choice would be water. It helps to regulate your body temperature, aids with food digestion and helps to maintain regular bowel movements. Consuming lots of water will also minimize occurrences of bladder and kidney stones as well as urinary tract infections.
Fiber: Fiber helps to regulate bowel functions, however if you take too much it can begin to slow down your digestion. In the appropriate amounts, fiber will fight off diabetes by correcting your glucose to the proper level.
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