Good nutrition can be a valuable asset in facing life’s challenges as an amputee. Luckily, you can maximize its benefits by focusing on consuming real foods that are abundant in lean protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, all in the right proportions.
Here are some strategies that can help you:
Learn What You Should Eat
The types of foods you eat, their combinations, and portion sizes all contribute to these factors. If you encounter challenges in achieving a diverse and well-rounded diet, consider seeking advice from your healthcare provider, who might recommend supplements.
Ideally, you want to choose whole foods for optimal nutrition. While the concept is straightforward, it can be tough when surrounded by fast food, convenience items, and packaged products. Prioritize unprocessed, whole foods as your main choice.
Also, diversify your diet to promote wound healing. Various nutrients play a role in wound healing, including carbohydrates, protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins like C and E, and minerals such as iron and zinc.
A deficiency in any of these can hinder the healing process. Consuming a wide range of foods will help ensure you receive sufficient amounts of these essential nutrients.
Find Out Your Calorie Needs
Adjusting your calorie intake could be one of the significant changes you have to make. Your calorie requirements will differ based on your stage of recovery, activity level, and health conditions. These needs are unique to you and can vary from day to day or even month to month.
Consider arranging a meeting with a registered dietitian or seek a referral from your healthcare provider to an expert who can determine the appropriate calorie intake for your medical condition, your weight goals, and the type and intensity of your activities.
Learn Proper Food Preparation
The concept of having a nutritious meal might seem appealing, but the idea of planning, shopping for ingredients, and preparing it can be overwhelming.
After an amputation, factors like physical challenges, limited time due to medical appointments, and reduced motivation due to depression, pain, or fatigue might make food preparation more difficult. The good news is that there are various ways to enhance your access to healthy food.
For one, you want to plan in advance. Healthy choices are easier to stick to when they’re convenient. Plan your meals ahead of time so that you have the necessary ingredients for a balanced meal at home, making fast food less tempting.
Additionally, create a grocery list before heading to the store to save time and money, and avoid impulse buying.
You also want to keep nutrient-rich options available. Keep your freezer stocked with frozen fruits, vegetables, edamame beans, and individual portions of fish, chicken, and lean beef.
Fill your pantry with canned beans, packets of tuna, nuts, seeds, peanut or almond butter, dried fruits, whole-wheat pasta, and whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and barley.
Lastly, cook in batches. When you, family members, or friends prepare meals, consider dividing the food into individual portions that can be frozen. This way, when you’re short on time or energy to cook, you can simply heat and enjoy a quick, nutritious meal.