Medical therapy and proper treatment are crucial for recovering patients. However, most people ignore the importance of nutrition in illness recovery. A good diet plays an important role in every patient’s healing journey. Recent studies show that 15% to 17% of recovering patients are malnourished, while 69% experience declining nutritional status during hospital stays.
A patient’s nutritional status shouldn’t be ignored during hospital admission. Healthcare providers, including doctors, ABSN nurses, physiotherapists, and nutritionists, should work together to ensure recovering patients meet their nutritional needs. Below are healthy diet recommendations that can help patients’ recovery.
1. Protein for cell repair
Muscle loss is a common side effect of the disease process, often leading to general body weakness. Protein and calorie requirements should be higher than regular intake during recovery. Daily protein requirements generally increase to 1.2 grams per kilogram during illness recovery.
Studies have shown that supplementing nutrients, especially proteins, promotes recovery. Recovering patients should prioritize a high-protein diet. Fortunately, proteins can easily be obtained in diet from eggs, chicken, beans, and other plant-based sources.
Essential vitamins and minerals enhance disease recovery by boosting your immune system. While you can use supplements, diet is an excellent way of supplementing vitamins. While all essential vitamins and nutrients are beneficial for full recovery, some may be required in higher quantities depending on your illness.
For instance, viral infections generally deplete the body’s micronutrients, especially vitamins A, D, and C, zinc, selenium, and iron. Including fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, and grains, like oats and rice, can speed recovery during viral infections.
3. Proper hydration
The human body depends on water and general hydration for proper functioning. Hydration is crucial to your overall health and wellness and, more important, during recovery. The disease process significantly dehydrates the body, primarily because of high temperatures and fever. Loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea also contributes to fluid loss.
Dehydration can worsen your general health and delays the recovery process. Patients should be wary of the common signs of dehydration, like fatigue and lightheadedness. Unfortunately, most disease processes affect the patients’ ability to rehydrate. Ensure that you take at least eight glasses of water daily.
Your doctor may also prescribe probiotics during illness recovery. One of the many side effects of an antibiotics regimen is diarrhea and digestive tract issues. While they fight diseases, antibiotics destroy or interfere with the friendly bacteria in the gut. The body needs friendly bacteria to improve digestion and limit the prevalence of harmful bacteria. You should include probiotics in your diet to replenish good bacteria in the gut. Probiotic drinks, like yogurt, contain healthy bacteria that reduce the antibiotic influence on healthy gut bacteria.
Recovering from illnesses is a complex body process that involves the repair of various diseased body tissues. Illnesses and disease process leads to appetite loss and depletes nutrients in the body. You should choose foods with the right nutrients to replenish depleted nutrients and promote body healing.