As this guest post explains, people with disabilities require quality nutrition just like everybody else. Proper nutrition keeps the body functioning optimally and reduces the risk of illnesses. Additionally, if you are under medication, good nutrition can improve the efficiency of the treatment and reduce the side effects. If you are a person living with a disability, or a caregiver to someone with a disability, consider the following nutrition tips.

Healthy, Balanced and Adequate Diets

The first thing is to ensure you have a healthy, balanced and adequate diet. When shopping for your meals, consider fresh fruits and vegetables and a variety of protein sources. You don’t have to settle for a vegetable or fruit you don’t like; what you don’t like has an alternative. Consider looking around for varieties until you get your favourites. Plan your meals in such a way that you get an adequate supply of all the essential nutrients and vitamins and adequate calories. 

Condition Specific Diet 

The British Nutrition Foundation suggests daily portion sizes for an average healthy adult as follows: fruits and vegetables – 5 + portions; dairy and alternatives – 2 to 3 portions; starchy carbohydrates – 3 to 4 portions; and protein – 2 to 3 portions. The portions can be altered depending on the specific needs of the client. For instance, for some conditions, you can be advised to eliminate the starch carbohydrates and increase fruits and proteins. The best thing to do is to visit a nutritionist for advice on whether you need to make any adjustments to your diet based on your condition or your loved one’s condition. The nutritionist will give you an appropriate recommendation to ensure you get the nutrition necessary to manage your condition or meet any special needs. 

If your health insurance does not cover nutrition sessions, you may have to plan for this when making a budget. Those whose disability is as a result of someone’s negligence should pursue a claim so that they have enough money not only for nutrition advice, but for other expenses as well. For instance, cerebral palsy claims can give caregivers the money they need for medical treatment, special education, mobility tools and even compensation for lost earnings if the parent had to stop working to take care of the child. 

Plenty of Water

In addition to good food, consider plenty of water too. Fluids help in flushing toxins out of the body, transporting nutrients, protecting the internal organs, and maintaining the optimal body temperature among many others. Your body gets the fluids it needs from plain water and other beverages and foods such as watermelon. To boost fluid intake, consider plain water and herbal teas instead of sweetened drinks, keep a full bottle by your side all day long, and set reminders or use a water drinking app. If you have to make the water tasty, consider healthier options such as adding a lemon and some honey. 

While striving to eat healthy, don’t forget about food safety. Also, consider making an eating schedule so that you don’t under or overeat. Finally, whenever you are not sure, always consult a nutritionist.