A spinal cord is a narrow, tubular bundle of nerves which starts from the medulla oblongata and runs down the middle of your back. It protrudes from the brain and helps support the entire body. Any injury to the spinal cord should be treated with a lot of care and patience. Spinal cord injuries often change the person’s metabolism significantly. You need to be very careful of the calories you take in after a spinal injury, in order to make sure that your eating habits don’t give way to more serious medical conditions. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for individuals who have a spinal cord injury.
High Sodium containing Foods
A person who is suffering from paraplegia or quadriplegia should restrict their sodium intake to 500 to 1,000 mg daily, as suggested by experts. Intake of excess sodium can raise your blood pressure level which may eventually result in a heart disease or a stroke. Keeping a check on your daily sodium intake, therefore, becomes a must for patients who suffer from the aforementioned spinal cord injuries.
Foods and Beverages with Sugar
Any food item which contains a large amount of sugar in it is an absolute no for patients who have a spinal cord injury. Any individual with SCI should avoid food items which have a large amount of sugar in it. Sugary beverages are also to be avoided. Sodas, candies, cookies among other sugary food items should be consumed only once in a while as they do not have any benefits and nutritional value.
Alcohol is that one vice which should be strictly avoided. This empty calorie beverage has a number of side effects which can be a setback for recovering patients. The consumption of alcohol should be limited, as the intake for women should stick to one beverage and for men, it can be two drinks a day, as suggested by doctors.
A person who is a patient of a spinal cord injury has to be extra careful about his/her calorie intake. This is why patients cannot afford to eat fast foods as these food items usually have around 1200 calories in a single meal, according to the Spinal Cord Injury Network. An SCI patient needs to consume at least 10% lesser calories than an average healthy person. Patients need to avoid food with excess fat, cholesterol, and sodium in order to recover faster.