Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Plant-Based Diet For The Disabled

by guest blogger Holly VicHammond


If you’re disabled or are caring for someone with a disability, you must take careful consideration when completing daily tasks. Everything that you do must lean toward increasing the quality of life for you or the person in your life. Transportation for a disabled individual may include driving him or her to the grocery store in a handicap van so that he or she can select appropriate foods. Selecting healthy foods is high on the priority list of caring for a disabled person, and a plant-based diet can be the most beneficial choice for a person with a disability.

Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

A plant-based diet can benefit a disabled person in many ways. Consuming these foods can improve the health of a person with just about any illness or ailment. Plant-based foods contain plenty of antioxidants and phytonutrients. These substances can prevent the development of cancerous cells and may help to retard the growth of existing cells. This diet can also work as a cleanser, clearing the body of disturbances and illness.

Individuals with mental disabilities can become stronger and more alert by consuming a plant-based diet. People who suffer depression as a part of their mental disability will have fewer symptoms as proven by a study conducted in Tokyo, Japan. Additionally, consuming large amounts of vegetables can cut the risk of a person developing Alzheimer’s Disease. The reason for these benefits is the high levels of vitamins and minerals that affect a person’s brain chemistry.
People with diabetes can benefit from a plant-based diet because it cuts out many of the harmful sugars that cause and perpetuate the illness. A plant-based diet helps to maintain an even blood sugar level. Therefore, a person who is caring for a person with this illness should incorporate the healthy eating regimen with the medication and other management procedures.
Finally, diets high in fruits and vegetables are known to improve abilities like vision, hearing and muscle control. Therefore, every person with a disability should conform to this style of eating. A plant-based diet will work to restore and maintain the disabled person’s functionality as much as possible.

Things to Keep in Mind

When incorporating a plant-based diet, you must consider a few things. The first item to consider is weight and body mass index; you can find the patient’s recommended weight by measuring his or her height and entering that data using a weight chart. Be sure to remain within a healthy weight range, as being underweight can cause improper food absorption.
A plant-based diet requires a higher level of protein. Many of the foods associated with a plant-based diet don’t contain enough protein for maximum health. An adult should have approximately 50 grams of protein per day, though a disabled adult may require more protein to feel energetic and motivated. Pay careful attention to the protein content in each meal you prepare for the healthiest results.

Easy-to-Make Recipes

You might think it would be difficult to make meals with a plant-based diet. In fact, you can make a whole host of delicious meals with plant-based foods. Healthy eating allows you to become more creative and artistic with your cooking. Here's just one example of a plant-based dish that you can create.
Ingredients:
8 slices of whole wheat bread
1 cup of fat free soy milk
1/4 cup of chickpea flour
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of cloves
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
Directions: Whisk all the ingredients except for the bread together in a large bowl. Next, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and spray it with cooking spray. Soak the bread in this mixture, then place onto the heated skillet. Cook each side of the bread for approximately 2 minutes or until the bread is brown and crisp. Sweeten with maple syrup.
A plant-based diet is not high in fat and it will therefore not add pounds to a person with restricted mobility. It helps to strengthen the immune system, which will prevent further illness. If you or someone you love is disabled in some way, consider a plant-based diet to satisfy all of your needs.

Photo credit: Handicap image (Teerapun)
Photo credit: Salad (Grant Cochrane)



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2 comments:

  1. Sorry, Holly, but plant-based diets do NOT require "a higher level of protein. Where do you get that nonsense? And 50 g/day protein, while in line with the government's RDA for protein, the literature appears to show that level to be based on incorrect assumptions plus a big bump up "just to make sure."

    Actually, too much protein is actively harmful to the body, for a number of reasons including the increased metabolic acid load.

    Were you trying to imply, Holly, that proteins found in plant foods are somehow inferior to animal proteins? If so, that has been totally refuted in the last few decades, while our understanding of how the body uses the various essential amino acids provided via diet has grown.

    Truth is, if you eat a reasonable quality whole-foods plant-based diet, meet your caloric needs, and keep the fat level fairly low (10-15% of total calories (i.e., not wasting calories on excess oils and other fats, which are mostly harmful above the minimal level needed, anyway)... then you'll automatically get more than enough protein. Yes, even without beans, tofu, or other higher-fat plant-based foods. But you can add some of those if you want that warm, fuzzy safe feeling.\

    As a society, we seem to be weirdly obsessive about protein, despite the fact that hospitals are NOT full of people with protein deficiencies. It's like one of the last thing we need to worry about, compared to all the horrible junk food and contaminated and adulterated foods filling the grocery shelves.

    Holly, I'd recommend you read up on this subject 'cause you clearly don't have much of a clue. One very accessible place to start might be Dr. John McDougall's website, especially the newsletter archives. http://www.drmcdougall.com He's written extensively on this topic over the years, and provided lots of cites from the scientific literature to back up his assertions.

    Cheers,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hai Karen, if you learnig voor food. The teachers learn you that plant protein is less absorbed than animal based protein. You have count 1.2 per body weight.
    I think that's the information Holy got on school.

    ReplyDelete