Monday, January 30, 2012

Gastroparesis Series - Part IV: Nutrition Helpers

During a flare (or if you have a consistent case of severe GP) your body may become depleted of essential nutrients.  Adequate nutrition is a fundamental component of healing, and I've found some of these products to help me meet my needs:
  • Coconut Milk - this is the base for my smoothies.  My nutritionist recommended the coconut milk because it has a bit of fat in it (about 5g) and she said that would help "carry me longer".  If you can't tolerate fat, rice milk and almond milk are healthy alternatives.
  • Organic Rice Protein Powder - this is a necessary addition to my morning smoothie.  I am generally too nauseated to eat solids in the morning, so this helps add protein to my morning meal which helps give me the fuel I need to start my day.
  • Fish Oil or Flax Oil - while this might sound strange, these oils do contain small amounts of fat (about 2-5 g) and can help get some "healthy fat" in you without having to eat a large portion that'll make you feel overly full.  There are certain kinds out there (ex. lemon flavored by Metagenics) that reduce the yucky "fish burp" side effect.  The flax oil by Barleans comes in a delicious strawberry banana flavor and can be easily added into a smoothie.
  • Nano Greens - I have yet to be able to eat and/or digest green vegetables, so I've found this product to be a life saver in getting nutrition from veggies without actually having to eat them.
  • Coconut Water - this is a great thing to have on hand if you can't keep much down or if you're dehydrated.  It contains 5 essential electrolytes, making it an excellent source for hydration purposes.  Additionally, it contains more potassium than a banana and is 100% natural- not to mention it tastes very refreshing!
  • Sublingual Vitamin B Complex and D - these vitamins are essential for proper immune and neurological function.  They're extra easy to keep down since they're sublingual.
You might be wondering why I didn't add Boost or any of the more commonly known nutritional shakes out there to my list.... The primary reason for this is that I have an inflammatory condition that demands that I follow a dairy-free, sugar-free, low gluten, all-natural diet.  While it is a very diet to follow, I believe it has allowed my body to improve it's healing abilities.  Many of the commercially available drinks are very necessary for some people so I am not suggesting you shouldn't use them, but I avoid them because they have ingredients that are not consistent with my diet (ex. sugar, dairy, artificial colors and flavors, etc.).  

I'm sure I'll make more discoveries as time goes on and add more to this list- check back for updates!

*Just a reminder - I am NOT a doctor and this is not intended to be medical advice.  This information is based solely on my own personal experience and the information I have come across while dealing with my GP. *

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