Nutritious Meals Help Post-Hospitalization Recovery
In 2010, after completing a rigorous application and site review process by Meals On Wheels America, we were awarded “Exemplary Status” Magnet Accreditation for our outstanding senior nutrition program.
Have you recently been hospitalized, injured or undergone surgery? Your nutritional needs may be increased because your body needs extra energy from nutritious foods to help you heal. Meals On Wheels offers foods high in nutrition and easy to reheat, making your recovery as easy as possible.
Here are key nutrients the Hospital of Special Surgery, a top ranked hospital in the U.S., says will help your body heal faster and more effectively:
Protein helps your body heal by repairing and re-growing tissue. The lean beef, chicken, pork, turkey and fish offered by Meals On Wheels provides high amounts of protein for healing. Other protein sources include eggs, peas, nuts and dairy products such as milk. However, be sure to consult your doctor on your protein intake. Weight, activity level, type of injury and other factors affect how much you need.
Carbohydrates give your body energy for healing and prevent muscle breakdown. They are found in fruits, vegetables, breads and grains. Whole grain choices have higher amounts of thiamine, which helps turn the food you eat into energy, and also manganese, which is great for wound healing. Meals On Wheels offers a variety of whole grains, along with a delicious variety of cooked and fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Lipids (Fats)
Yes, even fats are necessary for your body to function properly. Good fats like those found in nuts, seeds, oils and avocado help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, giving you energy and assisting your immune system in recovery. In moderation, Meals On Wheels chefs incorporate heart healthy fats, such as canola and olive oil, into the cooking process.
- Vitamin A
There are actually two different types of Vitamin A: preformed Vitamin A found in animal sources such as dairy products and egg yolk, and provitamin A carotenoids found in fruits and vegetables. Both types are critical for your vision, help wound healing and are great for your skin. Which Meals On Wheels foods are high in Vitamin A? You can enjoy milk, carrots, sweet potatoes, egg salad, broccoli and spinach.
- Vitamin K
Vitamin K plays an important role in helping your blood clot properly. It is also needed to use calcium to make your bones stronger and has been proven to reduce the risk of bone fractures. It is very rare to be Vitamin K deficient, because besides getting Vitamin K from green leafy vegetables, fatty fish and vegetable oils, your intestines can also produce Vitamin K.
- Vitamin E
Similar to Vitamin K, Vitamin E deficiency is also rare. Vitamin E, found in Meals On Wheels foods such as milk, eggs, leafy greens and vegetable oils, is a fat-soluble vitamin containing antioxidant and disease-fighting properties. Because Vitamin E supplements can interact with certain medications, it is important that you discuss all supplements with your physician prior to taking them.
This fundamental mineral forms hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen from your lungs to your tissues and muscles. Fortified cereals, nuts, beans, lean meats and fish have high amounts of iron. Iron absorption is enhanced when a good source of Vitamin C is eaten with iron-rich food. Each meal from Meals On Wheels contains at least 20mg of Vitamin C.
Zinc is especially important for wound healing because it fights off invading bacteria and viruses in your immune system. Seafood, specifically oysters, crab and lobster have high amounts of zinc. Eggs, red meat and poultry are good sources as well.
A warning about supplements: It is important to remember that vitamin and mineral supplements cannot replace a healthy diet. Furthermore, all supplements should be approved by your physician and pharmacist, since interactions can occur with certain vitamin and mineral supplements, and medications.
Meals On Wheels provides balanced, nutritious meals that are rich in protein and carbohydrates, and moderate in heart healthy lipids. The meals also contain a variety of foods rich in the above vitamins and minerals needed for healing. These healthy meals are delivered right to your door, allowing you to focus on rest and recovery, while still fueling your body with healthy and healing foods.