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Key Nutrients for Ostomates

Ostomy patients need a balanced diet. You need a mix of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. There is no need to refrain from the foods you enjoy so long as you eat slowly and in small portions. Vitamins and Minerals are key nutrients and you must be disciplined about ingesting them daily. The chart below affords some guidance on the main vitamin and minerals. It comes with their respective benefits and the foods that contain them. We hope it is of help.

Nutrient Benefits Sources
Vitamin C Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant. It’s credited with strengthening the immune system, safeguarding against cardiovascular disease, cancers, and premature aging. It’s required for tissue growth and repair. We cannot produce vitamin C, so we need to include it in our diet. It’s water soluble. Cantaloupe, citrus fruits and juices including orange, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple and all the berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green and red peppers, leafy greens, potatoes (sweet and regular), tomatoes and tomato juice.
Vitamin B6 It is part of the B complex group. It produces hemoglobin, and it contributes to maintain blood glucose level. It supports adequate white blood cell counts; it is key to proper functioning of red blood cell metabolism and the nervous and immune systems. Lack of Vitamin B6 causes anemia. It’s water-soluble. Whole grain cereals, beans, meat, poultry, fish, and some fruits and vegetables.
Potassium It is a mineral and an electrolyte vital to proper functioning of all cells and organs. It is key to heart function and to muscle movements. Ostomates and those with absorption syndromes (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) are at risk of potassium deficiencies. Low potassium levels lead to weakness, cramps, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart problems. Bananas, citrus juices (orange juice), avocados, cantaloupes, tomatoes, potatoes, lima beans, flounder, salmon, cod, chicken, dairy products, most fruits and vegetables, and legumes.
Beta Carotene It is a provitamin since it converts to vitamin A. It prevents Vitamin A deficiency. As an antioxidant, it protects cells from free radicals and enhances the immune system. It helps prevent cancer and aging. It stimulates cell communication, and it supports reproductive Health. Sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, turnip greens, winter squash, collard greens, cilantro, apricots, green peppers, cantaloupe, and fresh thyme.
Selenium It is a trace mineral. It works with proteins to make antioxidant enzymes that fight free radicals. It contributes to prevent cancers and heart problems. It takes part in thyroid function and supports the immune system. Brazil nuts, nuts, fish (tuna, cod), beef, poultry, pasta, whole grains.
Zinc It is an essential mineral. It is important in cell metabolism and catalytic activity for numerous enzymes. It contributes to immune functioning, as well as for protein, DNA, and cell breakdown. It stimulates growth and contributes to wound healing. Oysters, toasted wheat germ, liver, sesame seeds and tahini, roast beef, roasted pumpkin and squash seeds, dried watermelon seeds, cocoa, lamb, peanuts.
Calcium It is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is important for vascular health, muscle contractions, hormone levels, and nerve and cell communication. 99% of calcium is located in bones and teeth. It regulates constant bone reshaping. Dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheese). Nondairy products include broccoli, cabbage, kale.
Magnesium It is vital for numerous biochemical responses. It contributes to muscle and nerve function. It regulates heart condition, blood pressure, sugar levels, and the immune system. It keeps bones strong and takes part in protein synthesis. Green vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and tap water.
Folate It is a water-soluble B vitamin. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. It is required to produce DNA and RNA and to stimulate cell creation and maintenance. It deters cancerous DNA changes. It takes part in regulating red blood cell, and it is vital in metabolizing and maintaining homocysteine, an amino acid. Leafy green vegetables (like spinach and turnip greens), citrus fruits and juices, dried beans, peas, okra, broccoli, beets, sunflower seeds, Brussels sprouts, corn, asparagus, baked potato, cabbage, avocados, peanuts, eggs, bananas.

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