The role of Superfoods in Ostomy Health
There are various digestive challenges that affect ostomates. Some of these are emotionally draining such as gas and odor which can impair an ostomate’s social and private life. Others could create physical and mental issues. The fact is, ostomy surgery disrupts the digestion process which if not managed well could cause nutritional deficiencies and related health problems. How can superfoods help in the prevention of such a situation? What are superfoods?
Superfoods are mostly plant-based foods renowned for their nutritional density. Although there is no set criteria or factors that must be met to qualify as a superfood, health benefits of certain foods stand out. This is important for people with digestive issues, who have had gut surgery or have an ostomy.
The foods listed below have been selected for their nutritional value among other dietary properties.
This hardy grain has been around for thousands of years. A close look at barley reveals that it is among high value foods important for those with ostomies. Barley contains folic acid and vitamin Vitamin B6. It also has minerals vital for overall health such as calcium, manganese, magnesium and potassium. In addition, fiber found in barley is helpful in preventing constipation, a condition that could present special challenges including obstruction.
These are edible seeds packed with nutrients that support an ostomate’s good health. Among the top benefits of chia is its fiber content. As mentioned, fiber is important in the prevention of constipation. It also contains plant-based omega 3 that supports many body organs including bones, the heart and the brain.
An ostomate with a liquidy discharge may find bananas helpful. They help to thicken the discharge, and also have antacid effects needed for those with hyperacidity issues. The fruit is packed with potassium, an excellent property when ostomy surgery leads to electrolyte and fluid imbalance. Bananas contain an amino acid called tryptophan. This acid promotes natural production of serotonin which enhances good moods and restful sleep.
Sprouts contain a wide range of readily available nutrients in higher quantities than conventionally prepared seeds. They are a good source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants and are important supplements for ostomates. The sprouts must be prepared hygienically to prevent proliferation of harmful organisms and toxins which can cause food poisoning and other ailments.
Kelp is a type of seaweed that is loaded with both macro-elements and trace elements necessary for health. Perhaps one of its most important ingredients is iodine which the body needs for healthy metabolism through the support of optimal thyroid gland functions. Good metabolism is important to all but more so to ostomates.
There are many other foods considered ‘super’:
- Omega 3 fatty acids (from fish)
- Nutrional yeast
- Maqui, blueberries
- Sweet potatoes
Superfoods should be consumed with other foods. The aim is to always strive for a well-balanced diet that can support a healthy lifestyle without limitations.