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IS FOOD AS IMPORTANT AS MEDICINE?
The Importance of Food in Recovery
You can’t really argue that food plays a big role in a patient’s recovery. What we eat not only gives our bodies the energy it needs to heal or recover from infections and illness, but also forms the building blocks used to repair damage. But just how deep do the benefits go?
Doing more than just keeping patients hydrated and fed but carefully balancing their nutrient intake, giving them meals specially designed to suite their individual needs can be a big step in getting them back on their feet.
A patient that has recently had surgery can benefit from a meal that includes almonds, poultry and mushrooms, a combination that will give them Vitamin E and protein to aid in healing wounds and repairing muscles tissue and Vitamin D to promote the repair of bones. Adding beans to the dish can provide iron to increase the creation of new blood cells and add a glass of orange juice for Vitamin C to strengthen the immune system and help keep infections at bay. This is a very simple example of how a decent plate of food can make a big difference to a patient.
Beyond the nutrition, a wholesome meal is a boost to morale. Keeping a patient happy and full of energy helps fight trauma and depression and the added motivation will keep them focused on their recovery. Studies have all proven that a patient with a positive mind-set, who is comfortable and feels safe, will recover faster and better. They are less likely to neglect further treatment or therapy and are more resistant to infections.
You could go as far as to say, having a catering system that takes into consideration each patient’s needs, is an essential part of a hospital. Allergies, treatments, symptoms, side-effect of medication, cultural needs such as halaal or kosher foods. These are all things that can either pose a potential risk to your patients, or make every snack, dish or drink a step towards better health.
And as any good hospital will know, doing everything in your power to make sure the people they care for, get all the help they need. Part of this is real meals that make a real contribution to a patient’s recovery.