Health Tips - Hospital Food #4 in series

Hospital Food #4 in series

What you need when your body is recovering is the healthiest possible food. What is essential is real food, not factory-processed food. The more unprocessed or unheated it is, the better. Read more about unheated food here.

What a hospital offers you for food can vary. You may have no choice or a variety of choices. A dietitian may try to help you out or not. Your M.D. will give the basic parameters, such as a “regular diet”, “clear liquids only”, or “NPO” which means not per os (by mouth) meaning nothing swallowed. If you are NPO, intravenous fluid is given instead.

You are unlikely to receive the most healthful food when you are in a hospital. For example, if you are on liquids, you may get jello, which is made of sugar with carcinogenic (capable of causing cancer) dyes (red 40 and/or red 3). You may get decaf coffee or ginger ale. Not only does this type of food have no nutrient value, it drains the nutrients in your body.

If you are given choices, order the most real food available. You want food that is not factory processed. Choose the least cooked food that you can digest, lots of raw vegetables/salads, and some protein such as eggs, fish, etc. Strictly avoid sugar, desserts, soda, decaf, coffee and processed fruit juice as these deplete nutrients. You need nutrient building blocks for your body to have enough energy to heal!

Have a friend or family member go to a healthy market or farmers’ market to pick up fresh food for you. I hope you are lucky enough to have someone who will make fresh vegetable/fruit smoothies or juices for you. In the smoothies and juices, emphasize vegetables, with minor amounts of fruit for flavor.

The ideal fluid to drink in a hospital and during post-hospital recovery is unpasteurized, non-factory-processed coconut water. Markets such as Whole Foods will usually open the coconuts for you.

Especially when you are in the hospital, give your body the best and most energizing food available!  Read all my nutrition tips to find out how easy it is to keep yourself healthy, and how to get healthier faster.

See other tips in my hospitals series on how to make the most out of a hospital stay.

Best of health!

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Dr. Pepi


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