Beliefnet
Jennifer Cares

Not eating properly is one of the common fallouts from caregiving, and it’s also one of the big reasons family caregivers are becoming patients themselves.

Way too many family caregivers have poor dietary habits. I’m sure you know that food is your body’s fuel.  You need it to make you go.  Not giving your body the fuel it needs-combined with stress, and lack of sleep and exercise-is a recipe for illness.

Eating well should be a priority for everyone, and especially caregivers. Our amazing bodies can do a lot for us if we keep them filled with the basics so they can do their jobs.  We have incredible high-tech systems built in that can protect us from alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and many kinds of cancers.

Medical researchers are finding that substances in foods actually have the power to give important orders to our genes-orders that relate to specific diseases.  For example, oleic acid in olive oil has been shown to stop an aggressive type of gene found in women with breast cancer! Nutrients in broccoli and cauliflower have been shown to switch on certain genes whose job it is to make us resistant to cancer in the digestive system.

Eating a variety of foods and drinking enough water boosts our immune system and increases our chances that our bodies will be able to prevent and cure any diseases that may threaten us – no pills required!

As caregivers, we should be paying attention to trying to eat for energy.  Nutritionists say we can do this by keeping a steady flow of fuel to our system (in the form of healthy food) throughout the day.  Six mini-meals instead of three larger ones may be what your body needs to run at its best levels.

May is a busy month – Communions and Confirmations, Graduations, Weddings –  planning and attending events like those in addition to everything else you’re doing will zap your energy fast if you don’t do what you can to keep yourself strong.

Here are some ideas for mini-meals:

  • light cream cheese and spreadable fruit or fruit slices on a bagel half or rice cake
  • apple slices with peanut butter or cheese chunks
  • a mixed salad with beans and light dressing
  • a cup of homemade soup

Eat for energy this week!

j.

 

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