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Nutritional Needs after TBI by Charles Watson


Posted on May 14, 2020

TBI patients experience life-changing measures after being diagnosed with the condition. Everything needs to be incorporated into a routine, including basic everyday tasks. However, these changes in their life also influence the people around them who are probably their guardians and caretakers. The key factor in coping with TBI is patience and acceptance for both the patient and their family.

Diet plan after TBI   

Adapting to various precautions while going out or regulating your sleep schedule is as necessary as making conscious efforts to have a healthy, nutrition-packed diet. Most TBI victims feel mentally drained from time to time; hence small power meals taken with a 3 to 4-hour gap can help keep you energized. 

Intake of a balanced amount of protein, good fats and oils, and carbohydrates should be a must in your diet. Food items like fish, nuts, eggs, and lean meat can provide you with sufficient protein while you can obtain healthy fats and oil from avocados, seeds, nuts, and a few green vegetables.

Carbohydrates from sweets and chocolates should be taken in minute amounts since they can cause headaches. While fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains are a good source of carbohydrates and energy.

Most neurologists recommend that when going out, you should carry packs of healthy snacks like nuts, apples, cheese, energy/protein bars, hard-boiled eggs, etc. as a booster. Eating at the same time helps to get the body clock to work better.

For TBI patients, it’s hard to remember things or register simple things like when to take their medicine. Similarly, eating at the same time can also be challenging, so set a reminder for your meals.

Avoid overeating since it can cause drowsiness and make you irritated. In addition, most people naturally start to gain weight after TBI, which can be controlled by healthy eating habits. To prevent further deteriorating of the brain, make sure to follow your dietician’s advice. 

Vitamins and supplements

Taking vitamins and supplements with a nutritious diet has proved to enhance your brainpower as well as the immune system. Many nutritionists researched the effect of multivitamins on our brain, and the before-after results showed improvement in brainpower. Omega-3 fatty acids play the primary role in eradicating free radicals that cause oxidative damage to the brain cells. It also improves nerve signal transmission. Green leafy vegetables and nuts contain antioxidants that help relieve stress. 

Tips to keep in mind while grocery shopping

Even though it’s strongly suggested to let a family member or caretaker do your grocery shopping, a mild TBI cannot limit you. Keep these expert tips in mind, and you’re good to go:

  • If you regularly visit a grocery store, then plan your shopping with the aisles in mind to get it done quickly.
  • Make a re-usable list. For example, jot down your must-buy items, and in case you need anything else, just add to the list.
  • Try going out for groceries at very early or late hours to prevent crowds and noise. 
  • If you are more sensitive to light and noise, then make sure to wear sound-canceling earbuds and sunglasses.
  • Get more organic and fresh stuff instead of processed, expired food. If you have difficulty smelling or have weak eyesight, ask the staff to help you.
  • Store portions of protein-rich foods in your refrigerator and put them in plastic containers and cover them with a lid. This will save time and trips to the grocery store.