Do you have Special Nutritional needs?

When you have special nutritional needs and you’re trying to get complete nutrition, you may be basing much of your information on the daily recommended amounts and values.

These recommendations are based on the average person. They’re designed to make sure you don’t get to toxic levels. For example, the recommended amount of folate for a woman is different depending on whether she’s pregnant or not.

If you have special nutritional needs, then it can be a challenge to make sure you get everything that you need from food. It’s difficult to avoid supplementation.

Special Nutritional Needs
Special Nutritional Needs

What Are Special Nutritional Needs?

There are a large number of considerations when talking about special nutritional needs. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities:

  • Pregnancy – Pregnant women need more calories. They need extra folate for the spinal and neurological development of the foetus. They also need extra iron.
  • Lactating Women – If you’re breastfeeding then you also need more calories. Calories for a breastfeeding mom are even more important than when you were pregnant.
  • Athletes – People that are athletic or highly active need to make sure they get enough protein. They need extra protein to help with muscle repair. They also need more calories to help create energy for repair and renewal.
  • Older Adults – Senior citizens also have special nutritional needs. Due to metabolism slowing down, they do well with fish and foods with healthy oils. Making sure they get enough minerals is also important because it helps with bone density and energy production.
  • Vegans, Vegetarians and Those with Gluten Issues – Finally, anyone who is on a special diet or is allergic to gluten needs to make sure they’re getting what they need from their diet. For example, vegans and vegetarians need to make sure they’re getting enough protein, iron, and vitamin B12. Gluten intolerant and allergic people need to make sure that they’re absorbing nutrients. Also, vitamin B is a nutrient that you may be deficient in.

Many people have special nutritional needs. Knowing what your body requires can help you plan your diet and achieve optimal health. Talk to your doctor, speak with a nutritionist and create a strategy.

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Next time: we’ll look at probiotics – what they are and why we need them.

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