Published: 14/03/2022 Tags: The Ehlers-Danlos Society News

Nutrition and Hydration Week

March 14-20 is World Nutrition and Hydration Week!

But why are nutrition and hydration important? 

Lorna Ryan is a Clinical Nutritionist/Nutritional Therapy, and Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner who has a clinical practice based in London, UK, and online internationally. Lorna is the Chair of the Diet and Nutrition Working Group of the International Consortium on the Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders. Throughout the week Lorna will help:

  • Explain the foundations of nutrition and hydration and why that might be important for you
  • Discuss specific diets
  • Describe basic foods to eat for daily life
  • Offer tips on nutrient-dense food sources
  • Explain good hydration sources and;
  • How to build your nutritional toolkit

The following information should not constitute medical advice, dietary advice, or treatment. Individuals should consult a healthcare professional before making changes to their nutritional plan. 

Why is nutrition important?

The term nutrition refers to the intake of foods, drinks, and supplementation. Appropriate nutrition refers to nourishment for the whole body to influence digestion, growth, repair, signaling, enzyme function plus much more. It is important to support the everyday functions of the body. 

Appropriate nutrition intake and status may support presenting symptoms and quality of life for any individual. Best practice nutritional intake comprises protein, fats, and carbohydrates with plenty of plant sources (vegetables/herbs/spices) served at every meal, and adequate fluid intake. With a diverse choice of foods daily you will consume a wide range of micro-nutrients (vitamins + minerals).  

    • Proteins include lean meats, fish, tofu, beans, peas, and some rice.
    • Carbohydrates include whole grains, pasta, bread, potatoes, root vegetables, and an array of other vegetables.
    • Fats include oily fish, nuts, seeds, butter, and oils such as olive and rapeseed.
    • There are 13 essential vitamins including Group B vitamins, D, C, A, E, K.
    • Minerals include calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium, sodium, potassium, 
    • Total fluid intake includes liquid from water, soups, drinks, juicy fruits, and vegetables. 

Foundations of nutrition are an important cornerstone to optimizing health before we layer up specific targeted interventions for EDS or HSD. A personalized approach to such foundations is most helpful to navigate complexities one might experience with food intake. Optimizing nutritional intake does not have to be complicated, strict, restrictive, or expensive. And, is best catered to your uniques tastes and ethical/cultural choices.

Nutrition is important to support the everyday functions of the body. Over this week I am going to emphasize functions because people tend to view food as just fuel but actually, there are so many functions going on in the body from our immune health, digestive health, cardiovascular, brain, right down to hormone functions and neurotransmitters. We’re not going to get any more technical than that, but I just want to stress there are so many things going on in the body every single moment of every day that nutrition supports and that’s why appropriate nutrition may improve your quality of life. It can actually improve the quality of life that just the general population, let alone someone with EDS or HSD!

Tomorrow’s post will look at nutrition for EDS and HSD. Watch Lorna’s talk on nutrition and hydration now, in full, here.

Find Lorna on Instagram @lornaryanhealth

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