When you’re trying to heal from or manage the pain and other symptoms of a ruptured disc, your diet can play an integral role. Providing your body with the nutrients it needs is always important, but when it’s trying to heal, this becomes especially vital.
When many people think about a “healthy” diet, they assume that there is a lot of work involved in the preparation of all meals, making it a time-consuming and complicated endeavor. However, this doesn’t have to be the case, and there are many ways to eat healthfully without having to spend hours in the kitchen.
Here are some simple ways to make healthy eating a bigger part of your lifestyle:
- Do prep work ahead of time – When your neck or back hurts, the last thing you want to do is stand at a stove for an hour. But, if you split up the work into smaller increments, it can make that time much more bearable, and you can avoid aggravating your symptoms. For example, consider slicing vegetables in the morning and storing them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them, or pre-measuring ingredients and placing them aside so that you can simply add them to the dish when you’re ready to prepare the meal.
- Buy pre-prepared foods – Pre-washed, pre-packaged salads are a great way to add dimension to a meal and get extra nutrients with hardly any effort. Similarly, many grocery stores offer pre-sliced vegetables, such as diced garlic and chopped onion, so you can cut out the prep time for these ingredients without sacrificing flavor.
- Carry healthy snacks – One of the hardest parts of eating healthfully is doing it on the run. It’s easy to succumb to the call of a vending machine when you’re hungry, but carrying a healthy snack with you makes it much easier to resist. Whole fruit such as bananas, apples and pears are easy to keep in your desk. Cheese sticks, protein bars and raw almonds also travel well and make a satisfying, but nutritious, snack.
- Stick to water – Many people don’t realize how many of their calories come from the beverages they drink. Stick to water as your drink of choice, and you may cut out hundreds of empty calories a day. If you’re craving a warm drink, consider tea. Can’t kick your morning coffee habit? Ditch the latte, and stick to brewed coffee or an Americano, which combines espresso with hot water for a more complex taste. Both of these options have significantly fewer calories.
If you’d like to learn more about eating healthfully with a ruptured disc, or you want more information about minimally invasive spine surgery as a treatment for this condition, contact Laser Spine Institute. As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, we have performed tens of thousands of these procedures and will be happy to provide you with a review of your MRI or CT scan.