By Angela Medieros, Staff Writer
NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS ARE AN
Different formulas of nutritional supplement drinks
can be ordered by the physician to round out the
body’s need for a “complete” meal. These
drinks supply the expected vitamins (B vitamins and
C for example), cholesterol and fats (needed by the
nervous system) and even “prebiotics.”
Prebiotics are carbohydrates that cannot be
digested, but encourage the body to produce bacteria
to balance the digestive tract. Nutritional
supplements can be taken alone or with a meal.
While they may taste similar to a milkshake, sugar
content is more controlled than a fast food shake.
Smoothies and supplement drinks may feel “heavy”
on the stomach and patients may choose to alternate
them with juice. It’s important to read labels
whether you are buying from a “health food store” or
grocery. Prepackaged drinks may be labeled
“organic,” but may still contain sugar or artificial
sweeteners, or a mixture of juices that dominate the
Sugar is always a factor, but many juices (such
as cranberry, blueberry and pomegranate) come in
“100% pure” offerings. They contain no added
juices or sweetener. They are excellent
options, especially when dealing with kidney and
bladder infections, related to cancer therapy or
not. These juices come in concentrates,
providing fruity nutrients that can be taken by the
conservative spoonful, or mixed with water to flush
bacteria that sticks to the lining of the bladder.
The “pure” juices can be more costly than those with
apple or grape juice added, but in the long run they
may be versatile in ways the mixtures can’t be.
Ready to drink juices come in a wide variety, and
both standard grocery and health food stores have
good selections. Select two or three types and
offer a “tasting event” instead of a full meal,
pairing small amounts of juice with snack sized
portions of a meal.
VITAMINS AS “HELPING HANDS”
Vitamin supplements may be beneficial, but discuss
usage with the dietician. Liquid vitamin
supplements may be easier to swallow and stay down,
with less opportunity for reflux. Pills in
general have a tendency to “back up” the esophagus,
often when taken with small amounts of fluid.
Liquid vitamins may not have an ideal flavor, but
manufacturers have made improvements over the
Liquid vitamins can be added to juices that have
their own intense flavor. Pomegranate, acai
berry and cranberry are bold flavors that mix well
with other juices and might mask vitamin odors.
Enzymes help the body to digest food and pull
nutrients from the meal. They lighten the work
that the digestive tract has to do, and some people
find they get more out of a meal when these are
taken. Papaya tablets have been popular for
years, and for those who do not want to eat the
fruit itself, they’re a quick supplemental fix.
Other types of digestive enzymes are sold in
stores, and while many do the same work, read the
labels to narrow down choices. Find one that
does the trick and stick with it. A rule of
thumb to determine how well it’s working is how good
one feels. There can be more energy from the
same meal taken with enzymes than when no enzymes
are taken. Time between meals may last longer
because the feeling of satisfaction lasts.