Good nutrition helps keep you in good health. If you have a spinal cord injury eating well is even more important, as it can help your body resist infection and maintain good skin, bladder and bowel habits.

Healthy eating after your spinal cord injury[edit]

Eating a healthy diet helps you to feel your best by:

  1. encouraging regular bowel habits
  2. keeping your weight within a healthy range
  3. helping your body fight infection
  4. keeping your skin in top condition

What is a healthy diet?[edit]

One of the most important things about a healthy diet is that you eat a wide variety of different foods. The five food groups are listed below. Aim to eat foods from all five groups every day.

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs and Nuts: 2 1/2 serves

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1 serve = 60-100g cooked lean meat, chicken or fish or 2 eggs, 1/2 cup lean mince, 2 slices lean roast meat, 1/3 cup of nuts or 2 eggs

Note: try to limit sausages and processed meats as they are high in fat

Vegetables: 5+ serves

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1 serve = 1/2 cup cooked vegetables or 1 cup salad vegetables, 1 potato, 1/2 cup legumes

Note: try to eat a variety of different coloured vegetables. If you don't have fresh vegetables, frozen or canned are a good choice

Breads and Cereals: 4 serves

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1 serve= 1 slice bread or 3/4 cup cereal or 1 cup cooked rice or pasta, or 2 dry biscuits

Note: choose wholemeal or wholegrain breads, pasta and rice. High fibre breakfast cereals are ideal, ones based on a variety of grains like wheat, rice, corn and oats.

Fruit: 2 serves


1 serve= 1 piece fresh fruit or 1/2 cup tinned fruit (in natural juice)

Note: eat a variety of different coloured fruits and try to include one serve of citrus fruit (orange, mandarin, grapefruit) daily

Dairy: 3 serves

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1serve = 200g low fat or diet yoghurt, 250ml low fat milk or 1 slice low fat cheese

Note: choose reduced fat varieties of dairy foods. If you don't eat dairy foods, choose soy products with added calcium

Extra Foods - Fats, Sugars, Alcohol Limit 'extra foods' to once or twice per week and only have them in small amounts.

'Extras' are high in calories and include biscuits, cakes, chocolate, pastries, soft drinks, cordial, chips, and takeaway foods. If you are inactive or trying to lose weight you should limit these foods as much as possible.