What is the best protein powder for stroke patients?


drink wholesome is the best protein powder for stroke patients. It is made with a short list of simple ingredients, so you can boost your protein intake without the extra processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you. 

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drink wholesome is the best protein powder for stroke patients.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

What is the role of diet in stroke prevention and treatment?


A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Stroke is one of the major causes of morbidity and disability in developed countries.

It is thought that as many as 9 out of 10 strokes are associated with modifiable risk factors. Diet is one of these factors, and there is growing interest in understanding its influence on stroke risk.

A review of scientific studies found that diets rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and dairy and low in meat, sweets, and alcohol significantly improved risk factors for stroke. Several epidemiological studies have also demonstrated an association between higher protein intake and reduced risk of stroke.

Diet also plays an important role in supporting stroke recovery. The consequences of having a stroke include several functional limitations, including: reduced muscle strength, reduced circulation, reduced physical capacity and functional fitness, and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).

Existing literature describes how dietary changes, particularly reduced protein intake, may exacerbate these limitations. Achieving a balanced diet and adequate protein intake after a stroke can therefore accelerate the effects of rehabilitation and prevent further complications.

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How much protein do stroke patients need?


Malnutrition, specifically protein deficiency, has been cited as a frequent complication of having a stroke. One of the leading causes of malnutrition in stroke patients is difficulty eating and drinking. Stroke patients can lose their eating and drinking abilities due to disorders of consciousness, swallowing problems, postural instability, decreased mobilization, limitations in communication, fatigue, depression, and visuospatial deficits.

Malnutrition and protein deficiency in stroke patients may also be caused by stroke induced inflammation, which increases energy expenditure and promotes muscle catabolism. It follows that nearly 90% of stroke patients have a risk of malnutrition, and hospitalized stroke patients consume, on average, only 80-91% of the protein they need.

Again, there is ample evidence that malnutrition is associated with poor outcome in stroke patients, and that protein deficiency in particular impairs recovery. Considering the negative effects of low calorie and protein intake in the prognosis of stroke patients, it is clear that protein and calorie targets should be reached as soon as possible.

Moreover, given that dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) contributes to malnutrition risk in stroke patients, liquid protein supplements are often a must. A drinkable source of calories and protein is often needed to get stroke patients the nutrients they need to recover.

The protein requirements for stroke patients are high. The average healthy adult needs to eat 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. Hospitalized stroke patients, for the reasons outlined above, may need twice that much. This means that a 150 pound stroke patient would need to eat over 100 grams of protein every day

Stroke patients should aim to get as much protein as they can from dietary protein sources like eggs, fish, legumes, nuts, and meat, but this is often impossible due to lost or impaired eating and drinking abilities. Adding a protein shake to their diet is a great way to ensure that they are getting enough protein to curb muscle wasting and promote recovery.

protein-powder-for-stroke-patients

What is the best protein powder for stroke patients?


Not all protein supplements are created equal. The differences have nothing to do with the type of protein; any type of protein powder can help you meet your nutritional needs. It is the other ingredients, emulsifiers, thickeners, sweeteners, flavors, etc., that you have to worry about. Additives like these can cause painful side effects and long term gut health problems.

The latter is particularly concerning for stroke patients. Research shows that gut health plays an important role in stroke, stroke prognosis, and stroke recovery. Moreover, compositional and functional alterations to the gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in your gut – are linked to stroke risk factors. It follows that the best protein powder for stroke patients is made with a short list of simple, gut-friendly ingredients. Continue reading to learn more.

Why drink wholesome


drink wholesome is additive-free.

We make the best protein powder for stroke patients for several reasons. For staters, we do not use any food additives at all. This means we avoid ingredients like gums, lecithin, artificial flavors, and sweeteners. These added ingredients, even in small quantities, can cause uncomfortable side effects, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.

Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

The problem with food additives is that they do not resemble real food, making them tough for your body to process. As a result, they can linger in your digestive system l, giving your gut bacteria extra time to feed on them. When these bacteria eat, they produce gas, which can lead to bloating, flatulence, and stomach pain. Additionally, they can slow down the movement of food through your colon, causing constipation.

In some cases, partially digested food additives can mess with your colon’s ability to absorb or release water, leading to a condition known as osmotic diarrhea. This might be why you find yourself rushing to the bathroom after drinking protein shakes.

vanilla protein powder 28 servings lifestyle image 1
vegan vanilla protein powder lifestyle image 2

Over time, consuming food additives regularly can disturb regulatory pathways in your intestines, triggering the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders. Common food additives like artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols can also disturb your gut microbiome over time. Once again, an unhealthy gut microbiome is linked to an increased risk of stroke, and can even exacerbate stroke severity

the alternative:

Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate,  Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids,  Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain

drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we produce the best protein powder for stroke patients is our exclusion of dairy-based proteins such as whey and casein. These proteins, derived from cheese and yogurt production, contain lactose, the sugar in dairy.

Lactose is widely recognized for causing painful side effects, particularly among individuals with lactose intolerance. A majority of adults experience some level of lactose intolerance, meaning they lack the enzymes required to fully digest lactose. As you have recently discovered, the partial digestion of food is a primary factor behind many digestive issues.

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we create the best protein powder for stroke patients is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. In contrast, nearly all other protein powders are made using one or both of these protein sources. Concentrates and isolates are essentially foods that have been stripped of everything except the protein content. They undergo intensive mechanical and chemical processing, at times involving solvents such as hexane. Consequently, what you put into your body bears no resemblance to real food.

Your digestive system is naturally designed to process unprocessed or minimally-processed real foods, not protein concentrates or isolates. This is why an increasing body of research is uncovering that regularly consuming refined ingredients like these disrupt the balance of your gut microbiome. As you have recently learned, an imbalanced gut microbiome is a matter of significant concern for stroke patients.

vegan chocolate protein powder lifestyle image 1
chocolate protein powder 28 servings lifestyle image 2

In place of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best protein powder for stroke patients with egg whites and almonds. These minimally-processed ingredients serve as a gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.

In contrast to protein isolates and concentrates, egg whites and almonds contain enzymes and natural digestive aids that facilitate their breakdown. Furthermore, egg whites are low in fiber, low in FODMAPs, alkaline (which helps maintain healthy pH levels in your gut), and bioactive (encourages the growth of healthy gut bacteria). Our satisfied customers have reported experiencing fewer digestive issues with our egg white protein powder compared to any other protein supplement.

For individuals unable to consume eggs, our vegan almond protein powder stands as the best plant-based protein powder for stroke patients. Almonds are prebiotics, enhancing the diversity of your gut microbiome. They also promote regular, healthy bowel movements. To sum it up, our protein powders, thanks to their short list of simple ingredients, rank as the best protein powder for stroke patients.

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PROTEIN POWDER SAMPLES

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This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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The Best Protein Powder Choices for Stroke Patients

Introduction

Protein plays a crucial role in the recovery and rehabilitation of stroke patients. It aids in the repair and regeneration of damaged tissues and muscles, while also supporting overall health and well-being. However, not all protein powders are created equal, and stroke patients have unique dietary considerations. In this blog post, we will explore the best protein powder options for stroke patients, with a special focus on egg white protein powder and almond protein powder.

Understanding the Nutritional Needs of Stroke Patients

Before delving into specific protein powder choices, it’s essential to understand the nutritional needs of stroke patients. Stroke survivors often face a range of challenges that can impact their dietary requirements:

  1. Muscle Recovery: Stroke can lead to muscle weakness and atrophy. Protein is essential for rebuilding and strengthening muscles during rehabilitation.
  2. Swallowing Difficulties: Some stroke patients may experience dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. This can make it challenging to consume solid foods, making protein supplements a valuable option.
  3. Nutrient Absorption: Stroke may affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. Easily digestible protein sources can help address this issue.
  4. Overall Health: Stroke patients often require a diet that supports heart health, manages blood pressure, and reduces the risk of future strokes or other complications.

Considering these factors, let’s explore two protein powder options that are particularly suitable for stroke patients.

Egg White Protein Powder: A Nutrient-Packed Option

Egg white protein powder is an excellent choice for stroke patients due to its numerous nutritional benefits:

  1. High-Quality Protein: Egg whites contain high-quality protein, rich in essential amino acids. This protein is vital for tissue repair and muscle strength.
  2. Low in Fat: Egg white protein powder is virtually fat-free, making it suitable for stroke patients who need to manage their fat intake.
  3. Low in Cholesterol: Stroke survivors often need to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and egg white protein powder is cholesterol-free.
  4. Easily Digestible: Egg white protein is easily digestible, making it a suitable option for stroke patients with swallowing difficulties or compromised digestive systems.
  5. Nutrient Density: Egg whites are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including B-vitamins, potassium, and magnesium, which are important for overall health.

Almond Protein Powder: A Plant-Based Alternative

For stroke patients who prefer a plant-based protein option or have allergies to eggs, almond protein powder is an excellent choice:

  1. Plant-Based Protein: Almond protein powder is derived from almonds, making it a suitable plant-based protein source.
  2. Low Allergenicity: Almonds are less likely to trigger allergies compared to some other nuts, making almond protein powder a safe option for many individuals.
  3. Heart-Healthy Fats: Almonds are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and provide essential nutrients like vitamin E, which supports cardiovascular health.
  4. Digestibility: Almond protein is easily digestible, which is beneficial for stroke patients who may have digestive issues.
  5. Prebiotic Properties: Almonds have prebiotic effects, promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which can support overall digestive health.

How to Incorporate Protein Powder into a Stroke Patient’s Diet

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of egg white protein powder and almond protein powder, let’s explore how to incorporate these protein sources into a stroke patient’s diet:

  1. Protein Smoothies: Protein smoothies are a convenient way to add protein powder to the diet. Blend protein powder with fruits, vegetables, yogurt, or milk (dairy or dairy alternatives) for a nutritious and delicious shake.
  2. Oatmeal or Porridge: Stir protein powder into oatmeal or hot cereal to boost its protein content. This is a warm and comforting option for stroke patients.
  3. Soups and Broths: Add protein powder to soups or broths for an extra protein punch. Make sure to blend the soup thoroughly to ensure a smooth texture, which is essential for stroke patients with swallowing difficulties.
  4. Baking: Incorporate protein powder into baked goods like muffins, pancakes, or protein bars. This can be an enjoyable way to increase protein intake.
  5. Yogurt or Pudding: Mix protein powder into yogurt or pudding for a creamy and protein-rich snack or dessert.
  6. Nut Butter Protein Balls: Combine protein powder with nut butter and other ingredients to create protein balls or energy bites. These portable snacks are ideal for on-the-go nutrition.
  7. Consult a Dietitian: Stroke patients should consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare provider to develop a personalized nutrition plan that meets their specific needs and preferences.

Important Considerations

While egg white protein powder and almond protein powder can be beneficial for stroke patients, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Allergies: Ensure that the chosen protein powder does not trigger any allergies or sensitivities in the patient.
  2. Swallowing Difficulties: For patients with dysphagia, it’s crucial to choose protein powder that can be easily mixed into a smooth, liquid consistency to minimize choking hazards.
  3. Medication Interactions: Some protein supplements may interact with medications. Consult with a healthcare professional to avoid any potential issues.
  4. Individual Tolerance: Every stroke patient is unique. It’s essential to monitor how the patient responds to the chosen protein powder and adjust the diet accordingly.

Conclusion

Protein is a vital component of a stroke patient’s diet, supporting their recovery and overall health. Egg white protein powder and almond protein powder offer excellent options due to their nutritional benefits, digestibility, and versatility. When incorporated into a well-balanced diet, these protein sources can contribute to the rehabilitation and well-being of stroke patients. However, it’s crucial for stroke patients to consult with their healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to ensure that their dietary choices align with their specific medical needs and preferences.

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