The majority of people with SCI (60 percent) are overweight and often struggle with ways to rid themselves of their added pounds. However, we recently received an email from a consumer asking us for healthy ways to gain weight. He, like many other underweight individuals with SCI, struggles with trying to pack the pounds on. While this might not seem like such a dreadful problem to have, being too thin with a SCI has some serious health risks — namely pressure sores. People with SCI who are underweight have twice the risk of developing pressure sores than those who are of ideal weight.
While it’s really easy to stuff yourself with high calorie foods like cakes, cookies, chips and pasta to try and gain weight, you’ll also significantly increase your risk of heart disease, weaken your immune system and cause inflammation. So what kind of foods will increase your calories and maintain your health? Here’s a yummy list:
Avocados — these green gems are also loaded with fiber, good fats and B vitamins. Slice them in a salad or sandwich, blend them in a smoothie or make guacamole.
Whole grain pasta and bread (not whole wheat!) — add an extra serving or two of these a day to your diet and you’ll get the added fiber benefits of better bowel routines.
Nuts and seeds — walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts also contain protein to help maintain your skin, liver and immune health. Snack on these throughout the day.
Nut butters — almond and cashew butter contain healthy fats for multiple bodily functions and make a delicious spread on toast or added to smoothies.
Dried fruit — high in vitamin C to boost your immune system. Snack on these throughout the day.
Extra virgin olive oil — also contains healthy fats. Make your own salad dressings or use to dip your whole grain bread.
Below is a healthy weight-boosting recipe that you can pop in your mouth all da