The connection between food and wellbeing is well documented – particularly for people recovering from medical conditions. Mediclinic has professional dietitians working with kitchen staff to create meals that meet a patient’s unique nutritional needs.

We know that a well-balanced diet plays a vital role in our patients’ healing journey. The immune systems of hospital patients must work harder, which means they need a specific meal plan based on their condition. For example, a patient might require more protein, higher calories or a diet with a softer texture that allows easier chewing and swallowing. The dietitians and kitchen staff at Mediclinic facilities are on hand to take close care of these needs. 

Staff in Mediclinic kitchens prepare fresh, nutritious patient meals.

“Studies have shown that better nutrition leads to better patient outcomes.”

– Maya du Plessis, a dietitian at Mediclinic Stellenbosch

Maya du Plessis, a dietitian at Imagine Dietitians based at Mediclinic Stellenbosch, focuses on nutritional healing. Having experienced juvenile rheumatoid arthritis as a child, she witnessed the impact that food had on her own healing, inspiring her to use food and nutrition to aid her patients’ recovery. “Studies have shown that better nutrition leads to better patient outcomes, such as less infectious complications and a decrease in the length of a patient’s hospital stay,” she explains. “In addition, correct nutrition accelerates wound healing.”  

Meals may be modified according to individual patient needs, under the guidance of a qualified dietitian.

Dietitians inform the kitchen staff about any changes or additions that need to be made to a patient’s diet. “We act as a middleman between the patient and the kitchen,” says Du Plessis.

Dietary changes 

Changes to a diet can take the form of wholewheat and full-cream options or additional protein snacks like a boiled egg, nuts, or yoghurt. 

Along with medical management, a personalised nutrition plan is vital for a patient’s recovery. “Patients with allergies, diabetes, and those with renal issues all have very different dietary requirements,” says Du Plessis. The dietitians also advise patients how they can continue to implement dietary changes at home after discharge. 

In or out of hospital, a healthy diet is crucial for your wellbeing and that of your family. Click here to find an expert dietitian at a Mediclinic near you.   


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