That goes doubly for a period of recovery from injury. As your body heals, it is rebuilding internal structures and elements, and it needs those building blocks. In addition, there are many nutrients and compounds that help the body to activate and make the most of its power to heal.
Here’s a look at ten foods and food groups that will help you boost your recovery from injury.
Lean sources of protein are extremely important to your overall recovery. Protein is a key component of muscle tissue. When your muscles are torn or injured, they lose mass. Protein helps to rebuild, and can also help you minimize muscle loss during the period that you are convalescent and unable to workout at your regular intensity, or even at all.
Citrus fruits are rich in many nutrients, but are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is key to recovery. Of course, there are many other fruits and vegetables that contain Vitamin C such as bell peppers, strawberries, and kiwi fruit.
The Omega-3 Fatty Acids in fatty fish such as mackerel, trout and salmon help to control inflammation, which naturally occurs where there has been injury.
Baked beans and some legumes are good sources of zinc. Zinc is a mineral that can aid in the recovery process. It plays a key role in helping wounded tissues to rebuild. Research shows that not getting enough zinc can slow down your recovery.
Dairy products contain calcium, which – as Mom used to say – is good for your bones. In fact, it’s crucial to their repair. It also helps your muscles to contract properly by aiding the transmission of nerve signals.
Vitamin D is a kind of symbiote with calcium, in that it helps the body to absorb the crucial mineral. It is also a natural pain management agent. One recent study showed that boosting Vitamin D intake sped up the healing process.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant, and as such helps protect the body’s cells against damage. It also plays a crucial role in the creation of white blood cells, which fight infection.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to control what is called oxidative stress, or the damage to your body by free radicals. It can be exacerbated by injury – even by exercising too much.
Anthocyanins are the compounds in fruits and vegetables that gives them a purple, dark red, or blue shade. It reduces inflammation, which reduces aches and pains.
Nitrates become nitric oxide in the body, a compound that helps to increase the blood flow that is needed to promote healing in the body.
Diet is always important to good health. When your body is injured, it needs extra nutritional help to heal faster and more fully. If you have any questions about diet or other issues related to recovery from injury, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy and sports medicine clinics for a consultation.