We do our best to eat healthy every day. However, when injuries occur, there are many ways to change our diet to speed up the recovery process.
The first thing to know is that when you get injured, your tissues become inflamed. This leads to pain, swelling, and reddening of the injured area. A small amount of inflammation is good. It helps heals cuts and repairs damages. The problem is when your body is inflamed for long periods of time. Your immune system stays in high gear which can prevent healing and lead to more damages.
Anna Turner, RD, CSSD, and nutritionist at St. Vincent Sport Performance agree that, “for soft tissue injuries—that’s everything from a sprain to a strain or tear to tendinitis—reducing inflammation becomes your biggest objective.”
Many foods fight inflammation. Before you rely purely on IBUprofen, consider some of the following suggested foods:
Fats that Fight Inflammation:
- Olive Oil
- Fish Oil
- Flax Oil or Ground Flax
- Fish like Mackerels, Salmon, and Sardines
- Mixed Nuts
Herbs and Spices that Fight Inflammation:
- Curcumin from Turmeric/Curry Powder
- Bromelain from Pineapple
- Cocoa, Tea, and Berries
- Vitamin A – 10,000 per day
- Copper – 2-4 mg per day
- Vitamin C – 1g/2g per day
- Zinc – 15-20 mg per day
Eating produce is the most natural way of supplying your body with nutrients. Include a diverse amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet to ensure that you are receiving as many nutrients as possible.
Eat Adequate Protein
Minimally processed meats will not contain hormones and chemicals that could hinder the healing process. Eggs, fish, legumes, and plant-based proteins are the most efficient sources of protein to help you recover.
Limit Your Carbs
Carbs are a great source of energy when you are working out. Unfortunately, you must limit your carb intake now that your caloric burn has decreased. Unused carbs turn into sugar which can cause inflammation.
Cut Back on the Booze
You are injured… Now what? It’s easy to replace running with drinking beers with friends. Alcohol is a major contributor to inflammation and can prolong your healing time. Skip the pours and let your body heal.
You are what you eat. I am sure you have heard that saying before. The term also applies when you are suffering through an injury. Eat the right nutrition to heal faster and get back to doing the activities that you love!