Ask any trainer worth their salt about injury recovery, and they will tell you that a recommended thing to do when you want to heal faster from injuries is to maintain high quality food intake every day. You need to start storing vitamins and minerals in your liver so that they can be triggered into action when needed. Athletes need to stay well-nourished and have sufficient vitamin C in their liver to promote healing. If you are unable to train because of a recent stress fracture or surgery, here’s how you can eat smart to heal faster and stave off weight gain as well.
You can enhance the healing process by selecting a variety of quality foods that can supply high amounts of vital nutrients to your body – the ones that it needs to function and heal. You do not to eliminate any food groups as they work together synergistically.
Botanicals, Spices and Herbs
You will benefit from the anti-inflammatory compounds that are found in these foods. If you consume them on a daily basis, in health and in sickness, you can lay a strong foundation for a quick recovery. Whole grains, vegetables, green tea, cocoa, garlic, turmeric, etc., are your best bets. If you are taking therapeutic doses of herbs and spices, it is recommended to take them in pill-form.
For example, after physical therapy, your body needs a consistent stream of amino acids to promote healing; protein digests into these amino acids and they are needed to repair damaged muscles. It is recommended that you include 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal and snack, especially after a surgery or post-surgery. Those protein amounts equate to a two-thirds of a cake of firm tofu (14 ounces); 3-4 ounces of fish, poultry or meat; one cup of cottage cheese; or three eggs.
Keep in mind that you still need carbohydrates for fuel. Yes, proteins can be used to heal and repair muscles but they may be burnt for fuel (hindering the healing process) if you eat too few carbs and calories.
Compared to vitamin pills, a large dosage of colorful fruits and vegetables provides more. Fruits and vegetables tend to have powerful anti-oxidants that can prevent inflammation so do not underestimate the healing powers of pineapples, broccoli, carrots, strawberries and blueberries. You can drink them by making tasty smoothies out of them.
Many athletes might need a boost of iron if they consume little or no red meat. If you think your iron stores are low, you can confirm your iron levels through blood tests for serum ferritin. To enhance the healing process, you may also want a little extra zinc, approximately 10 to 15 mg of it.
Fish Oils and Plants
The fats found in avocados, flax oils, ground flaxseeds, nuts, peanut butter, omega-3 fish oils as well as olive and canola oils contain anti-inflammatory properties. If you like eating fish, go for the oilier types such as albacore tuna, barramundi and Pacific salmon. It is recommended that you eat two or three fish meals per week. However, you need to reduce your intake of the omega-6 fats that are found in packaged foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils.
Eat smarter, heal faster – You can also learn more about recovering from an injury with the help of the Train Away Pain team today!