When you are exercising, there are chances that you will end up being injured. These could be due to your own fault or mistakes caused by others around you. Either way, it is in your best interest to make sure that the injured site is healed properly and quickly. Sometimes, this can influence your quality of life. Medical consultation and the use of pharmaceuticals are widely used to treat these injuries.
However, remember that your body is also doing its part in repairing itself. To do this, it will require a number of nutrients for different purposes such as generating energy to heal the injury or formation of new tissue. Eating foods rich in nutrients that aid injury healing could significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to completely heal, and may result in better outcomes. Some of these nutrients include:
Vitamin C plays numerous roles in the body, including acting as an antioxidant. It is also involved in all the stages of the healing process, right from when you get the injury up to when you are fully healed. Collagen is a connective tissue that is present in many parts of the body. The term connective tissue means that it holds tissues together. When injured, it may be required to keep the cells and other elements in the injured site in place, so that healing can occur.
Vitamin C is a critical micronutrient involved in the synthesis of collagen. Having reduced vitamin C levels in your body will reduce the rate of collagen formation, and your wound will heal slowly. The healing is also likely to occur poorly, and this could result in future medical complications such as keloid formation. Make sure you always eat a food rich in vitamin C (such as oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, papaya and sweet peppers) to bolster its levels since you will need more than the usual levels.
Vitamin A is an essential vitamin that is involved in immune function and cell differentiation. During the early stages of wound healing, your immune system needs to be active to prevent infection particularly if the injury is on the skin or otherwise open.
Vitamin A will facilitate the immune function to prevent this. It also increases collagen levels which get deposited around the wound to seal it, as well as helping in cell differentiation. The latter refers to a process where a cell transforms from one type to another in order to perform a different function. During wound healing, differentiation may be needed to form new types of tissues.
Foods rich in Vitamin A include live, egg yolk, dairy products and cod liver oil among others. For vegans, carrots, melons and dark leafy greens also provide high quantities of vitamin A. If you intend to also use supplements to increase your vitamin A levels, be careful as too much of it can be dangerous to your body.
Amino acids are the result of breakdown of proteins to their constituent elements. These acids are necessary for wound healing, since new tissue needs to be formed to heal the wound. Tissue is made up of cells, each of which has DNA. The tissue itself is also likely to be protein rich in nature. Amino acids help in the formation of DNA for the new cells, as well as protein for the tissue that will repair the wound site.
Essentially having a healthy, balanced diet will ensure that you make the most of these nutrients and more. During your healing process, it’s important that you learn about sports injury prevention as well as take up rehabilitation classes so that you can make sure the sport injury does not come back to haunt you again.