Eating for Injury Recovery: Your Guide to Quick Healing

bandaged hand reaching for a green apple

Most injuries heal in time. Whether you’ve broken your arm while playing football with your pals or were involved in a road accident, if your injuries are minor, you will be up and moving about in a few weeks. All you need is rest, medication, and maybe physical therapy to return to your normal life.

If you have a more severe injury, such as a fracture or a torn ligament, it might take months for the healing process to take place. In some cases, you may need surgery to get rid of that pesky bump on your nose or to attach that loose ligament back into its proper place.

If you’re on the road to recovery, whether from a minor or serious injury, it is important to replenish your body with the right nutrients. If you don’t want to be stuck in bed all day, you need to consume all these nutrients to develop muscles and bones, heal injuries, and even prevent future injuries from occurring.

Protein

When you are injured, your body is under a lot of stress. You may not realize it now but the injury itself is a form of stress on your body. Your body responds to this stress by releasing hormones that can actually slow down the healing process if they become too overwhelming.

Protein helps the immune system fight off injuries by stimulating cell growth and building up muscles. You won’t build new tissues or bones with just protein alone, but you will certainly help your body heal more quickly by consuming foods rich in proteins. These include eggs, fish, meat, peas, beans, lentils, yogurt.

You can also add micellar casein from natural sources to your morning smoothie or cup of coffee to boost your intake of protein.

Calcium
person holding a glass of milk

Calcium, too, is a requirement for bone health. If you have a broken leg or a serious injury that requires surgery, the calcium will help your bones heal as quickly as possible.

If you’re not getting enough calcium from natural sources, you can eat dairy products such as milk and yogurt or take supplements to make up for the shortfall.

Healthy Fats

Another nutrient for fast injury recovery is healthy fats found in nuts and olive oil. Fats are an important part of the diet, but they need to be consumed in moderation. Too much fat can slow down your immune system and make it more difficult for your body to fight off injuries, which would only make the healing process even longer.

Omega-3 fatty acids are especially helpful when it comes to injury recovery. These fats promote a sound mind as well as a healthy heart and can help reduce inflammation that comes with serious injuries such as broken bones or torn ligaments. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts have plenty of omega 3 fatty acids. Other sources include salmon, flaxseed oil, sardines, tuna fish.

Complex Carbohydrates

Healthy foods rich in proteins and fats will definitely benefit you when you’re injured, but it’s just as important that you eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates. These can be found in fruits and vegetables especially bananas, oranges, pears, grapes. Other sources of carbs include gluten-free bread and rolls, brown rice, whole grain pasta.

Complex carbohydrates provide a steady supply of energy during the day when your body is most in need of it. So if you feel yourself going limp after lunchtime, try eating a meal with plenty of starchy carbs such as sweet potatoes or fruit to perk up your energy levels again.

Vitamins C, D, and E

Injury recovery is incomplete without vitamin C and the other antioxidants, vitamin E and D. These vitamins help strengthen your body’s immune system and keep it running at its best. Be sure to eat citrus fruits and dairy products like milk and cottage cheese to get plenty of these vitamins in your diet.

You can get these vitamins from supplements if you don’t get them from your diet. But make sure to take only the recommended dosage and consult a medical professional before starting any supplement regimen.

In addition to food, recovery from injury will require a few more lifestyle changes including adequate sleep every night. An adult needs about 8 hours of sleep each night because it’s when the body heals itself.

You should also relax during this time and stay away from any activities that will place additional stress on your injury. The best thing to do while you are recovering is to eat nutritious meals, get your rest, and be sure not to push yourself too hard physically.

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