When you’re injured, there are steps you can take to help your body heal faster and easier. Check out our 4 nutrition strategies for healing.
Whether you’re a professional athlete, recreational athlete, or everyday athlete, everyone experiences injuries from time to time, whether from sports or just our everyday activities. When injury does occur, there are important nutritional strategies to help your body more quickly and efficiently heal & recover to get you back on your feet as soon as possible! Make sure to try some of the top nutritional strategies to come back from an injury.
Inflammation plays an important part in the healing and recovery process, so while it is important to not completely avoid or try to eliminate all inflammation in the recovery process, it is important to manage it and make sure that you’re not making the inflammation worse either. Too much inflammation will make your recovery slower and can even cause more damage.
When eating for inflammation control, there are a few foods in particular that go a long way in helping to combat excess inflammation. The top anti-inflammatory foods include:
- Coconut oil
- Avocado & avocado oil
- Raw nuts
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh herbs
- Dark greens
- Raw cacao
- Green tea
High Nutrient Dense Foods
The body is repairing and rebuilding its tissues with the foods and drinks you’re providing it. The body requires necessary tools to use as the building blocks of your new tissues and also as the workers that build and put together these new tissues. These building blocks and workers that the body uses to rebuild are the nutrients you’re getting from food. When the body is not given the needed nutrients, then recovery will suffer. Just like a house, the construction of your body is only as good as the quality of the materials used. Also, your body requires even greater amounts of nutrients while under the greater stress of repairing your body. Thus, it’s essential to focus on getting an abundance of highly nutrient-dense foods to support optimal healing.
When eating for nutrient density, there are a few foods in particular that provide a great deal of true nutrition for the calories provided.
Nutrient Dense Foods
- Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards)
- Brussels sprouts
- Purple cabbage
- Raw cacao
- 100% whole grains (ancient grains)
Get Sufficient Fluids
Many Americans are already chronically dehydrated, and, when trying to recover from an injury, being dehydrated is that much more of a problem. The body requires certain amounts of water to function. Your body uses water to transfer nutrients to where they’re needed to help in the rebuilding process. Hydration is also essential to help carry debris out of the body. Without being properly hydrated, health and recovery will greatly suffer. There is no one amount of water that every individual must meet each day, as there are many individual factors that come in to play. Roughly, however, when healing, aim for approximately a gallon a day.
The best fluid of choice is obviously water. If not clean water, there are other acceptable fluids.
- Unsweetened herbal tea
- Unsweetened kombucha
- Unsweetened sparkling water
- Lemon or fruit infused water
- Freshly pressed juice (minimize)
Proper Preparation Methods
It’s not always enough to merely eat the right food, but it’s equally as important that those foods are prepared and processed in proper ways to ensure that the nutrition in the food is actually available and usable to the body. We’re not what we eat but what we digest, so it’s essential that food is eaten in a manner that’s truly going to nourish the body and allow for optimal nutrient assimilation.
How you choose to prepare your food also matters because you want to make sure you do not cook out the nutrition.
Make sure to avoid foods that have been processed or prepared by:
- Boiling (not ideal due to loss of nutrients)
- (Ultra) pasteurized
- Bleached or bromated
Following these key guidelines will ensure that you’re well on your way to boosting and speeding proper recovery from injury!