Any person whether an athlete or not feels depressed when they take more time to heal from any surgery or an injury. But it is inevitable at some point of our life. Whether it’s minor or major, this is a challenge for you and your body to retain the fitness level again.
But fitness freaks consider exercise, working out, sports and game as stress-buster! You can read our this blog to know how to create a fitness plan you actually enjoy. So, when they get injured, their ego hurts and they thrive to back into the game in a short span of time. But there isn’t any magic pill for circumventing the natural healing process of the body. It’s the wonder of the ancient method which will power your healing process.
Food is enough to do the magic all by itself as nutrition heals us inside out. For that, you must have plentiful wholesome natural and balanced diet. But you need to plot the nutrients scientifically into the body so it heals the injury or wound from inside. You must comply with the consistent and long-term approach to eating nutritious options to recover fast.
Remember, healing will only take place when you push it to do so! Every injury comes with 3 recovery stages. Inflammation is the primary one that will take place in the initial stage of the injury. Body puts its effort to mitigate the inflammation by promoting protective inflammation. Some of its signs are heat, redness and swelling.
This beneficial inflammation will lead to proliferation. Soon, nutrients and oxygen start flowing back to the site. Collagen fibre will form scar tissue which will be followed by remodelling phase in which actual healing will begin.
Here in this blog, we will give you a clear picture how different essential nutrients promote the entire process of healing. So, continue reading to know which foods you should eat in this entire period.
Every person is different and so; ensure that you are following correct meal plan and diet. This will address the trauma of the injury you are suffering from. Although you need to consult with the experienced doctor yet try to know what ingredients have in every food along with the properties.
Let’s check what some major injuries you can experience are.
Here are some injuries which recovery takes time and proper nutrition plays an integral role in it.
Soft tissue and muscle injuries will range from ruptured tendons to torn ligaments and to sprains. These connective and soft tissues comprise of elastin and collagen including other organic components. With consumption of right amount of foods you can boost the production of such natural compounds for affecting regeneration time.
Bad trauma not always but in most cases, ends up by a fracture in the bones. Based on the body part and activity you do it can last for several months or weeks. Sometimes, it can sideline any athletes for the entire season which is why you need to give entire focus on its recovery.
From bad infections to deep cuts, injuries can happen in several kinds. In case, you have to deal with lesions without soft-tissue damage and fracture then several foods are there for accelerating the recovery.
Before we proceed to the essential foods during the healing period, it is imperative to know the significance of proper nutrition in this time. Most people consider that recovery of injury is all about rehabilitation routines and physical therapy sessions. But it is beyond that!
All you know that body is at continuous work to bring it back into healthy and fit position. But to promote the body so that it works consistently you need nutrition. This provides the body necessary resources for speedy recovery. Here’s how nutrition helps in healing the injury:
After an accident or injury your body will trigger multiple responses along overall inflammation. Soon, the body starts releasing damaged cells stimulating inflammatory immune response. Although a natural process yet if it stays in inflammatory state the body thwarts the healing ability. That’s why you have to consume anti-inflammatory foods to heal the body naturally.
During recovering period from injury you are not in mobile state and hence muscle becomes atrophy when the body is inactive within 2 weeks. During nursing the injury which deems bed rest, diet is the only solution for this problem. All you need to do is to have amino acids and protein for maintaining the muscle mass. Hence, you can easily avoid atrophy as well.
In case you have performed surgery for the injury then it is obvious to face several side effects. The most common of them are loss of healthy bacteria in the gut, constipation and nausea because of high dose of post-op antibiotics. So, you should include liquid diet full of probiotics and prebiotics for better and fast recovery.
Now, we will see the nutrients and foods essential for recovery of injury:
While you are in recovery mode from an injury the appetite will sink. It is natural as your body becomes sedentary and you start thinking of gaining some extra kilos. As a result, you may want to have less food. But this should not be your key priority.
Instead, you should focus on post-injury nutrition to heal faster and for that you have to take enough calories. Remember, your body is at persistent work to repair its damage and it needs lots of energy. By having few calories you are actually depriving the body of what it needs at that moment to carry out the job effectively.
Hence, the calories number you need at this moment will differ from when you were fit and doing well! A sedentary body needs minimum 1600 calories but you must have 20% more.
Moreover, to make most of it the quality is very important. Not every food is like fuel and so deep-fried and heavily processed foods are not a good choice to accelerate your recovery. Instead, have handful of fatty, salty, sugary, natural and wholesome snacks for a fuel of energy to heal faster.
Try to increase the amount of calories in the diet by including:
The intake of adequate protein regards as the paramount of healing. Although long-term injuries need long rest for about 6 weeks yet muscle will atrophy 0.5% regularly. Moreover the quadriceps will lose 8% of muscle mass and hence you will lose about 23% of strength.
Therefore for rehabilitation you must have sufficient protein. This will also maintain the mass of lean muscle in your body. In accordance to the expert, every injured person must intake protein once in every couple of hours and targets for 1.5-2 g/kg from normal 0.8g/kg.
Also adding leucine in the diet should be your key priority as this amino acid will incorporate the switching of protein synthesis. One must have leucine-rich edible items like seeds, nuts, fish, meat and cheese all over the day.
You can also have casein-rich (dairy products) before going to bed as it will gradually release into the main bloodstream. Consult with the doctor to know about working out overtime to recover at fast pace.
Therefore, you must have the following foods in your diet:
To heal any wound, it is better to have short-term inflammation stints. But excessive or chronic inflammation will obtain no help from it. There are only 2 kinds of nutrients which inhibit or promote inflammation- Omega 3 and Omega 6. The latter one is helpful for the body to fight inflammation but in a minimum quantity.
But we consume it in a high quantity which is not going to help at all. Some instances of Omega 6 rich foods are vegetable oils, deep-fried foods and processed junk foods. Hence, all of these will promote inflammation. But what you actually need to do is to maintain the balance of ratio of Omega 3 with Omega 6.
Therefore you have to intake Omega 3 too as these anti-inflammatory will mitigate the bad effects of Omega 6. You can bring this change by replacing the cooking oils with Omega 3 foods such as seeds, nuts and sea foods. Similarly, by cutting the amount of processed and junk foods you can reduce chronic inflammation in the body.
So, include these foods in your diet for a healthy and fast recovery:
According to health expert, after having an injury it is necessary to ensure that the body doesn’t lack or deficient from any micronutrients. If there is any, then you need to take specific supplement for it. However, it is obvious that most people don’t have lots of fresh vegetables and fruits in the diet.
Therefore, you should make dietary change by including a fist of vegetables and fruits in every meal. This will ensure that you are getting proper amount of micronutrients.
Vitamin A is really helpful for early inflammation and Vitamin C promotes the production of collagen. Copper increases the number of red blood cells and Zinc will contribute to tissue repair and regeneration.
Other foods with antioxidant properties which you must have daily are flavonoids (cocoa and blueberry), garlic, Boswellia and pineapple and turmeric. Having lots of medication at the time of recovery can cause constipation; but don’t worry these foods will make everything normal and easy for you.
Some other foods rich in anti-oxidants are:
Medications will alter the gastrointestinal system. Having lots of probiotics especially fermented foods like miso, yogurt, kombucha and kimchi will promote healing of the injury. Simultaneously, you can enjoy having mushrooms, wheat, oats and barley to rebuild the gut bacteria.
Other foods to have after surgery are:
Now you have come to know the foods which promote healing and recovery from injury. It’s the time to have a look at the foods which you should avoid in this time as well. Firstly, the basic culprits top the list including overeating, heavily processed foods and alcohol. Refined sugar is another one in the list you must avoid to avoid unwanted or sudden weight gain. It can increase inflammation by counteracting the anti-inflammtory impacts of fish oils.
You must keep an eye on the calorie intake too. Although it plays a crucial role in healing yet excessive amount of Omega- 3 will suppress the inflammatory response. Remember, some degrees of inflammation are necessary to promote blood circulation and nutrient transportation at the site of injury. As a result, you will recover from it very fast.
Remember apart from proper nutrition you need to follow the doctor’s instructions strictly to heal from the injury quickly. In the meantime, if you face or develop any other problem consult with the doctor directly. Moreover, it is also better to consult a healthcare professional to know which diet and food options are better to promote your overall health healing the injury faster.