Enriching your diet is one of the key factors to fasten up injury recovery.
An injury is always accompanied by inflammation. An inflammatory response is a crucial step in the natural healing process, however it presents a big challenge to our immune system.
Upon injury, the immune system is stimulated to start a complex series of reactions to begin the healing process. Specific immune cells travel to the target site and some immune cells engulf and destroy infection/bacteria while others isolate the affected area to save the surrounding healthy tissue. The healthy cells near the injury site also become more active and use extra oxygen and energy to rebuild the damaged tissue.
To ensure the effective action of all these processes, a good enriched diet is a must, else the system would fail to carry on the burden.
The diet choices can either help or slow down a speedy recovery, so read on to find out how you can help yourself:
For faster injury recovery, one must look at both the quality and quantity of diet as now you need to supply enough nutrients to first maintain the energy requirements and then to repair the injured tissues. The immune system has to be well boosted during this time to ward off opportunistic infections while you are injured.
1. Protein for Faster Injury Recovery
Protein builds our muscles, skin, and other body tissues. It also plays several other important roles in our body like functioning as enzymes, hormones, transport proteins and as antibodies. Upon tissue damage, proteins come to rescue and repair the damaged tissue.
Imagine how the system will collapse if there is an injury but not enough supply of protein to fix the damaged tissue. Taking a protein rich diet is the first major step to ensure faster injury recovery. Common source of good protein are egg whites, lean meat, cottage cheese and fish.
Seafood is another good source of protein. Fish contains not only protein but also omega-3 fatty acids. The omega 3s are well known to have anti-inflammatory properties. They remove every interference that might occur in the healing of fractures or sprained tissues.
During this time, one should cut down on red meats and feed more on lean meats and oily fish like tuna and salmon. Other diets like keto also supply good protein to promote faster healing.
2. Vitamin D and Injury Recovery
Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more and more common worldwide. Ensuring adequate Vitamin D levels is pivotal for a range of body functions and hence for faster injury recovery too. It not only ensures healthy bone formation, optimum gut health but also stimulates the immune system and helps to speed up injury recovery.
Vitamin D deficiency not only causes bone pain and osteoporosis, but also a range of conditions like muscle weakness, muscle pain & muscle twitching, fatigue, frequent infections and autoimmune disorders.
Vitamin D rich foods include egg yolks, oily fish, mushrooms, fortified milk and cereals. Fortunately, sun is available as the chief, natural and easy source of vitamin D. One should not wear sunscreen while trying to get Vitamin D from sun. Regular exposure to sun could help improve the healing process & ensure faster injury recovery.
3. Eat Fresh
Fresh fruits and vegetables are highly concentrated in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Ensure to stay away from preserved foods and feast on fresh fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin C has good reputation for its significant function in repair of worn-out tissues. It improves flesh and skin healing in case of cuts or breakages . It also aids the biosynthetic process of collagen in our body. Collagen strengthens and helps build important tissues like blood vessels & other connective tissues.
Vitamin A is also useful in wound healing as it improves immunity by producing white blood cells which work in the immune system to fight against infections. Vitamin E is also an important vitamin for repair as it is an antioxidant and it fights and destroys the harmful free radicals.
All the essential vitamins and minerals can be obtained in abundance from freshly harvested foods like peppers, carrots, citrus fruits, pineapples, sweet potatoes & strawberries.
4. Improve Gut Health
Our body contains some naturally occurring microorganisms in the gut. These are known as Normal Flora (bacteria). Unlike foreign microbes, normal florae are friendly and beneficial to our body. Surprisingly, about 70% of our body’s immune system is found as normal flora located in the gut. They perform several useful functions, one of which is producing white blood cells. They also stimulate the synthesis of vitamin K, which is involved in blood clotting in injuries.
While recovering from an injury, it becomes important to boost the growth of these normal florae through diet. High fiber foods like oats, barley and apples are recommended because these bacteria feed on the fiber and flourish. Some foods like garlic and onions also provide fuel to these bacteria (Probiotics). One should also take more of fermented foods like plain yogurt as they contain live cultures of these beneficial bacteria.
5. Cut down on sugar
If you talk about wound healing, then sugar is the first thing to be cut down else the repair will be undoubtedly slow. You cannot talk about injury recovery if high sugar is there. This is extremely important for people with diabetes or even prediabetes. There are a number of death cases from small curable injuries merely because of sugar induced damage.
As sugar levels increase, the inflammation increases which slows wound healing. Moreover, high sugar also depletes some key vitamins and minerals required for immunity.
6. Cut Wheat
For tough cases, even wheat can be cut down as wheat also has a tendency to induce inflammation. Use wheat alternatives like buckwheat, millets, amaranth and quinoa.
A good diet is the best natural medicine and hence the best way to fasten injury recovery. Ensure a diet rich in protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals with plenty of rest.
FAQs(Frequently Asked Questions)
What causes slow Injury Healing?
What are the signs of wound healing?
2. Swelling, redness, pain, warmth and a clear discharge.
3. New growth of tissue as the wound heals.
What are the three stages of tissue repair?
2. Proliferative phase involving new cells formation.
3. Remodeling phase where the tissue is repaired and new skin is formed.