Earlier this week, Metro ran a great story written by Brian Towie on the healing powers of nutrition, “Repair, regenerate." Great timing, considering I ran into a car only last Friday and could use these pearls of natural wisdom.
The article (which was not published online for some reason) suggested that we focus on 4 important aspects of recovery:
- Stay hydrated
- Ingest high-quality proteins (0.8g per kilogram of body weight)
- Don’t ignore your fruits and veggies
- Include poly- and mono-saturated fats in your diet
Water is life. And every year experts are discovering that you need more to maintain proper body functioning. Last time I checked it was 1 litre daily, now some believe you need about 3-4 litres of water daily, depending on your size, to flush out accumulating toxins and keep well hydrated.
As for the good protein (chicken, fish, lean red meats, eggs, whey protein powder and soy product) it is important to healing because of the antibodies it contains which helps rebuild torn and pulled muscles. But your body also needs good quality carbs (whole grain breads, brown rice, quinoa, millet and barley) to help synthesize these proteins into new muscle tissue.
Essential to healing and growing yourself a younger bod , fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients . These nutritional chemicals all help get rid of cellular, chemical and other waste in the body. Increase your healing potential by consuming 2 cups of orange and dark green veggies and 5 servings of fruit per day.
A clever trick to getting your daily dose of fruits is through smoothies. These nutritionally packed blended meals give you a mix of protein and carbohydrates from the milk or soy beverage, and yogurt that’s high in Omega-3 fatty acids (which help with circulation). Check out Live Lighter’s smoothie recipes .
Lube your joints and prevent inflammation with ploy- and mono-saturated fats. Fats have such a bad reputation but there are differences between fats. Good for you fats (they battle the bad fats, improve cardiovascular functioning, help nutrient absorption and may actually help you lose weight) can be found in avocados, olive and soybean oils, nuts and ground flax seeds.
Finally, the article warns to eat less (even if it’s healthy) when healing because you’re not as active as usual – or at least you should be resting while healing an injury. Hmmm… maybe I should take that advice myself…
Here is a list of super healing foods to help you nurse your injury:
- Kiwi, strawberries and blackberries – good sources of vitamin C
- Almonds – provides vitamin E which helps prevent scar tissue
- Honey – a good antiseptic and healer
- Red grapes – high source of potassium and the antioxidant quercetin . Dilute the grape juice with water to prevent cramps and dehydration.
So as you can see, a balanced diet, including a few super foods (and some light exercise ), will help you heal faster from an injury. Do you know of any foods or natural remedies that are supposed to facilitate the healing process? If you do, leave a comment below!