If you want to get back to your active lifestyle fast after an injury, you should consider eating healthy foods to promote healing and recovery.
Being injured is hard. It doesn’t matter if you slipped and fell on a wet floor or tore your ACL playing basketball — you have to give yourself ample time to recover, and your everyday routine will change.
It’s even worse when you live an active lifestyle. You want to get back to your typical fitness routine, but you don’t want to risk further injury. The only thing you can do is wait for your injury to heal.
Along with following the doctor’s orders to the letter, you can take a few steps to improve healing after an injury.
Foods To Promote Healing After An Injury
What you eat is one of the most important steps. Here are the best foods to promote healing and quick recovery after an injury:
1. Foods Rich In Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for healing and reducing complications with an injury. Because your body cannot produce vitamin C on its own, you must incorporate foods rich in vitamin C into your daily diet.
When these foods are present, your body has the strength to build new protein to produce scar tissue, skin cells, tendon repair, ligament repair, and stronger blood vessels.
Vitamin C is also essential for the maintenance and repair of cartilage and bone tissue. So, if you break a bone, vitamin C is one of the best nutrients for helping it heal.
You can find vitamin C primarily in fruits and vegetables including oranges, mangos, and other citrus fruits. It’s in kiwis, peppers, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables as well.
2. Protein-Rich Foods
Your body needs protein for cellular repair and healthy tissues and organs. Athletes are encouraged to have a diet high in protein because it’s beneficial for repairing tissue and speeding a healthy recovery after an intense workout.
The need for protein is even greater when you’re injured. The body demands more protein so that it can do its job properly, including repairing the damaged organs, tissue, and cells.
You can increase your protein intake with whey protein powders and supplements. However, it’s better to get protein from whole foods.
Grass-fed beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, and Greek yogurt are packed with all the protein you need for a healthy recovery.
3. Fiber-Rich Foods
While you’re healing from an injury, you want to avoid gaining too much fat. You’re often immobilized or have limited mobility when you’re injured, so it may be difficult to avoid a little fat gain during this time.
However, too much fat will not only challenge the figure you worked hard to create but also slow down repair.
To avoid fat gain, you’ll have to reduce your calorie intake. (Don’t reduce it too much, though, as you need calories for recovery!)
Eating plenty of fiber-rich foods is a good place to start. It will help you feel satisfied while providing plenty of vitamins and nutrients to help you recover.
Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
4. Zinc-Rich Foods
A primary purpose for zinc is to heal the body. It contains proteins and enzymes designed for this purpose. Not only do you need more zinc in your diet when healing, but you can’t have a shortage — too little zinc will delay healing.
The best zinc-rich foods include meat, seeds, nuts, fish, shellfish, and whole grains. Zinc supplements simply won’t cut it because it can reduce your ability to absorb copper, creating a deficiency.
5. Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Toxins often run rampant throughout the body when we’re injured because our cells are weakened. They take away from our healthy cells and make it difficult for our bodies to naturally repair themselves.
Free radicals are also a dangerous side effect of injuries. These potentially cancerous enzymes can roam around your body and weaken cells and injury-healing properties.
Your body can flush itself of these negative enzymes, but it needs a little help from antioxidants found in healthy foods. Berries, cherries, prunes, turmeric, and ginger offer great antioxidants that can strengthen the body.
You might feel powerless when you’re injured, but you’re not! You have the power to speed up recovery simply by changing your diet and promoting healing within your body.
So start eating these five foods to promote healing after injury and get back to your active lifestyle faster.
Get more like this
in your inbox
Sign up for our daily email with fitness and nutrition tips, diets and weight loss programs, health news, and more.