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Recovering from an accident is often associated with rehabilitation routines and physical therapy sessions. And although they do play a significant role in the healing process, there’s another essential component that is frequently overlooked: diet. It is no secret that food acts like fuel for your body, helping it carry out vital functions. Oftentimes, people don’t really pay attention to their food choices; however, what you eat impacts everything from your physical health to your mood, helping you feel more energised and strengthening your immune system.
When you have an injury, your diet becomes even more critical, as it has the impact to assist or impede your healing. For many people, it may not seem like a priority, and that’s understandable, as in the aftermath of an accident, there are so many effects that you need to cope with. You have to take care of your mental health and process what happened to you, pay your medical bills, and seek advice from experts like Personal Injury Claims UK to help you navigate the legal landscape. However, you need to make nutrition an important part of your recovery. Your body will heal faster if you give it the nutrients it needs to replace the damaged tissue with new ones, including protein, vitamins, and minerals. In other words, food is medicine – so you must make the most of it in your recovery journey. Below are some tips on what to eat to support your recovery.
Protein plays a role in repairing tissue, which is necessary when recovering from an injury. Improper protein intake will only prevent collagen formation, slowing your healing and making it difficult to return to your routine. Hence, make sure you get enough protein – you can do so in different ways, such as eating your protein portion first, adding nuts to your salad or cereal in the morning, and even consuming nutritional supplements (if your healthcare provider allows you to do so).
Eggs belong to the superfoods category, comprising 6 grams of proteins and significant reserves of vitamin B12 and vitamin A and minerals like selenium, zinc and iron. Essentially, eggs contain nearly all the nutrients necessary for optimal health! They are among the most affordable sources of proteins that can be easily turned into a nutritious meal. Besides eggs, you can also eat oats, broccoli, tuna, quinoa, and chicken breast, as they also provide an abundance of protein.
Whole grain foods
Whole grains are essential to a healthy diet, containing fibre, an incredibly important nutrient that supports your health. Unlike refined grains, whole grains consist of three beneficial elements: endosperm, bran, and germ, which are rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fibre.
If you don’t know how to spot a whole grain product, a helpful tip is to look for the “Whole Grain” Stamp – a sign that indicates there’s at least a half serving of whole grains in a specific food. For instance, oats are an excellent fibre source, helping control cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. Oatmeal also plays a role in renewing skin cells and increasing collagen production, which is why it’s such an excellent food when healing from an injury.
Vitamin C-rich foods
Vitamin C is legendary for its immune-boosting powers, helping limit cold symptoms. But did you know it also helps produce collagen, a protein in your body necessary for recovery after an accident? That’s right – Vitamin C boosts collagen stores in your body. And the good news is that you can find it in many natural sources, including veggies and fruit, such as strawberries, kiwi, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
Adding these fruits and vegetables to your diet is easy, ensuring you will get your Vitamin C dose. For example, plenty of broccoli recipes are simple to cook and delicious at the same time. From broccoli salads to warming soups, there are many ways to sneak this amazing veggie into your diet and maximise its benefits.
Iron is also paramount during recovery, providing oxygen to the injury site and promoting healing. According to a 2014 study, an iron deficiency can impede recovery, so you should make it part of your diet. Various sources of iron-rich foods are excellent for your body, such as nuts, red meat, eggs, fish, and dried fruit.
Organ meats, such as liver and kidneys, are very nutritious and high in iron. For instance, 100 grams of beef liver comprises 6.5 mg of iron. Legumes, especially beans (navy beans, black beans, kidney beans), can also help increase your iron intake considerably.
Injuries can trigger different responses, such as inflammation of the body. This process is natural, as your body releases damaged cells, leading to an inflammatory response. However, it shouldn’t remain in a state of inflammation, as this can have a negative impact on your healing.
Luckily, there is a way to mitigate this: including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet, such as fatty fish like salmon, mushrooms, broccoli, avocados, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Oranges also have high anti-inflammatory properties and are another great addition to your post-accident diet.
Healthy sources of carbs
Carbs generally have a bad reputation, but that doesn't mean they should be avoided altogether. It’s important to differentiate between healthy sources of carbohydrates (necessary for your body) and refined carbs (responsible for blood sugar spikes). Your body relies on carbs as a primary fuel source, providing the energy required for cellular rejuvenation. One of the foods that contain healthy carbs is sweet potatoes, which assist you during the healing process by bolstering your immune system’s response.
Yogurt is another source of healthy carbs, providing lactose and essential nutrients, such as vitamin D. Consider opting for Greek yoghourts, as they are lower in sugar than regular yoghourt. Milk is also an excellent option, providing the extra energy your body needs to heal itself.
The bottom line
Injury recovery goes hand in hand with nutrition. Your body uses food as fuel, so it’s essential to have a proper diet that allows you to reclaim your health as soon as possible. Follow the tips above and remember to take care of yourself as you heal both physically and emotionally.