Top foods to help you recover from a sports injury:
Whether you’re an amateur jogger or a fitness fanatic, it can feel like all your hard work has gone to waste if you suffer an injury. Thankfully, there are things you can do (besides visiting your doctor) that can help your injury heal and your body recover. This includes making sure you eat the right foods.
There are different substances, minerals and vitamins in foods that can all help in the injury recovery process, from reducing inflammation to helping to repair tissue and bone, and fighting further infection.
Here are some of the top foods that can help you heal from an injury to get you back in the gym, on the sports field, or just happily jogging through your local park.
Food rich in Antioxidants:
After an injury it’s important to keep your body strong. Antioxidants help protect your body from free radicals, which are destructive compounds that can make us weaker by damaging healthy cells. Foods high in antioxidants are important to recover from an injury because they help control these free radicals, which, in turn, allows the body to focus on repairing itself.
Berries, like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries
Foods rich in Vitamin:
After an injury it’s important to protect the body from infection so it can heal. Vitamin A stimulates the production of white blood cells in the body, which help fight off infections. White blood cells are also as known as “the keeper of the injury” because they protect an injury and increase the rate of healing. The vitamin also helps in remodelling bone and regulating cell growth.
Foods rich in Vitamin C:
In helping with healing after an issue injury, like repairing a wound, vitamin C is crucial. This is because it helps in the formation of new connective tissue. The vitamin helps build new protein for the skin and scar tissue, as well as for tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. It also helps the body maintain cartilage and bone tissue.
Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruit and lemons
Food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids:
This is one type of fat you don’t want to cut out of your diet, especially after a sports injury. Research studies have shown that unsaturated fatty acids can reduce swelling and inflammation – the first stage of a soft tissue injury. Reducing inflammation can help lower pain and progress the overall healing process.
Foods rich in Protein:
There’s a reason why this substance is popular among bodybuilders. The building of muscle comes from repeatedly repairing and replacing damaged muscle fibres, which are intensely worked on during a workout. Protein helps the muscle recover in the repair and recovery process, so food high in this substance can play a part in muscle injury too.
White meats, especially, chicken and turkey
Food rich in zinc:
Zinc is in every tissue of the human body. This means it can be very important in the healing process for all injuries. The mineral helps the body use the fats and proteins (such as those consumed from food mentioned earlier) to promote growth and heal injured tissue. It also helps keep the body’s immune system strong to protect it from infections.
Nuts, especially cashew and pine nuts
Seafood, particularly cooked oysters
Seeds, like pumpkin, squash, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.
Having your sports injury examined:
While a good diet that includes foods like these can help you recover from an injury, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with your doctor to get your injury looked at by a professional.
Better still, consider asking to have an MRI examination, so a professional can examine your injury in detail. Many UK clinics, hospitals and doctor services, like Sevenoaks Medical Centre in Kent, offer an MRI Scan. This imaging service will allow a consultant to know the full extent of damage your injury has caused and the best treatment you’ll need. With the right treatment and rehabilitation process, you can be on the road to recovery and enjoying your sport of choice in no time.
*This post was in collaboration with the London Bridge Hospital