Recover from Injury with Common Nutrients

A little dose of R&R and mother nature’s healing can get you back on your feet in no time.

When you have been faced with an injury and want to get back on your feet as quickly as possible, a little rest, relaxation and proper diet are all you need. Along with allowing yourself to heal while refraining from pushing yourself too soon, eating the right foods or nutrients can help to boost your healing process. Below are some common nutrients that are known to help with specific types of injuries.

When Knee Surgery Strikes

Whether your surgery is to replace your knee or your ACL or meniscus need a little work, specific nutrients can help bolster your wound.

Protein is important for runners who are immobilized by surgery. Aim to get about 0.9 grams per pound of body weight on a daily basis – or about double the daily recommended intake for a healthy individual at your weight. Excellent protein sources include meat, fish, dairy, beans, legumes, seeds and whole grains.

Another important source that can help to heal post-surgery is collagen, a wound-healing connective tissue. You can find this in lean meats including fish, chicken, pork, and turkey. It is important to know that too much saturated fat can actually delay recovery as it causes inflammation.

Zinc is another important mineral in the process of recovery. A zinc deficiency can actually slow recovery time so grab foods like dairy, whole grains, meat, fish and chicken to get your daily doses.

Arthritis

Arthritis is an inflammation located in the joints. Fifty million Americans suffer from creaky knees and other arthritic symptoms. Although there is no cure, diet can play a huge role when it comes to alleviating arthritic pain.

Collagen is a great supplement that helps to improve symptoms of arthritis. If you supplement for 24 weeks with 10 grams of collagen, you may experience less joint pain, according to one study.

Stress Fracture

Overuse injuries like stress fractures affect the bones, feet and lower legs. Stress fractures take place when the muscles are fatigued and undue stress is thus transferred to the bone.

Get in plenty of calcium and vitamin D if you have a stress fracture. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), athletes with stress fractures should strive to get a minimum of 1,000 mg of dietary calcium in daily. One glass of milk (8 oz) contains about 300 mg. If you get tired of milk, you can also get calcium from other sources including broccoli, kale, bok choy, spinach, turnip greens, fortified orange juice and soy products.

Vitamin D also plays an important role in the healing of stress fractures. Get your daily dose from sun exposure as well as foods like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, egg yolks, cod liver oil, catfish, and mushrooms. If you are severely deficient in vitamin D, your doctor may subscribe a supplement.

Remember to take it easy while you fill your body with good nutrition in order to heal as quickly as possible so you can get your feet back on the trail (or pavement) as quickly as possible.