Sports Injury? Nutrition plays a big role in recovery. The old adage “You are what you eat” could not be more true.
When nursing an injury be sure to increase your protein intake and limit your carbohydrates. Not all proteins are created equal though. Steer toward chicken, fish and lean beef. Beans, peas and nuts are a great source of protein also. The increase in protein may help minimize the loss of muscle mass and reduce inflammation.
An injury may slow down your workouts or even bring them to a screeching halt. If this is the case, you may want to limit your calorie intake to help maintain your weight while you are recovering from your injury. Eating fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes will keep you full longer.
All of the foods we’ve talked about so far are also rich in Zinc. Zinc is a nutrient found throughout your body. This enzyme helps your immune system and is critical to wound healing. In addition to chicken, red meat, beans and peas, zinc can also be found in fortified breakfast cereals and dairy products.
Calcium and Vitamin D
We all know that calcium is important to bone and teeth growth but Vitamin D is equally as important. Vitamin D helps your body to absorb the calcium found in the foods you eat. Calcium can be found in dairy products and leafy greens as well as almonds, sardines and broccoli. Vitamin D is a little harder to find. You will not find many foods that are a natural source of Vitamin D. Your body will, however, produce Vitamin D from exposure to the sun. You can also find a Vitamin D supplement at your local vitamin shop.
There are many other foods not listed here that can help your injury to heal. Consult your physical therapist to discuss it further.