Whether you are a serious athlete, a weekend warrior, or a once a blue moon recreationalist, we are all bound together with these human bodies that sometimes fail us. Injuries are a fact of life but there are things we can do to help speed up the healing process, starting with our diets.
Inflammation can occur from diseases, such as arthritis or heart disease. Yet most of us are more familiar with it as an accompaniment to an injury. Not all inflammation is bad, as it does help stimulate healing, yet sometimes it kicks into overdrive or we happen to aggravate it by not being very good patients and staying off the injury.
There are certain foods that also aggravate inflammation and these are items one should avoid during the healing process. Foods high in saturated and trans fats are part of this group. Specifically; hot dogs, hamburgers, bacon, sausage, milk, sour cream, cheese, butter/margarine, and fried foods. If itís just too hard to avoid them, at least limit the amount you partake. Boxed cookies, crackers, snack foods, chips, frozen meals and fast food round out the list.
Foods high in sugar are culprits too in driving up inflammation. Try to avoid white bread, crackers, tortillas, potato chips, jam, jelly, soda, cookies, candy and added sugar in general.
To dramatically decrease swelling, choose fish oils or omega 3 fats. Salmon, halibut and tuna are some of the best sources of these. If eating fish three times a week is too much for you, try fish oil pills. Other items that fall into this category include avocados, nuts, olive oil, peanuts and eggs.
To substitute the high meat diet many of us have, choose whole grain breads, wild and brown rice, and all colors of beans. Soy is another option and so are veggie burgers.
Let us not forget the antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables are king here as the feed and heal the cells. The cream of the crop include grapefruit, oranges, berries, melons, carrots, peaches, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, winter squash and leafy greens. Even though mushrooms are not a vegetable they can play a big role in healing and decreasing inflammation.
Here is a simple example of a daily menu. For breakfast, oatmeal, fresh fruit and skim milk. Lunch could be a tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread, salad or veggie soup. Dinner might consist of fish, beans, salad or a sweet potato. Organic sorbet is great dessert option too.
Paying attention to healing foods and adding them in your diet more aggressively will get you on the road to recovery quicker. Enjoy all these great foods and the energy they bring you!