"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Monday, February 6, 2012

Six Foods to Help You Recover More Quickly after an Injury

All-natural, whole foods are the basis of any healthy diet. In addition to providing the nutrients needed for basic health and wellness, these foods also help to fight disease, prevent infection, and even help the body repair itself after an injury.

Whether your injury was sustained through an accident or from working out, there are many foods that you can incorporate into your diet to speed recovery. Here are a few of the best foods to help you recover more quickly after an injury:
  1. Pineapple - This tropical fruit contains an enzyme called bromelain that helps to fight pain and reduce inflammation in the body. Eat plenty of fresh pineapple to help heal injuries. Add pineapple to smoothies, eat it whole for breakfast or a snack, or use it as a salad topper. There are many more ways to enjoy this delicious fruit.
  2. Berries - Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and goji berries are all nutritional powerhouses that are loaded with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and reverse cell damage. Berries also improve circulation and strengthen collagen. Choose fresh and whole versions of the fruit, rather than juices or frozen berries. You can add them to smoothies, muffins, breakfast cereals, granola, and more, or you can enjoy them plain as a snack.
  3. Ginger - Ginger has been shown to help all kinds of ailments in the body, including fighting the flu, relieving nausea, and improving digestion. It has also been shown to reduce muscle pain. Enjoy ginger tea or snack on crystallized, candied ginger for a sweet snack. You can also add it to stir fries or soups for a more savory treat.
  4. Mango - Here's another delicious tropical fruit that helps to reduce inflammation in the body. Enjoy it as you would other fruits, by adding it to smoothies, salads, or breakfast dishes. You can even get creative and turn it into a salsa or throw it into a stir fry.
  5. Protein - Protein is the building block of muscles. It helps to enhance glycogen stores and to rebuild muscle tissue, speeding recovery. Choose lean sources of protein, such as fish, poultry, and beans. When choosing meats, select sources that have been grass-fed or wild caught.
  6. Raw Foods - Raw foods contain living enzymes that encourage cellular regeneration and help to fight inflammation in the body. Eating foods in their raw form also ensures that nutrients are not destroyed in the cooking process, allowing your body to get the greatest benefit from them. Meats and dairy should not be consumed raw as bacteria can cause illness. However, raw fruits and vegetables should be consumed in large quantities each day for optimal health. Even some grains can be sprouted and eaten raw.
Experiment with different recipes to find ways to add more raw fruits and vegetables to your diet each day. Eating a healthy diet comprised of all-natural, whole foods will not only promote your general health and well-being, but will also help you to fight infection and promote recovery after an injury. These foods have additional properties that can help your body heal even faster. Try adding them to your diet after an injury to speed recovery.

About the Author: Bridget Sandorford is a grant researcher and writer for CulinarySchools.org. Along with her passion for whipping up recipes that incorporate “superfoods”, she recently finished research on California Culinary Schools and Culinary Arts Schools in Florida.

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