Guest post by Lucy Christie
Jack LaLanne, a bodybuilder known as the “Godfather of Fitness” once said, “Your health account, your bank account, they’re the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen. Together you have a kingdom.” If you are serious about getting fit and sporting a healthy physique it is important to understand that healthy eating is as important as physical activity. It is even more important to understand how important the correct nutrition is following illness and injury.
If you are trying to optimize your recovery time post injury or illness, you have to fuel your body with the right foods. Particular nutrients serve specific roles in terms of healing, making it extremely useful to know exactly what your food sources comprise of. While you are by no means expected to shun conventional medicine and therapies appropriate nutrition can support these systems extensively ensuring that you are in optimal form in no time.
Protein & fiber
Foods that are high in protein are known to boost wound healing while keeping your immune system in tip-top condition. Eggs are not known as the perfect protein for nothing – they are a great source of high-quality protein and are gentle enough on the system to consume within days of injury, illness and even most surgeries. Contrary to popular belief, protein isn’t just needed for muscle building but for bone construction as well, making it of vital importance to consume healthy amounts of it every day. As strange as it may sound, fiber plays an important role in recovery, mostly due to their natural laxative effect. A lot of analgesics prescribed after injury are known to cause constipation, calling for added dietary fiber to alleviate it. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruit are all good sources of fiber.
Vitamin C and zinc
Both Zinc and Vitamin C are extraordinary in terms of recuperation. The vitamin C found in foods such as citrus, peppers, broccoli, and berries are required for collagen production which is vital in repairing ligaments, surgical wounds, and tendon injuries. Zinc, on the other hand, benefits the healing process by helping to maintain the dermal tissue’s structural integrity as well as the mucosal membranes. Zinc can be readily found in fish, chicken and red meat as well as nuts, seeds, and legumes in smaller quantities.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Dairy (especially from grass-fed sources) is filled with muscle-regenerating protein, calcium and healthy sugars that are also associated with healthy, strong bones. If you suffer from a stress fracture, ample doses of calcium and Vitamin D will aid your recovery process tremendously. Cow milk and fortified soy milk are both excellent choices, as are yogurt and cottage cheese. A glass of milk or couple of teaspoons of cottage cheese before bed can aid your general post-workout recovery significantly as well and even help you sleep better due to their slow-digesting casein protein content which possesses the ability to boost melatonin and serotonin production.
Following a healthy diet that will complement your exercise routine is a lot easier than you may have thought and will even aid in the remedial process. All that is needed are a few basic food sources, a bit of creativity and a lot of determination and dedication. By making a few simple lifestyle changes you will soon see and feel a significant change in the way your body looks, functions and convalesces – the first indication that you are on the right road to living your best life possible.
Lucy Christie is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across a variety of sectors. She made the move to freelancing after several years as a nutritionist and personal trainer. Lucy loves the work-life balance freelancing offers her.