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Does Nutrition Affect My Healing Time?

Yes, nutrition is one of the key factors that affects your healing time. Poor nutrition can slow down the healing process while eating well helps you heal better and faster.

Good nutrition is important to stay energetic, strengthen your immune system and help you recover from an illness or injury. A well-balanced diet provides energy, protein and other nutrients essential for healing. Unless advised by your doctor, it is better to get these nutrients through food rather than supplements.

Here are some foods that you should consume more of and others you should avoid:

Proteins
The impact of an injury varies depending on its nature and severity. It can result in immobility or decreased physical activity causing loss of muscle mass, strength and function. To counter this, an increased amount of protein is essential in your diet. Protein is also important following a bone fracture as protein forms half of your bone structure and is needed to help repair bone. Good sources of protein include meat, fish, milk, yogurt, cheese nuts, cereals and soy.

Calcium
Calcium is another nutrient essential for healing and fortifying bone. A daily intake of 1000 to 1200 mg of calcium is essential for adults. You may need more if you are recovering from a fracture. Calcium can be obtained from milk, cheese, yogurt, beans, broccoli, tuna, salmon and almond. To help you absorb calcium, Vitamin D is essential. Sunlight is a good source of vitamin D, but you can also get it through egg yolk, milk, orange juice, and fatty fish such as salmon.

Vitamins for Healing
Fruits and vegetables are important to your diet as they are packed with vitamins and minerals that can help your body heal. Vitamin C helps your body produce collagen, a protein found in bone and other connective tissue. You can obtain vitamin C from oranges, tomatoes, berries, kiwi fruit and green vegetables. Vitamin K found in green leafy vegetables, liver, and fish is a necessary ingredient for blood clotting. Other important vitamins that enhance the wound healing process are vitamin A that can be found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale.

Foods for Energy
Complex carbohydrates such as whole grain, brown rice and pasta can help your body meet its energy requirements while avoiding sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. Healthy fats are also recommended for a balanced diet. You can obtain these through nuts, olive oil, avocadoes, flax seed and salmon.

Foods to Avoid
Following an injury, your body generates an inflammatory response which is necessary for healing, but this response must be kept at an optimal level or it might be harmful. Processed foods such as refined sugar can impede the healing process by exaggerating inflammation. Also, essential nutrients are often drawn out from your body’s cells to help digest these foods. Ensure your diet contains whole foods that are minimally processed.

Knowing the impact that food has on your body will help you make healthy food choices and speed up your recovery process.

NewportCare Medical Group is a comprehensive specialty group located in Newport Beach, California specializing in advanced non-surgical and surgical treatments for a wide range of orthopedic conditions.

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