Is there are miracle food to help you recover? 5 foods you should be eating now (and 5 that you shouldn’t).

imagesThe thing about our diets is that they can aid or disrupt our recovery from an injury.

There is no miracle food that will speed your recovery along. There are foods that can help you though, and foods that will slow it down. Here are five foods that help, and 5 that harm.

Bananas:

Banana’s are as close to a miracle fruit as we can get. they are high in nutrients and vitamins- possibly the highest of all the fruits. Banana’s should be in the daily diet of everyone who has been injured. They aid the vitamins that help us recover from depression, they give the body the vitamins it needs in an easy to eat package and they help prevent muscle deterioration. And they are cheep!

Apples:

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A great advertisement slogan and in a number of ways truthful. Apples have some capacity to assist in burning fat (some, don’t replace them for exercise). they also have antioxidants, C vitamins, B vitamins and potassium. They can help you breath more easily as they support healthy lungs and help clear airways. all good things but the best value in apples is that they take time to eat. This helps you get to the feeling of full quicker and gives you a longer lasting burst of energy.

Water:

Ok, not strictly a food but never discount the need for water in your daily activity. We need it to survive but more often than not we replace water with flavour. the glass of coke is easier to drink than the glass of water? but they don’t work the same. Water with flavour means something will get in the way of your bodies uptake of water (beer for instance dehydrates you!). Water on the other hand gets straight into your bodies systems flushes out your intestines – helps you in so many ways that we can’t leave it out of the list.

Grains:

A staple of humanity since before memory began. Grains may not be the most exciting of food groups but their importance to our bodies and our bodies capacity to recover from injuries should never be underestimated. they have a significant amount of nutrients, vitamins and fibre. Fibre helps regulate our bowel functions. while recovering a large amount of time is spent sedentary. This lack of movement does have an impact on our more private daily routine and grains help overcome that. They are also a great source of fat (yes we do need fat in our diet) and help reduce cholesterol – helping us manage the almost inevitable increase in our body fat. The magnesium in grains helps increase bone density (another side effect of forced lack of movement).

Vegetables:

It’s amazing that nature produces its own nutrients charts in the colour of our vegetables. Green, Red, Orange Purple/Blue, White they all have something very positive to offer you as you recover from your injury. what’s important is that you mix the colours up.

Meat: not one of the top five on our list but it’s important. Meat helps bone and muscle growth. too much meat can have a negative effect though. the best advice I’ve ever heard on meat is to make sure it is the smallest portion of your diet.

5 foods that hinder.

Processed foods:

The closer to raw the food you eat is – the more positive impact that food has on your body. I know, I know, eating raw vegetables is hard going and not very appetising unless it comes in a salad bowl or between two slices of bread (wholemeal of course). We arn’t talking about not cooking and I’m separating out canned food. It is better to avoid processed foods for one reason. what they process that food with. Salt (see below) sugar (see below) aqua (that’s water) and quite number of colouring, flavouring and other additives which help the usually bland food become a taste sensation and last on the shelves don’t do anything positive for your body and can sometimes hinder it.

Sugar rich food:

How many times have we heard that we have too much sugar in our diets? The more refined the sugar, the harder it is for our bodies to process it. Instead of letting the un-needed sugar pass through our system, our bodies keep the sugar as fat – that’s the last thing our bodies need while we are recovering.

Junk Food:

We are so used to hearing the phrase “Junk food” that it’s lost a lot of its power. It’s called junk because our bodies a. don’t need it and b. don’t process it properly. It stores the fat, it stores the chemicals, it clogs up our kidneys, lungs, blood stream etc…. while we are recovering from an injury the last thing we want to do is place more pressure on our bodies. Junk food does do some good though. It’s easy and it makes us feel full quickly. It’s a drug – people become addicted to that feeling of full. The fact is though that the UP doesn’t last that long (may be an hour if we are lucky) and the DOWN lasts for ages (well beyond the time we feel hungry again).

 

Salt rich food:

You would be surprised how many processed foods contain salt and I don’t know about you but it feels like an oxymoron that the food companies use salt to increase the flavour, not just to preserve the food. Salt raises our blood pressure, meaning that salt enters our blood stream and clogs it up. Our bodies can’t process salt quickly enough so it stores it, it sucks water from our muscles to deal with it and also from our brain. Salt is important to our bodies, but if you are eating from the top list, you are getting enough salt to satisfy your needs.

Fat rich food:

Fat comes in many varieties and feels great to eat, as I said before, it’s addictive. But.. and it is a big BUT, fat rich foods do more harm than good. We store fat because our bodies either can’t process it properly (this may be a natural medical condition in some people) and our bodies are designed to go for a large time without food. The average person is said to be able to survive up to two weeks without food before death (Don’t try this). The reason for that is the fat we store, and don’t think that the fatter you are the longer you can survive.The fat stored isn’t chock full of nutrients. It converts some of it into energy and quite a lot of it into water and stool (if you are interested the average person can only survive three days without water before dying, again don’t try this). All that fat rich food does is prevents your body from processing the nutritious food you might eat afterwards. There are good fats and bad fats I know but again, if you are following the diet above you will get the proper amount of both fats into your system without having to top it up.

Diet is probably the last thing on your mind if you are recovering from an injury, the psycho social aspect of eating are always hard to overcome. Feeling full is a way of managing depression, boredom and anxiety. The “bad food” group does this quicker yes. The “good food” has exactly the same effect though – it takes longer but lasts longer as well AND the good food aids recovery.