Saturday, March 29, 2014

Seven Nutrients that Heal

I recently posted two articles for SCAN, 
the Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition Group
One of the articles was on Protein Needs in Athletes, and the other article was on Nutrition for the Injured Athlete. I was so happy to see so many people respond positively to the the article on Protein Needs, but as an athlete who has fought an injury for over a year with food and exercise, I was thrilled to post the Fact Sheet on Nutrition for Injured Athletes.
Injuries are the worst!
Note the ugly face and tape on knee 
Even though I haven't found anything to keep me from making ugly faces when I run, to get rid of my injury, I strength trained and fed my body proper nutrition. I believe exercise is medicine, so for the last 15 months I've really worked hard on strengthening my glutes, hamstrings, and core. I also made sure I ate enough quality protein and stayed hydrated. I'm glad I was on track with the protein and water, but the Fact Sheet on Nutrition for Injured Athletes named some interesting nutrients that I really wasn't thinking of. Here's the complete list of the seven nutrients for healing:
  • Protein promotes healing. Protein foods are Greek or low-fat yogurt, beans, fish, poultry, and lean meats.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation and speed recovery. Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, soy foods, ground flax seeds and fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.
  • Vitamin C aids in tissue repair, wound healing, and promotes positive immune function. Foods high in vitamin C include peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and melon.
  • Vitamin A helps promote cell growth and development. Foods high in vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and papaya.
  • Zinc also helps in wound healing and immune function. Foods high in zinc are almonds, seeds, beef, and seafood.
  • Calcium and vitamin D are both essential for bone development and repair. Foods where both can be found include dairy and fortified foods, such as orange juice, cereal, and tofu. Calcium can be found in sardines, dark leafy greens, enriched breads and grains. Vitamin D can be found in tuna, salmon, mackerel, beef liver, and egg yolks. Skin exposure to sunlight (in moderation) is an excellent source of vitamin D.

Well, call me goofy, but I am so happy to share this info.
Running can be tough on the body. Balancing training with proper nutrition, will hopefully keep us injury free! I'm curious, aside from ice cream, 'cause we all know that can help heal most anything ...
Do you have a special food that you believe 
has helped you recover from an injury? 
Train Smart Today!
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