Faster sprain recovery with food? Yes, absolutely.
Having a balanced diet is always important, but especially so after an injury. The body needs additional nutrients to repair damage, and some of those nutrients may not be in your regular diet (or at least not enough).
Though it’s important to continue eating healthily after your injury, there are certain nutrients that will help speed the recovery from your injury. Many of these are common nutrients that you can get from a variety of foods and supplements, though whole foods are generally considered the healthiest way to get your essential vitamins and minerals.
The following nutrients are especially important to a faster sprain recovery time:
Beta-carotene – This is a key component of collagen, the material that makes up the ligaments that were damaged in the sprain. By supplementing the diet with beta-carotene, you’re offering the ligaments more of what they need to re-grow. Good sources of natural beta-carotene are dark green, leafy vegetables like spinach or kale, broccoli, and carrots.
Bromalain – This is a very specific nutrient found primarily in pineapple. It’s a digestive enzyme that reduces swelling and promotes healing. It’s difficult to find in supplement form, so eating a quick snack of pineapple between meals will get the job done.
Vitamin C – Yes, it even helps with sprains. Vitamin C has various properties, one of which is to help the body reduce swelling. It also helps the connective tissues that make up the ligaments which were damaged in the sprain. Good sources of natural vitamin C are sweet peppers, kiwis, and citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruits.
Vitamin E – This is an anti-oxidant and contributes to overall healing. It’s a difficult nutrient to get from food, so supplements are usually used to get higher doses of vitamin E. A whole food supplement would be best, or an all-natural capsule, as many vitamin E supplements us a lot of synthetic ingredients.
Zinc – Zinc is another all-round healing nutrient. It promotes healing in general, not just in sprains, so it’s considered a very helpful little mineral. Zinc is naturally found in sesame seeds and raw pumpkin seeds.
Though you could supplement your diet with capsules or the actual foods listed above, there are also whole food options available. One I like is Athletic Greens. It’s a high-potency supplement made from actual food, no synthetic ingredients, and will provide you with more than enough of the nutrient above (except bromalain). Click here to check it out: Athletic Greens.