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Food Pairings For Different Types Of Injuries: Tailoring Nutrition To Maximize Healing

healthy eating salad

If you’ve recently sustained an injury, chances are you’re trying to decipher the best way to speed up your recovery. Healing is a complex process that’s extremely individual. But, no matter the type of injury you’ve sustained, there’s one thing that can help get you back to your usual self: a good diet.

While a balanced diet is essential for overall health, specific food pairings can play a crucial role in optimising recovery for different types of injuries, thus speeding up the healing process. Understanding what combination of nutrients you need for your injury can help you to speed up the healing process and shorten your recovery time.

In this article, we explore how tailored nutrition through food pairings can aid in the recovery of various types of injuries.

healthy eating salad

Stress and its impact on diet 

According to statistics, 74% of us feel so stressed at times that we’re unable to cope. If you’ve recently sustained an injury, the physical symptoms you’re facing are often accompanied by even higher levels of stress as you worry about your recovery.

Personal injury claims are inevitably stressful as you are (quite rightly!) blaming your incident on a third party. But often, the other party will reject the claim and refuse to pay. Having to constantly go backwards and forwards can be extremely stressful. Especially if the other party argue that you’re partly to blame for the injury.

Then, to prove the injuries you’ve suffered have impacted your quality of life, you’ll often have to relive traumatic experiences to provide evidence. This once again adds to your stress levels.

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To top things off, personal injury claims aren’t guaranteed which means that you might be losing sleep worrying that after all the rigmarole of bringing a claim, you’ll be left no better off.

Usually, when we’re feeling stressed, we start to reach for fatty, sugary foods. This innate desire for calorie-dense might’ve been helpful during times of food scarcity as these high energy foods would provide a quick release of glucose to help us hunt.

But if you’re wanting to recover from an injury (and not hunt for food!), reaching for these high-calorie comfort foods might be hindering your progress. Whereas excessive sugar and fat can wreak havoc on your body, optimised nutrition can play a key role in your recovery. From controlling inflammation to helping you maintain and rebuild injured tissue; a nutritious balanced diet can work wonders if you’ve had an injury.


What food pairings help different injuries?

1. Bone fractures 

Broken bones need foods rich in calcium, vitamin D and protein to help them repair. For the ultimate bone booster, pair calcium-rich foods like dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified plant-based alternatives with vitamin D sources like fatty fish, eggs, or mushrooms to enhance calcium absorption.

To further turbo-charge bone healing and give your collagen production a boost, combine protein-rich food sources (think lean meats, beans and lentils) with vitamin C sources.

Food suggestion: If you’re struggling with meal ideas, we’ve got your back. For a bone booster, plate up grilled salmon with sauteed spinach and a dash of lemon juice.


2. Muscle strains and tears 

If you’ve managed to tear or strain a muscle, you’ll want a meal rich in protein and antioxidants.

Where possible, try to pair lean proteins like fish, chicken or tofu with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Berries, spinach and peppers are best as they’ll also help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

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Finish off with a side of healthy fat (like avocado or nuts) and watch as your muscle inflammation dwindles.

Food suggestion: Why not rustle up a hearty quinoa salad with diced avocado and roasted chickpeas? Quinoa provides protein and complex carbohydrates, avocado contributes healthy fats, and chickpeas offer protein and fiber. What’s more, this plant-based meal is great for your heart health, too.


3. Ligament and tendon injuries 

Ligaments and joints need foods rich in vitamin C and amino acids to repair properly. To speed up the recovery process, pair vitamin C-rich foods like broccoli, citrus fruits and strawberries with collagen sources – like fish or bone broth.

Food suggestion: There’s no need to overcomplicate things with this one. Simply stir-fry some broccoli and bell peppers with lean beef or tofu to combine the essential vitamins with amino acids.


4. Joint injuries 

Those with joint injuries need to focus on consuming anti-inflammatory foods. Omega-3 is important for joint injuries, so it’s a good idea to combine fish and flaxseeds with leafy greens to reduce joint inflammation and pain.

Food suggestion: Baked salmon with turmeric and ginger glaze, served with a side of steamed kale. The fatty acids in the salmon combined with the famously anti-inflammatory turmeric will have you feeling better in no time.


5. Burns 

Burns can be debilitating. So, it’s important to consume as much vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc as humanly possible!

To help boost tissue repair and immune function, pair vitamin A-rich foods like sweet potato with citrus fruits that are rich in vitamin C. Then add some lean meats, seeds or legumes for a healthy dose of zinc.

Food suggestion: Spinach salad with grilled chicken, mandarin oranges, and pumpkin seeds.

Now all that’s left to do is head to the supermarket and fill your trolley full of superfoods. Trust us: your body will thank you for it.

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