Foods and beverages you consume can aid or hinder your recovery, whether you’re recovering from an illness or surgery.
Many foods, such as fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein sources have been shown to reduce inflammation, improve immune function, promote healing, and provide the energy you need to recover.
Here are ten healing foods that can help your body recover.
Leafy green vegetables
Vegetables with lots of leaves Simple green vegetables like kale, spinach, arugula, mustard greens, and Swiss chard are filled with nutrients that decrease inflammation, enhance immune function, and help wound healing, making them the perfect choice to support recovery.
Vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, folate, and provitamin A, all needed for immune function and overall health, are abundant in leafy greens.
They’re also high in polyphenol antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects.
Certain polyphenols, such as the antioxidant quercetin found in green leafy vegetables, have been shown in studies to help decrease the production of inflammatory proteins like TNF-alpha.
Furthermore, because vitamin C is necessary for wound healing, leafy greens are a healthy choice for those recovering from surgery.
Your body requires much more protein following surgery than the current RDA of 0.36 grammes per pound (0.8 grammes per kilogramme) of body weight.
Eggs are a good source of highly absorbable protein, with 6 grammes per big egg (50 grammes) and nutrients that help the immune system and wound healing.
Whole eggs are high in vitamins A and B12 and zinc, iron, and selenium, which all play important roles in the immune system.
Salmon is high in protein, B vitamins, selenium, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fats, among other nutrients.
Furthermore, when taken as a supplement, omega-3 fats have been shown to stimulate wound healing, improve immunological response, and reduce inflammation.
Although salmon is probably safe to consume, you should see your doctor before taking fish oil supplements before or after surgery. Although recent evidence suggests that these supplements do not raise the risk of bleeding, some surgeons still advise against using fish oil.
Berries are high in nutrients and plant chemicals that can aid in the recovery of your body.
Berries, for example, are high in vitamin C, which aids wound healing by boosting the formation of collagen, the body’s most abundant protein.
Antioxidants like anthocyanins, which are plant pigments that give berries their brilliant colour and have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and immune-supporting properties, are also present.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds are excellent energy sources for the recuperation process. In addition, these foods are high in plant-based protein, healthy fats, and healing vitamins and minerals.
Nuts and seeds, for example, are high in zinc, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium. Vitamin E protects your cells from damage by acting as an antioxidant. It’s also necessary for immune system health.
According to some research, enough vitamin E levels may enhance the function of protective immune cells like natural killer cells (NK cells), which aid in the fight against infection and disease.
Amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, are essential for wound healing and immunological function.
Glutamate and arginine, two amino acids found in poultry like chicken and turkey, may help with recovery and mending.
Glutamine protects cells under stressful situations like illness and damage, whereas arginine aids collagen formation and wound repair.
Furthermore, arginine is rapidly reduced during stress, injury, and illness, making adequate arginine intake even more critical.
Organ meats are among the most nutrient-dense foods available. Vitamin A, iron, zinc, B vitamins, and copper, which are required to develop connective tissue and collagen, are among the immune-boosting minerals found in them.
Vitamin A, which is required for healthy immune cell response, aids in inhibiting inflammatory cells and is important for skin health and wound healing.
Organ meats are also a good source of protein, which is important for recovery from surgery and illness.
The health advantages of cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale are well established. In addition, because they include a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they may aid recovery.
Glucosinolates, which your body converts to isothiocyanates, are found in cruciferous vegetables. Isothiocyanates have been found to help the immune system by reducing inflammation, activating immunological defences, and killing infected cells.
Furthermore, these vegetables provide various minerals that your body requires during recovery, including vitamin C and B vitamins.
Shellfish such as oysters, mussels, and clams are high in nutrients, particularly zinc, which may help heal.
Zinc is necessary for a healthy immune system. Shellfish are also high in this mineral, which may aid expedite recovery and enhance wound healing, making them ideal for post-surgery recovery.
It’s critical to eat high-carbohydrate foods like sweet potatoes to aid healing. Carbs not only supply the energy your cells need to recover, but they also contain wound-healing enzymes like hexokinase and citrate synthase.
Inadequate carbohydrate intake might slow wound healing and recovery.
Sweet potatoes are a nutrient-dense carbohydrate that’s high in anti-inflammatory plant compounds, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin C, carotenoids, and manganese, all of which can help your immune system and body recuperate.
Other ways to help your body heal
Other lifestyle changes and eating a nutritious diet rich in nutrient-dense foods may aid healing.
When recovering from an illness, accident, or surgery, it is critical to get plenty of rest. Additionally, getting adequate sleep helps your body heal itself.
Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your immune system and cause you to take longer to recover.
Hydration is essential for all aspects of healing and rehabilitation, particularly wound care. In addition, conditions that include fever and diarrhoea may require more hydration.
When recovering from an illness or injury, you should also avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Tobacco and alcohol use can slow recovery, impede wound healing, and weaken the immune system.
Zinc deficiency, as well as vitamin B12 and A deficiency, might hinder recovery. If you’re concerned about nutrient deficiencies, talk to your doctor.
The bottom line
When you’re recovering from an illness or surgery, you should eat meals high in nutrients and chemicals that help your body mend.
Salmon, almonds, cruciferous vegetables, and a variety of other foods may aid recovery.
Getting plenty of rest, being hydrated, and refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol all help to promote maximum healing.