Types of food that will help sprains and strains

Sprains and strains can afflict young and old, couch potatoes and professional athletes. There are foods that can help quicken the healing process or even prevent getting a sprain or strain in the first place.

Types of food that will help sprains and strains

Get your carbs

Muscles require glycogen (derived from glucose) for optimum exertion for athletic events. You should eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates to ensure that muscles receive enough fuel. Glucose from complex carbohydrates is metabolized slowly, and supplies the required energy for a sustained level of exertion.

The pros of protein

Protein is required for muscle and joint health. Low-fat sources of protein, such as soy foods and certain grains such as amaranth and quinoa, are excellent plant-based alternatives to meat protein.

Omega-3 helps speed up healing

Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial in that they may help to accelerate the healing of ligaments injured by sprains. Also, omega-3s  have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can relieve discomfort from swelling in joints. An experimental study revealed omega-3 showed a significantly greater ability to enhance the entry of new cells into the wound area and to speed up collagen synthesis and healing.

Target vitmains and minerals

There are several vitamins and minerals you should add or up the quanitity to your diet:

  • Vitamin C is helpful in keeping ligaments and tendons strong. It also helps to repair tissue.
  • Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory enzyme found in pineapple (pineapples are also a good source of vitamin C, which is important for collagen).
  • Magnesium, calcium and phosphorus form strong bones; and manganese is required for the formation of cartilage and connective tissue.
  • Zinc promotes tissue repair and growth.
  • The "sunshine vitamin," vitamin D, assists in regulating blood levels of calcium and phosphorus and is essential for the maintenance of healthy cartilage and bones.
  • The body also needs vitamin D to help properly absorb calcium from food. Vitamin D is found in fortified milk and salmon (which, coincidentally, is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids).

The foods to target

Here are some foods to eat to help reduce the impact of sprains and strains:

  • Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Whole grains
  • Amaranth
  • Fish
  • Nonfat dairy
  • Soy foods
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple

The time it takes sprains and strains to heal depends on their severity, but by eating right you can not only speed up the recovery process but also help prevent further damage.

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