Recovery for major injuries and surgeries can often take a long time, leaving people restricted to their bed and causing muscles and joints to weaken. As a result, it can be more difficult for a person to get back to normal. Luckily, certain nutrients may be able to speed up the recovery process so people can get back on their feet and return to doing what they love. Consider these nutrients to make recovery time a little shorter.
“One amino acid to focus on is glutamine, which can cut down recovery time by as much as four days.”
1. Amino acids
When it comes to the healing process, amino acids are some of the best nutrients. Amino acids are often found in protein-rich foods, including chicken, eggs, fish, legumes and nuts such as walnuts and almonds. Why are amino acids important? These acids help create lean tissue in the human body. So, when tissue is damaged by injury or surgery, amino acids help rebuild damaged tissue and create new tissue to help people get stronger. Protein helps fight off bacteria and infection, which can compromise the immune system during recovery and slow down the entire process. Protein also keeps energy levels consistent so people do not deal with fatigue. The one amino acid to focus on is glutamine, which has been shown to help cut down recovery time by as much as four days. This amino acid can be found in beef, chicken and all types of fish.
Zinc is another nutrient that can help people’s recovery go smoothly. This mineral can be found in several types of foods, such as fortified cereals and types of seafood like oysters. This shellfish actually has the highest amount of natural zinc. If people are not into slurping down a few oysters, they can also consider taking a zinc supplement, which contains the daily recommended amount of zinc for the average healthy person. Zinc can help boost a person’s immune system and allow people to get a more restful sleep, which can contribute to a faster and smoother recovery.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is known for the amount of antioxidants it carries, which are chemicals that help reduce inflammation in the body. Antioxidants also help the body fight disease by protecting it from free radicals, which can destroy tissue in the body and hurt the immune system. There are plenty of foods in the grocery store that are chock-full of vitamin C. Consider picking up a few oranges, bell peppers, strawberries, cantaloupes, mangos, broccoli, or sweet or baked potatoes.
4. Complex carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the main form of energy for the body, as they give it glucose. There are two types of carbohydrates, one is complex and one is refined. People should try and eat complex carbohydrates, which are included in food sources such as whole grains, legumes and vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli and spinach. This type of carbohydrate takes time to break down, allowing people to have consistent amounts of energy. Refined carbohydrates quickly break down, giving people a short energy burst followed by a significant wave of tiredness. Since regular activity is important in recovery, people should eat complex carbohydrates to keep their energy levels even.
Before going into surgery, try to load up on foods that are rich with iron. This nutrient is essential in the blood, and helps increase its amount of hemoglobin. This is a type of protein found in the blood that helps bring oxygen to various tissues in the body. Giving the tissue the oxygen it needs can keep it healthy and give it the ability to heal. Foods with plenty of iron include spinach, raisins, swordfish and red meat.