Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nutrition & Recovery from Injury- Important Nutrients for the Healing Process

Don't let injuries sideline you on game day. A healthy sports diet can help you heal, recover, and get back in action!
Protein: Injuries, surgeries, and stress can all increase protein needs, especially in young athletes. The body uses protein to build bone and muscle, heal injuries, and fight infections by keeping the immune system healthy.
  • Good sources of protein include fish, chicken, turkey, beef, pork, eggs, beans, soy foods, milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Calcium & Vitamin D work together to build and maintain strong bones.
  • Calcium is in dairy foods like milk, yogurt, & cheese; Calcium-fortified soy milk, almond milk, and orange juice; and veggies like broccoli and kale. 
  • Vitamin D is found in fish, eggs, and in fortified foods like milk & some orange juices. Your body can also make its own Vitamin D from the sunlight!

Vitamin C helps your body to form collagen. Collagen is a protein needed for strength and flexibility; it repairs tendons and ligaments and strengthens bones. Vitamin C also gives your immune system a boost. Make sure you eat plenty of foods with Vitamin C.  
  • Fruits and veggies are good sources of Vitamin C: oranges and orange juice, broccoli, red & green bell peppers, strawberries,  grapefruit and grapefruit juice, tomatoes, papaya, cantaloupe, watermelon.

Vitamin A is needed for growth & development, bone formation, wound healing, and it helps the immune system work properly.
  • Good sources of Vitamin A include bright orange fruits like mangoes, papayas, apricots, cantaloupe, and peaches; milk, eggs, liver, and fortified cereals; carrots, sweet potatoes, and red bell peppers; spinach, kale, and other dark-green leafy veggies.