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March is ‘National Nutrition Month’ so let’s take this opportunity to learn more about the role that nutrition plays in post-injury rehabilitation. Everyone knows that feeding our body the right “fuel” is a critical piece to overall health and wellness. Healthy food choices become even more important when the body is trying to heal from an injury. Giving the body the right nutrients can accelerate healing and denying the body nutrients can exacerbate pain and inflammation following an injury. A post-injury diet should meet vitamin and mineral needs, while also providing enough protein to promote muscle growth and repair. Staying hydrated and consuming adequate nutrient-dense calories is necessary to optimize rehabilitation.

Essential Components of a Post-Injury Diet:

Foods High in Antioxidants – antioxidants aid in tissue repair and boost the immune system’s response to injury. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods – reducing inflammation and pain at the injury site has a substantial impact on recovery. Fish, berries, nuts, and many spices including turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon are naturally anti-inflammatory foods.

Foods Rich in Vitamin C – Vitamin C is crucial to tissue repair and regeneration. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, and citrus fruits are all high in Vitamin C.

So what about foods to avoid during injury rehabilitation? Sugar, alcohol, sodium-rich or processed foods, and caffeine should be limited while recovering from an injury. Also, it is important to note that a patient’s metabolic rate can increase or potentially decrease following an injury. Many people benefit from eating on a schedule when their appetite has been compromised and they are struggling to get enough nutrition in their diet.

The experienced physical therapists at ACE PT would love to assist you as you integrate nutrition into your injury rehabilitation. Let’s rebuild stronger together! Reach out for a consultation today!

ACE Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Institute was founded on the principles of high ethical standards, integrity, honesty, and professionalism. When you step inside one of their eight convenient locations in the Washington Metro area, your goal becomes theirs: returning you to your normal lifestyle as quickly and safely as possible.

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