FOODS FOR A FASTER RECOVERY THE NUTRIENTS YOU NEED DURING PHYSICAL THERAPY
Attending your physical therapy appointments and doing your at-home exercises as instructed by your PT are crucial parts of your recovery process. However, they’re not the only important steps you should take. What you eat can affect how quickly and well you heal just as much as your dedication to your exercises. By incorporating a few of these foods into your diet, you can heal faster and come back stronger than ever before. Omega-3 Fatty Acids There are three phases to the healing process: inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. While you might think that inflammation is a bad thing, it’s actually a normal and necessary part of healing. That said, you should still try to reduce inflammation, as it can be harmful in excess. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids do wonders to control inflammation. Plus, our bodies can’t make omega-3 fatty acids naturally, so we have to get them from what we consume. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include
Protein-Rich Meats, Nuts, and Dairy Products When it comes to the proliferation and remodeling stages of healing, healthy sources of protein are the way to go. Lean meats like poultry and fish are easy sources of protein, but if you don’t eat meat, you can also get protein from beans, eggs, nuts, and dairy products. Protein-rich foods will help heal muscles and bones and prevent muscle atrophy. It’s incredible what the body can do with just a few intentionally consumed superfoods!
fatty fish, olive oil, avocados, pecans, walnuts, and almonds.
Antioxidant-Rich Fruits and Vegetables Along with omega-3 fatty acids, the antioxidants from fruits and vegetables can also go a long way in reducing inflammation. Broccoli contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folic acid and several different minerals. ( Pro Tip: Cook your broccoli to maximize these nutrients!) Citrus fruits and peppers have high levels of vitamin C, and peppers have high levels of beta- carotene as well. Additionally, turmeric and garlic work wonders during the healing process.
EASY STUFFED SWEET POTATOES
TAKE A BREAK!
Inspired by EatingWell.com
• 4 medium sweet potatoes • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed • 2 medium tomatoes, diced • 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp cumin • 1 tsp coriander • 3/4 tsp salt • 1/4 cup sour cream • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1. With a fork, prick each sweet potato a few times. Microwave the potatoes on high 12–15 minutes, or until cooked through. 2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, olive oil, cumin, coriander, and salt. When the potatoes are done, microwave the mixture on high for 2–3 minutes. 3. Cool potatoes slightly, then cut each potato open lengthwise. Pull the halves apart to create space to spoon the warm bean salsa inside. 4. Add a scoop of sour cream to each potato, garnish with cilantro, and serve!
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