Aside from the pain, discomfort, and stress that a victim of a personal injury in a car accident endures, it is perhaps the boredom that could be the most detrimental. Boredom can lead to not only depression and a potential of reinjury as people try to get up and resume their normal life, but it can also lead to eating…a lot.
For some people who suffer personal injuries, they have found some serious weight gain and no way of working it off. However, this is not to say that eating with an injury is bad. We all need to eat right? It’s just WHAT you eat that’s the problem.
For years there have been tons of physical therapists, nutritionists, and personal trainers that swear that a specific diet can help injured people recover. Now the scientific community has finally proved them right.
Can A Certain Diet Help Me Recover From An Injury?
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London conducted research published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience to see what foods actually aid in personal injury prevention and recovery. Researchers found that victims should consider a fish dinner full of omega-3 fatty acids in order to speed up recovery and help damaged nerves regenerate.
A healthy diet of fish is nothing new and studies have proven that cultures with a diet of a lot of fish are considerably healthier overall. It’s only been in the last few decades that the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids have been revealing how important they are to the body’s normal growth and development. However, the body doesn’t produce omega-3 fatty acids naturally, they have to be consumed in foods such as oily fish or in supplements.
The study first focused on peripheral nerve cells, which transmit signals between the brain and the spinal cord and the rest of the body. The researchers simulated damage in mice by stretching the cells or starving them of oxygen and then enriched the cells with omega-3 fatty acids. The result was decreased cell death and significant protection.
Researchers also induced with sciatic nerve damage on test mice (located in the lower back, the sciatic is generally the largest nerve in mammals and a common injury point in car accidents). They found that after introducing omega-3, the injury recoverd more quickly and more fully. The muscles on the mice were also less likely to waste following nerve damage.
Foods That Heal
Now that the official research is in showing real tangible results on a scientific physiological level, that doesn’t mean that decades of observation need be ignored. Through the ages, homeopathic remedies have been formulated through observation and many of these are related to both topical applications, but also diet.
According to experts some great healing foods are:
- Almonds (fat/protein, zinc)
- Apples (flavanoids – protect cells from oxygen damage, prevent inflammation
- Broccoli (vitamin C, fiber, antibacterial)
- Curry (anti-inflammatory)
- Garlic (allicin – anti-inflammatory, improves macrophage function)
- Grass fed beef (protein, vitamin, minerals)
- Olive oil (Anti-inflammatory – works like ibuprofen)
- Papaya (vitamins A, C and papain – enzyme that increases immune function)
- Pineapple (bromelain – analgesic)
- Salmon (omega-3’s)
Dietary considerations for a better recovery:
- Experts always recommend an increase (non fatty) protein. This can compensate for any potential muscle loss due to lack of use.
- Rather than one big steak or chicken breast at dinner, divide the meals into smaller portions. Protein should be eaten 4 to 6 times per day.
- Protein should consist of lean poultry, fish, eggs, lean beef, cottage cheese, or whey protein powder.
- Carbohydrates are found in vegetables and fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes (nuts), and oats.
- Avoid sugars and refined carbs (artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, and most of the things that make junk food taste great). Don’t eat junk.
- Watch carbohydrate intake post surgery and if there is an extensive recovery, too many refined carbs could put the patient in danger of diabetes.
- Fats help in reducing inflammation, but there are good fats and bad fats. Omega-3’s are the hallmark fats for reducing inflammation. Monounsaturated fats are also helpful.
- Good fat sources include: Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines), flaxseeds, nuts, olive oil, avocados, pumpkin/sunflower/sesame seeds.
- Watch out for bad fats that can hinder healing by increasing inflammation: Trans fats, omega-6 fats and saturated fats.
Puget Sound Personal Injury Attorney
Phillips Law Firm is a law firm with a substantial track record of success Personal Injury Litigation. We take the time to fully assess the injured party’s case in order to assure that the victim receives the compensation they deserve. Call our Personal Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation.