Nutritious foods and supplements can help the body in its natural healing process. Regardless of the injury, it is important to remember that certain foods, when used in conjunction with appropriate medical care, can aid in your body’s repair.

Bone Repair

Broken bones can take weeks or months to heal, but certain foods can help speed up the healing process. Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, and one cup contains as much as 220 mcg of the vitamin that helps prevent blood clots and build bone mass. Yogurt and milk are also helpful in speeding up the healing of broken bones, as they are rich in vitamin D, which aids in bones’ absorption of calcium. Calcium is necessary for strong, healthy bones and can even reduce risk of future bone breaks.

Muscle Soreness or Tears

Athletes and runners often experience muscle soreness or injury. Vitamin D is helpful in the healing process and protecting against future injury, but omega-3 fatty acids are perhaps the most beneficial. Begin taking a fish oil supplement or increase your intake of foods rich in omega-3 like wild-caught seafood, walnuts, and chia seeds. However, consume moderate quantities of fish, as it can contain increased levels of mercury.

These essential fatty acids are not only good for joint health, but they can also help reduce the inflammation that occurs in muscle soreness and injury. Other anti-inflammatory foods include dark, leafy greens, flaxseed and fresh ginger.

Cold and Flu

Most colds and influenza strains just need to run their course, but you can still help your body heal faster while easing the common symptoms. Vegetable juice is a great source of vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system while fighting off seasonal colds. Freeze vegetable juice pops to soothe a sore throat. Hot tea can also be soothing, but be sure to drink plenty of non-diuretic liquids, as tea can lead to dehydration if over consumed. To prevent build up of mucus, stick to non-rich foods, such as bone broths and vegetable broths with antioxidant-rich vegetables.

In addition to increasing your intake of these nutrient-dense foods, avoid foods that may be detrimental to your healing. Alcohol, added sugars, and fatty foods can negate your healthy choices and slow your healing process. Give your body the fuel it needs to rest, recover, and return as quickly as possible.

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/101639-foods-healing-broken-bones/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2903966/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11684396

http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/what-eat-when-sick

http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/foods-to-heal-running-injuries