A balanced diet is always a good idea. When your body is repairing itself, it’s especially helpful. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re eating and drinking your way back to a full recovery.
Foods to choose
Vitamin C-rich fruits and veggies. Oranges, berries, tomatoes, winter squash, and red and green peppers are just a few examples of produce that are high in Vitamin C, which is helpful with wound healing and with the building of bone and cartilage.
Yogurt is high in vitamins and nutrients that promote recovery. It is an excellent source of zinc, which is crucial to the wound healing process.
Dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese, are high in both bone-strengthening calcium and Vitamin D, which the body needs to absorb calcium. If dairy is not a part of your diet, you can get a similar boost from dark leafy greens like kale, broccoli or bok choy.
Olive oil, in addition to heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, also contains a compound known as oleocanthal, which some believe can reduce inflammation in a way that’s similar to aspirin or ibuprofen.
Omega 3-rich fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and lake trout delivers a healthy boost of muscle-maintaining protein. According to some studies, it may also reduce inflammation that contributes to morning joint stiffness or pain. Not a fish fan? You can get a similar boost from walnuts, flaxseeds, or soybean products, such as edamame or tofu.
And one to avoid
Alcohol. Drinking can interfere with medications such as antibiotics — causing them to lose their effectiveness and potentially putting you at risk of a severe reaction. It can also weaken your immune system, lowering your body’s ability to fight off infection.
Another way a healthy diet promotes healing
A well-balanced diet that promotes healing may also promote weight loss — especially if portions are under control. And that could contribute to better health outcomes down the line. A 2014 study done by the Hospital for Special Surgery found that knee-replacement patients who managed to lose weight had better activity levels, better function, and less pain than those who maintained or gained weight after surgery.