Lately, I have been seeing many people around me with injuries! From broken wrists, to sprained ankles, to a simple cut on one’s finger. Whenever I have an injury I launch my body into recovery mode by employing several different nutritional strategies that will speed the healing process and reduce inflammation (helping to reduce pain). I always ask my friends, family, etc who are injured what they are doing to assist the healing process and usually the answer is “nothing”. WELL, I’d like to see this change! We have so many great options to help our body heal naturally that are derived from nature and the foods we eat on a regular basis. Here are 5 simple tips to promote the healing process and reduce inflammation in the body!
Use l-glutamine: L-glutamine is an amino acid found in protein and is especially useful for tissue regeneration. In times of healing l-glutamine is heavily used to heal tissues and repair damage in our body. Having one teaspoon of l-glutamine powder daily, when healing is a great way to speed up the process. Ideally, this is taken on an empty stomach. I’d recommend having it first thing in the morning. It is a great addition to a morning green drink! An affordable l-glutamine powder can be found at health food stores by the brand NOW foods.
Eat turmeric: Turmeric is one of nature’s most potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. When injured our body increases inflammation, which is associated with pain and discomfort. Adding turmeric to your foods and smoothies is a great way to ease inflammation and reduce pain associated with injury. If looking for a more potent form of turmeric the company AOR has some great supplements that isolate the active components “curcumins” from turmeric. The have a range of different curcumin supplements that are targeted to specific conditions or health concerns.
Eat more lean protein: Protein is so crucial for many bodily processes and is needed to build the body. When injured our body needs to repair damaged tissue and relies on protein to provide the building blocks for this process. By increasing lean proteins from foods like chicken, turkey, beans/legumes, quinoa and fish our body will have the materials it needs to rebuild tissue more efficiently. Another easy way to increase lean protein consumption is by adding in a high quality protein powder. I like Genuine Health’s vegan proteins +. this protein powder tastes great, easily mixes into beverages and is a complete protein that will provide the body with all amino acids needed to start rebuilding damaged tissue.
Use aloe vera: Aloe vera has been described as nature’s bandage. In times of injury aloe vera is excellent to use topically on cuts, scrapes, bruises, sunburn, bites and stings. It not only soothes the skin but helps speed up the healing process. When buying aloe vera it is important to make sure there is at least 90% or higher concentration of the actual aloe vera gel from the plant. I prefer to buy aloe vera at the health food store or natural value section at Loblaws. One aloe vera gel that I like is made by the company Jason. It is a clean product and very affordable, supplying 98% aloe vera gel from the plant.
Take a high quality fish oil supplement: Our ancestors had it right when they took their spoonful of cod liver oil daily. Fish oil is highly concentrated in the potent omega-3 oils EPA and DHA. These two oils are strongly anti-inflammatory and are great at reducing pain associated with injury and also very useful in reducing inflammation associated with arthritis. Some great fish oil supplements are Ascenta’s omega-3 oil and genuine health’s O3mega line. There is always the option of eating fish like salmon and trout to get these highly beneficial oils as well!
Enjoy your enhanced healing process!