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Nutrition for Injury Prevention

Injuries are inevitable. Whether it’s competing in athletics, sitting for hours at a desk, or a tweak at the gym we all eventually succumb to this reality. Altering our diet and utilizing supplementation can greatly enhance the speed and effectiveness of our recovery. Nutrition can play an integral role in proper healing and can greatly facilitate our body’s natural healing process.

After an injury the body goes through three distinct phases:

Stage 1- Inflammation Stage

· 1st to 5th day

Occurs Directly after the injury
Characterized by pain, swelling, heat, and redness
Our bodies reaction is to bring specialized healing cells to the area to begin tissue repair
Stage 2- Repair/Fibroblastic

5th day to 4-5 weeks post injury
Laying down of new tissue and increased connective tissue strength
Removal of injured tissue

Stage 3- Remodeling/Maturation

* 3rd or 4th week after injury; lasts 6 months to a year

* Strong, resilient tissue is laid down

Inflammation is critical to our bodies healing process, however, excessive inflammation or a prolonged inflammatory stage can produce unwanted symptoms. Here are some foods, vitamins, and minerals to help module inflammation levels:

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

• Olive Oil

• Avocados

• Papaya

• Flax oil or ground flax

• Fish high in omega 3-fatty acids

• Mixed nuts

• Dark Leafy Greens

• Pineapple

Anti-inflammatory Herbs and Spices:

Curcumin from Tumeric or Curry powder

7 tsp or 400-600mg


2-4 Cloves or 600-1200mg

Bromelain from Pineapple

2 cups of pineapple or 500-1000-mg

Cocoa, Tea, and Berries

Avoid Pro- Inflammatory foods:

· Processed Foods high in saturated Fats

· Vegetable oils (corn, sunflower, safflower, soybean)

· Foods high in trans fat

· Nightshade vegetables

· Gluten found in processed wheat

Stages 2 to 3: The Proliferation and Remodeling Stage


· Eat adequate amounts of lean protein, as it is the building blocks of our muscles. Volume can vary depending on different body types but as a general rule is to consume around 1.0-1.5/g/kg/d.

Balanced Dietary Fats:

· Fat plays an integral role in reducing inflammation.

· 1/3should come from saturated fats, 1/3 from monounsaturated fats, and 1/3 from polyunsaturated fats

Eat the rainbow:

· Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables however avoid nightshade vegetables as these are pro-inflammatory. They include potato’s (not sweet potato), eggplant, tomato’s, bell peppers, hot peppers.

Helpful Vitamins and Minerals

Supplementing with the following 2-4 weeks post injury may also be helpful:

Vitamin A

10, 000 IU/ day

Vitamin C

1g-2g/ day


2-4 mg/day


15-30 mg/day