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Can Diet Affect Auto Injury Recovery?

After being involved in an auto accident, one of the last things on your mind may be your diet. But nourishing your body with a healthy diet could have an unexpected benefit—aiding in recovery after an auto injury.

Eating a balanced selection of foods can help to build strength and reduce inflammation that may occur because of an auto accident.

In this guide, our auto accident recovery team at Impact Medical Sun City Center explores whether the right diet can make the difference between a speedy or slow recovery from an auto injury.

Inflammation After an Accident

Inflammation after an accident isn’t all bad. It is the body’s healthy reaction to injury. In short, it is your body’s way of protecting itself from further injury. Too much inflammation can delay the recovery process, and if prolonged, it can cause long-lasting chronic pain.

Some foods increase inflammation including:

  • Refined carbohydrates and starches
  • Fried food
  • Red meat or processed meat
  • Soda
  • Sugars
  • Sunflower, corn, and soybean oil

Diet’s Role in Auto Injury Recovery: What You Need to Know

If you have recently been in a car accident and are suffering from injuries like headaches or neck pain, the foods that you choose to fuel your body with could have a big impact on your recovery process.

A proper recovery plan, including nourishing food, chiropractic care, physical therapy, and manual, can significantly decrease your recovery time.

We recommend eating the following foods when you are recovering from an accident:

#1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids can help the body fight inflammation. They are found in most fish oil supplements, but you can also eat nuts, seeds, and plant oils to help your injured body fight inflammation. 

#2. Zinc

Zinc is a vital nutrient that aids in the repair of damaged tissues. All cells require zinc to divide, which means when you are recovering from an injury, you will need zinc to help your cells repair and rebuild.

Wondering what foods have zinc? Great question! Zinc is found in shellfish, whole grains, eggs, red meat, nuts, and seeds.

#3. Vitamins C, D, and Calcium

Vitamins C, D, and Calcium all play important roles in the body and naturally occur in the same foods which is great.

  • Calcium: Plays a large role in the healing of broken bones. It also helps the brain signal to nerves and muscles contract properly.
  • Vitamin C & D: These vitamins are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties and help your body build healthy bones, muscle tissue, and tendons. Vitamin D also boosts your immunity and brain function.

#4. Protein

Protein is crucial for muscle building and repair. When you are injured, protein intake is especially important to help muscle fibers heal and reduce atrophy.

When adding more protein to your diet, choose high-quality protein such as:

  • Poultry
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy

Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is a high-quality source of protein, which is essential to the development of healthy new tissues.

#6. Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables should always be included in a healthy diet, and more so when you are in recovery after an accident. Choose fruits and vegetables with Vitamin A and C such as:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Pineapples
  • Cantaloupe
  • Citrus fruits and juice
  • Tomato juice

Drink Plenty of Water to Aid in Recovery

Your diet doesn’t just include what you are eating, it’s important to drink water to aid in recovery too. When you sustain an injury in an accident, your body utilizes all of its resources to begin the healing process. If you aren’t getting enough sleep or drinking enough water, your body won’t have the energy and strength it needs to heal itself.

Avoid sugary drinks and refined carbohydrates, including alcohol while you are healing. Bottom line? Don’t drink or eat junk.

Repair & Rejuvenate After an Accident

If you have been injured in a car accident, make sure to get proper rest, hydrate, and eat healthily to ensure a speedy recovery. It is also important to follow all instructions and the treatment plan from your doctor which might include physical therapy, manual, chiropractic care, and more.

Need help recovering from a car accident injury? Lean on our team at Impact Medical Sun City Center! Contact us today to set up an appointment at (813) 938-5195!