Maybe you ran an extra long trail today, or maybe you pulled a muscle in the last few miles of your bike ride; whatever the case may be, your body is sore, beaten, and needs to recover. More than anything else, food provides the fuel our bodies need to repair and keep going. It’s as simple as the rule of equivalent exchange: you consume a food, and its energy and nutrients are transferred into your body. Immediately, they are put to work.
Here are 5 of the best foods for recovering from a strenuous hike or minor injury. (Of course, always seek professional medical attention if your injuries are serious.)
Number 1. Salmon
In addition to being filled with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is also rich with protein. The omega-3’s are a known anti-inflammatory that work to disperse the waste buildup that is inflammation. Protein, on the other hand, is an extremely important macronutrient. It not only helps build muscle, but also ligaments, tendons, and bone. Protein also helps preserve lean muscle mass and is critical in the making of essential hormones and enzymes.
Number 2. Peppers
Whether they be red and green hot chili peppers or a variety of sweet bell peppers, you’ll be getting a great dose of vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial in the production of scar tissue, blood vessels, and cartilage, and it is known to help lessen oxidative stress to the body. Green chilies are richest with vitamin C, but as long as you work a steady flow in throughout the day, you’ll be supplying your body with a nutrient it needs.
Number 3. Dark Leafy Greens
Calcium, as we know, is critical for maintaining strong, healthy bones. It is also used in other areas in the body regarding nerve as muscle function as well as blood clotting. For those of you who don’t like milk, dark leafy greens are a great source of this vital nutrient, and they can play a major role in recovery. Collard greens , kale, okra, Bok choy, and mustard greens should all be worked into your daily diet.
Number 4. Carrots
When it comes to vitamin A, carrots are among the best sources. Found as beta-carotene in carrots, our bodies must first convert it to retinol or vitamin A for use, where it then plays an important role in facilitating bone growth, protecting our immune system, and repairing microtears.
Number 5. Sesame Seeds
Getting enough minerals is also of great importance when you’re recovering. One great source for a number of these are sesame seeds. They provide the body with healthy amounts of copper, manganese, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. Minerals help transport oxygen around the body, stimulate growth, and maintain and repair tissues and bone. Zinc, for instance, helps protein repair damaged tissue. Supplying your body with enough of these minerals is critical is successful recovery.
Besides the healthy dieting, be sure to get plenty of rest and relaxation. This is just as crucial as healthy foods in recovering from an injury!