27 Mar Healing with Food
Our bodies have the incredible ability to heal themselves from all kinds of diseases. It’s no surprise then, that how we treat our body and what we feed it can have an enormous impact on the healing process. The food we eat naturally facilitates the healing process and can even enhance the body’s ability to heal.
Healing with food can assist with a range of different diseases including, but not limited to; diabetes, heart disease, digestive diseases, depression, chronic wounds, the list goes on. Some of these examples are more prevalent in the elderly or chronically ill.
There is astounding evidence to support the role of nutrition in the healing of wounds and disease. It is also evident that a lack of nutrition can prolong recovery in some cases.
Foods that enhance the healing process
Assists in repairing damaged body tissue, enhances energy levels and accelerates the rate of healing. Some great sources of protein include; eggs, almonds, oats, leafy greens, seafood, beans, etc.
Mono and polyunsaturated fats are a safe source of energy that contributes to the healing process. A healthy intake of fats ensures the body doesn’t use protein as energy. Depending on the individuals condition some low-fat choices might be better suited. Some examples include nuts, avocadoes, milk, cheese, greek yoghurt, etc.
Vitamin C boosts the immune system and assists with the absorption of iron. Vitamin C gives the body strength to fight disease and aids the creation of collagen and new blood vessels. Excellent sources of Vitamin C includes citrus fruits, leafy green vegies, particularly oranges, grapefruit and tomatoes.
Vitamin A helps the body fight inflammation and infection, and is excellent for long term illness or disease. Vitamin A should be consumed in moderation as too much can be toxic to the body. Some great sources of Vitamin A includes; eggs, fish, dark leafy green vegetables, and red fruits and vegetables.
Zinc plays a vital role in how protein and collagen are produced and used within the body, and also aids tissue growth. The intake of zinc will depend on the severity of the disease or wound being treated. Sources of zinc include fish and shellfish, dark chocolate (bonus), chickpeas, poultry and eggs.
Iron contributes to oxygen production around wounded areas in the body. Iron is absorbed from red meats, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts and wholemeal bread.
Hydration is essential to healing. If the body is properly hydrated with fluids it will ensure proper circulation and detoxification takes place.
Be sure to consult your health professional to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need in the right quantities to enhance your body’s natural healing process.
Cleveland Clinic 2017 ‘Nutrition Guidelines to Improve Wound Healing’ Cleveland Clinic, retrieved 10th January 2018, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/nutrition-guidelines-to-improve-wound-healing
Nutrition, Wound & Healing 2009, ‘Expert Guide for Healthcare Professionals’ Nestle Nutrition, retrieved 10th January 2018, http://www.woundsaustralia.com.au/publications/2009_vic_expert_guide_nutrition_wound_healing.pdf
Wound Care Centres 2017, ‘How your diet can aid in wound healing’ Wound Care Centres, retrieved 10th January 2018, http://www.woundcarecenters.org/article/living-with-wounds/how-your-diet-can-aid-in-wound-healing
Dr. Axe 2018, The Healing Foods Diet, Dr. Axe, retrieved 27th March 2018, https://draxe.com/healing-diet/