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Whether you are a pro athlete or a weekend warrior – injuries happen. Although your body is a smart machine, additional help from your side will speed up your injury recovery and healing process.

Stage 1 – Inflammation

This process is crucial. Inflammation protects your injury from further damage. However, worsening the inflammation will lead to more tissue damage and significant slowing down of the healing process.

For this stage, your objective is to avoid products that worsen inflammation – like trans-fats, omega-6 rich vegetable oils and saturated fats.

An anti-inflammatory diet is high in monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats. To balance your 6:3 ratio – add 3-9 grams of fish oil daily.

Increase intake of olive oil, flax oil, mixed nuts and seeds, and avocado.

Certain herbs and spices like turmeric, garlic, pineapple, cocoa, tea and blueberries can help with managing inflammation.

You can always get them via supplementation, but I recommend to eat whole foods if possible. You don’t have to eat all at once!

Stage 2 – Repair

This phase commonly lasts up to six weeks post-injury when your body is busy laying down new soft tissue.

Protein sources: eggs, lean meat, lean dairy, vegetarian protein or supplement.

Carbohydrate sources: beans, yam, whole oats, whole grain rice, quinoa, etc.

Fat sources: avocado, fish oil, flax seeds, olive oil, mixed nuts.

Stage 3 – Remodelling

This is the remodelling phase in action. It may last anywhere between six weeks and up to three months.

Vitamin A controls early inflammation process, boosts immune system, and helps with collagen formation which you need for tissue repair.

Vitamin C plays an important role in collagen synthesis, as it helps form bonds between strands of collagen fiber. With vitamin C deficiencies, collagen fibers are formed abnormally and fibrous tissue is weak with poor adhesion.

Copper is a mineral that works together with Vitamin C in elastin formation and tissue strengthening.

Zinc plays role in cell division, protein synthesis and works with body enzymes. These processes are crucial for tissue regeneration and remodeling. Zinc is the most common mineral deficiency among athletes.

Calcium and iron are important for bone health and injury prevention. It is better to be consumed before the injury happens. Get enough of these two from whole foods rather than supplements.

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