BodyFit

Sporting injuries and reducing inflammation

Injuries and I just don’t get along. I’m absolutely hopeless at resting and it usually takes me double the time to recover from injury because I go back too soon or keep inflamming it.

Listening to your body is an art…one that I am yet to master.  My former life as a professional athlete kind of taught me to block out pain and push through barriers…but now my body just retaliates.

Healing from injuries has many levels and recognising what level you are at helps to decide what method of treatment.  I have a dodgy back and it’s just plain old degeneration from wear and tear so it is something that needs constant management. Stretching, massage, heat, pain killers and anti – inflammatories.

They say that before an injury can heal inflammation needs to be reduced from the site of pain. However, it should be remembered that the inflammatory or ‘lag phase’ is the first stage of the healing process and a degree of pain and loss of function may be helpful to prevent the athlete doing further damage to the injured part. It’s when an injury doesn’t know when enough is enough when you call for backup just to dial down the painometer.

Now, I don’t like to chow down on the medication like lollies, especially anti-inflammatories. They have terrible side effects if used long term such as damaging the lining of your stomach and weakened immunity.  In fact I hate swallowing anything from a chemist so what does this leave us with in regards to more natural alternatives?

Anyone that suffers from the evermore prevalent autoimmune disease or arthritis will know how beneficial an anti-inflammatory diet is.  In fact even if you don’t have a sporting injury it is wise to include these foods in your diet to help keep a balanced system and ward off disease and chronic ailments. Foods such as sugar, cooking oil, dairy, processed meats, alcohol, artificial additives and processed grains are the top contributors to an inflammed body…..

So what are the top rated ANTI-inflammatory foods?


+ Brightly coloured fruit and veges  such as blueberries, cherries, grapes, dark leafy greens, brocolli, kelp, apples and more.  Its anti-inflammatory action is believed to occur because it can inhibit the effects of inflammation-producing enzymes and also block the release of histamine in the body

+ Fish oil – The magic lies in the oil’s content of Omega-3 fatty acids which can help heal small lesions in blood vessels, preventing an endless cycle of inflammation.

+ Turmeric, ginger and garlic – all contain a host of benefits, including inhibitors which block enzymes known to create inflammation

+ Bromelain –  found in pineapples, it has an enzyme that helps break down proteins.  It is believed to work by inhibiting the development of inflammatory prostaglandins, hormone-like substances found in the body.  If nothing it helps with your digestion

+ Green tea Green tea contains anti-inflammatory flavonoids that may even help reduce the risks of certain cancers

+ Sweet potato – A great source of complex carbs, fiber, beta-carotene, manganese and vitamin B6 and C, these potatoes actually help heal inflammation in the body

+ Resveratrol – You may have seen this in some of your skincare products of late…well it is has benefits if taken orally as well.  Found in small amount in red wine, blueberries, cranberries, peanuts and obviously, grapes, has been proven to reduce inflammation.  A study found it to have anti-cancer properties and significant benefits for the cardiovascular system.

So before you pop that pill next time your back aches or shins cry, try to regulary include some the above foods in your diet and see if it really does help to heal from the inside out….naturally.

Are you hopeless at resting with an injury too?

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