Nutrition & Diet

Top 7 Rehab Foods

Nutrition is a key element to good health.  Our bodies need a balanced combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids (fats), as well as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water to deliver the nutrients needed to assist all the metabolic processes in the human body.

 

Good nutrients become even more vital when our systems are fighting to recover from injury.  Healthy food is often overlooked at this time because we tend to focus on the physical factors - swelling and pain, rather than considering what is occuring on the inside of our bodies.

If you are wise, your injury can actually become a catalyst to review your overall nutrients intake.  By researching foods that will support and enhance your recovery, you are likely to learn new eating habits that will benefit your whole system.  These new habits will support your long-term athletic performance..

Missing Nutrients 

Diets of many adults in North America are lacking in:

  • Calcium (1000 milligrams per day found in fish, leafy greens),

  • Fiber (25grams found in veg, nuts, fruit, seeds),

  • Magnesium (310 to 320 milligrams a day, found in nuts, seeds, bran, halibut, dark chocolate, and raw cacao nibs),

  • Potassium (4,700 milligrams a day, found in potatoes, tomato paste and puree, white beans, yogurt, bananas)

  • Vitamins A, C, and E 

  • Too little water intake

 

Simply looking to ensure you build your intake of the above nutrients paired with anti-inflammatory foods will strengthen your system.  You will increase bone strength, build your immune defenses, increase red blood cell production and maintain normal muscle and nerve function, all vital to create the right foundation to speed your recovery.  

Foods to Avoid

If possible avoid the following foods during your recovery because they often slow down your body's natural repair mechanisms:

  • Sugar - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns - processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines.  Also look out for sugar on labels as other names such as fructose or sucrose and corn syrup. Avoid foods such as soda's, cakes and fast food.

  • Dairy (except natural unsweetened yoghurt) - Many dairy products contain saturated fats that trigger inflammation.

  • Gluten / Refined Carbohydrates - Breads / deserts with white flour & GMO wheat, french fries, pastas, many cereals and fast foods which impact the gut lining.

Supplements

Supplements are a great way to give your system a boost.  The following supplements are proven to support injury repair. 

  • Vitimins:  A, C, E, Copper, Zinc and Magnesium

  • Natural foods: Ginger, Turmeric which contains Curcumin and Omega 3's

  • System builders: Probiotics & Glutamine

Aim to mix each of these 7 anti-inflammatory foods into your diet daily to fuel your system with the optimum foods to speed recovery and promote healthy cell growth.  These foods will not only support your rehab, but also provide a solid foundation for long term and sustained, sporting performance.

4  Eggs

Eggs contain the antioxidant trace mineral selenium, and the yolks contain the amino acids methionine and cysteine. These amino acids help reduce inflammation, reduce pain, and support post-surgery healing.  Eggs make a great breakfast or addition to many other dishes.

5  Matcha Tea

Matcha tea is a nutrient-rich green tea and comes in the form of a stone-ground unfermented powder.  It has upto 17x the anti-oxident power of blueberries. Matcha powder is mixed with a little water to make a paste and then wisked into nearly boilded water to make a tea.  Add honey if required to sweeten.  Matcha powder can be added to yogurt shakes, milk drinks and cocktails.

6  Fermented foods

Fermented foods help your body expel toxins, which build up as a result of injury and anesthesia. Kefir, natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other fermented vegetables all provide your gut with beneficial bacteria to flush toxins.  Add these foods to salads, sandwiches and stir frys.

7  Shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms contain Ergothioneine, a strong compound that discourages inflammation and inhibits oxidative stress. They also contain a number of unique nutrients such as iron and copper, which are some of the few metallic elements accompanied by amino and fatty acids that are essential to promote health.  Your body can't synthesize copper, so your diet must supply it regularly. Shitake mushrooms have a rich smoky flavour, great to add to stocks, as a substitute for meats or as flavouring for a wide range of recipies. Shitake mushrooms only take 7 minutes to sauté!

Recipes to Boost Recovery
Breakfast
Dinner
 

Shitake Omlette

  • 1 1/2 tsp virgin olive oil 

  • 1/4 red onion, chopped

  • Small garlic clove finely chopped 

  • 1 fresh shiitake, stem removed, mushroom top  and/or 1 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water to soften for 20 minutes, drained & squeezed dry, thinly sliced

  • Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste

  • 2 eggs 

  • 2 tbsp water 

Whisk eggs and water in a small bowl, add salt and pepper to season.  Warm olive oil in a pan, add garlic and onion to soften, approx 2 mins.  Turn up heat, add mushrooms and continuously stir until ingredients gently brown approx 4 mins.  Pour in the egg mixture and roll the pan to cover the base. Use a spatula to carefully lift the edges to allow the uncooked eggs to flow underneath. Then fold the omelette in half, pressing down firmly to solidify the eggs, and cook for about 10 seconds more. Serve with some salad garnish.

Lunch

Blueberry Almond Coconut Quinoa Porridge

  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa

  • 1/2 cup almond milk

  • 1 tsp coconut oil, melted

  • 3 tbsp blueberries

  • 1 tbsp toasted slivered almonds

  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut

  • 1/2 tbsp hemp hearts or roasted flax seeds

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Put blueberries to side.  Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat on medium-low, stirring until the porridge is warm.  Pour into a bowl and add blueberries.  You can also Microwave on high for 1-2minutes

Salmon, Caper & Lemon Salad

  • 2 salmon fillets

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary leaves

  • 2 lemons

  • 1/2 cup marsala wine (or white wine)

  • 4 tsp of capers

  • 4 cups arugula salad leaves (or small salad leaves)

  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • Parmesan shavings for dressing

Serves 2.  Brush top and bottom of salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place each piece of seasoned salmon on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal.  Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon add wine, and capers into a cup.  Pour mix over the salmon and wrap up tightly in the foil packets.  Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Place the foil packets on the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of salmon.  To make the salad -  Place salad leaves into 2 bowls.  Mix 1/2 squeezed lemon juice with balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp of virgin olive oil in a cup.  Season with salt and pepper. When the salmon is cooked, vigorously mix dressing and pour over salad leaves.  Add cherry tomatoes.  Place cooked salmon ontop of dressed salad.  Pour the juices with capers over the salmon.  Add sliced lemon on top and serve with parmesan shavings.

Super Boost Miso Soup

  • 150 grams gluten free noodles

  • 3 tsp miso paste

  • Small piece ginger

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced

  • 1 carrot, peeled

  • Few brocolli florets, chopped

  • 3 mushrooms, quartered

  • 2 spring onions, chopped finely

Chop and place spring onions to one side. Prepare the vegetables and place in a bowl.  Cook the noodles as per instructions on packet and set aside.  Add miso paste to 4 cups of water in a pan on low heat and cook until just before boiling.  Add vegetables and noodles to broth and stir well to combine. Sprinkle spring onions on top and serve.

 Chicken, Pepper & Shitake Stir Fry

  • ¼ cup liquid aminos or soy sauce

  • 2 tsp sesame oil 

  • 2 tbsp honey 

  • 2 tbsp organic shelled hemp seed 

  • 2 tbsp organic coconut oil, divided

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks

  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced 

  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced

  • 1 small yellow squash, cut into matchsticks 

  • 3 ounces shitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 

  • 2 cups thinly sliced rainbow chard

Whisk together the liquid aminos, sesame oil, raw honey, and hemp seeds in a small bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet. Add the chicken and stir-fry over high heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Add the remaining oil and stir-fry the onion, peppers, squash and shitakes until lightly charred, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the chard and cook until wilted, 2 minutes. Add the sauce and simmer until it thickens slightly, 2 minutes. Fold in the chicken and cook one minute more. Serve over brown rice or quinoa.

Chicken, Kale & Sweet Potato Curry

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks

  • 1 tbsp red curry paste

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 red onion

  • 2 sweet potatoes

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1 tsp liquid tamari or soy sauce

  • 1 tsp chilli powder

  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

  • 50g chopped kale

  • 1 tsp turmeric

Serves 2.  Rub the chicken in the red curry paste and a pinch of salt and put to side. Finely chop the onion. Cut up the sweet potato into small bite size chunks. Grate the ginger and chop the kale. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a large pan and sauté the onion with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes until golden.  Add the sweet potato and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add in the chicken and cook this until brown for 2 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk, tamari or soy sauce, ginger, kale and chilli. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and potato is soft.  Serve over brown rice or quinoa.

Snacks

Refreshing Matcha Melon Smoothie

  • 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 1 banana

  • 5 ice cubes

  • 1 tsp organic Matcha powder

  • 1/2 large honeydew melon

Slice the banana and honeydew melon into one-inch pieces.  Blend the banana and melon with the ice cubes. Add the milk and Matcha powder to the blender and blend until smooth.

Banana, Coconut & Pineapple Muffin

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

  • 1/3 cup mashed very ripe banana

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or 1 sweet apple, finely grated

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or sub 4 drops of Stevia

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup plain almond milk, unsweetened

  • 1/2 cup grated coconut

  • 1/2 cup packed pineapple chunks

  • 2/3 cup gluten free rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup almond meal

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp gluten free flour blend 

  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts (chopped) for topping

Makes 12 gluten and dairy free muffins.  Preheat oven to 375 F (190C). Prepare muffin tin with liners or lightly grease them.  Break eggs into a large mixing bowl, add banana, honey and melted coconut oil and combine. Add apple sause, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and whisk ingredients. Add almond milk and stir.  Add coconut and pineapple, oats, almond meal, gluten free flour blend and stir.  Divide the mix evenly among 12 muffin tins. Add crushed walnuts (optional).  Bake for 30-35 mins, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted to the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and sit for 15mins.  Flip them from the pan and leave to cool.  Muffins can be frozen.

ACL KNEE INJURY & REHAB

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This site is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent knee Injury. Information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your healthcare professional. Consult your doctor or health professional at time of injury and before starting your rehab or making any changes to your diet. Also note that this page may contain affiliate links.

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