Recovering from an orthopedic injury starts with a diet promoting strength and agility. Former athletes may be discouraged by the temporary setback caused by an unforeseen event, but proper nutrition is the first step we can take to help our body heal. Being active and strong doesn’t have to stop with aging. Incorporating the following nutrients into a recovering athlete’s diet will encourage mobility and longevity.
Here’s how you’ll keep yourself spry well into your 90s!
Rebuilding tissue post-injury requires protein, an essential component of any athlete’s diet. Protein is significantly important to adults over 50–it contains essential amino acids that aid in healing (and preventing) bone fractures. Incorporating extra protein into an existing diet is easy: yogurt, hard-boiled eggs added as a salad condiment, and soy or kidney beans are inexpensive and versatile choices.
We’ve all heard mixed messages regarding carbs, but not all carbohydrates are alike. In fact, certain types of carbs—like those found in apples and whole grains—promote sharper brain focus and quicker reflexes, making them a crucial component for fall prevention. Active adults gearing up for a post-injury fitness session will particularly benefit from diets rich in quinoa, brown rice, and oats. These foods are satiating and easy to cook when recovering.
Fat’s undeserved bad reputation seems to be improving, and rightfully so: healthy fats, when consumed in moderation, actually help maintain weight—a definite benefit when recovering from an orthopedic injury. Good fats (like those found in fish oil, flaxseed, avocados, and almonds) are also energy-boosters. Fitness fans adding fat to their meals will also find themselves able to sustain longer workouts since a body learns to better access stored fat as energy.
Longer workouts = stronger heart = better life. It’s as simple as that.
With a proper diet, age doesn’t have to mean loss of muscle mass, agility, or fitness. Older adults can take control of the aging process by carefully choosing which foods we eat, helping to rebuild trust in our bodies. Post-surgery or post-injury recovery takes time, but we can expedite the process with a few simple (and delicious) foods.