Recovery from injury could be dependent on your diet

I came across an impressive list of things that proper diet has cured in many people. It looks very impressive, and to those who are unfamiliar with Paleo/Primal type diets, may seem far-fetched.

But to us in the know, those of us who have tried and applied and seen actual positive long term changes in health, body composition and so on, those of us who have an intimate understanding with the link between diet and our immediate and long term health, those of us who have a basic even limited understanding of our biological mechanisms, we understand how possible and real these results are.

Among the list of ills that Paleo has cured:

Joint pain, regular bouts of gout, Depression, chronic fatigue, mental fog, Lyme, arthritis, Diabetes, Obesity, Inflammation, Sugar addiction, Stress, Better Sleep, Mental clarity, Migraines, mild obesity, kidney stones, No “fire-in-the-hole” scorcher bathroom visits, lower back issues, and acne, Nails and teeth are stronger and my senses seem to be like they were when I was in my teens. It’s like somebody turned the lights on in the world.

It seems that everyone’s body (at least those that reported these changes) is now able to heal itself naturally. That’s the common theme. In my personal case, I no longer wake up fatigued, sore, or groggy. I don’t have those mysterious sore muscles during the day. My old football knee injury (which used to show itself after long walks) has disappeared. Chronic eczema and GERD have been cured. Bad acne. Headaches. Cold, flu, fever, ear infections. You name it, I’ve been free of it for a full year plus. I also train hard in the gym often, have seen very radical results in terms of muscle tone and recovery.

Now, let me move on to something a little more scientific I found regarding healing, relating more directly to sports injuries:

Ligamentous tissue, because it is poorly vascularized, takes much longer than soft tissue to heal. However, there are a number of elements of the Paleo Diet that may promote rapid tissue healing:
It has been demonstrated that protein deficient patients recover more slowly than a control group. This makes the Paleo Diet, because it is a high protein diet, a perfect intervention in this MCL injury and similar injuries. In such cases, it is desirable to have a diet in which protein reaches 1.2 grams/kg/day.
Increased branch-chain amino acids (valine, leucine and isoleucine) from the high animal protein diet will also speed up healing time.
More rapid resolution of the acute inflammatory stage of tissue injury will occur because of increased consumption of long-chain fatty acids (DHA, EPA, and AA).
Increased trace nutrient density (such as zinc, iron and phytochemicals) further promotes healing and tissue regeneration.
In addition to the diet, there are also supplements that could help in wound healing.
Vitamin C is an important cofactor in synthesis of collagen and proteoglycans, and other components of bone, skin, capillary walls, and other connective tissues. It is important for hydroxylation of proline and lysine residues in procollagen. Vitamin C is also an important supplement in immunomodulation and antioxidation.
Oxidative stress delays wound healing so wounds increase the necessity of vitamin C due to the increased reactive oxygen species generated. Vitamin C is also able to regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamin E.
It is recommended that you not exceed 2 grams a day since some adverse health effects have been demonstrated, such as hemolysis (red blood cell destruction), especially in glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficient patients. The recommended dosage is 1-2 grams per day.
Glucosamine increases hyaluronic acid synthesis, which is an important substance in extra cellular matrix composition. Glucosamine may increase insulin resistance and glucose levels so it should not be taken by diabetic patients. Otherwise, it is safe at a dose of 500 mg 3 times per day.
Omega-3 fats will reduce inflammation and help promote the healing process.
Glutamine has been demonstrated to decrease the number of days in the hospital for wound patients. It supports the immune system in the initial phase of inflammation, and serves as an energy source for fibroblasts and protein synthesis. The recommended dosage is 0.2 grams/kg/day.
Arginine is another important amino acid in tissue regeneration. Some of its actions include stimulation of cell migration (for wound recovery), and it is a precursor for proline during collagen synthesis.
Zinc is essential in DNA synthesis, protein synthesis and cell division. All of these are important factors in wound healing. Zinc content is high in the Paleo Diet. A recommended dosage to promote healing is 15-30 mg per day.
Other nutrients that could be beneficial for wound healing are garlic (with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties), pineapple (because bromelain accelerates wound healing and decreases inflammation), and grape-derived phytochemicals (such as proanthocyanidin) that exert anti-inflammatory effects and support healing of elastin and collagen.
We expect both athletes and surgery patients to recover more quickly on the Paleo Diet than they otherwise would eating a conventional modern diet.

So again we see a common theme, that proper nutrients and avoiding anti-nutrients in grains and sugar etc, promotes proper healing. Don’t take this to mean that we can simply supplement to make up for nutrient deficiencies. That’s not the case. You have to take into consideration that all the nutrients in whole food work in harmony together, so one will not necessarily function without the other.

That’s why nutritionists just add confusion to everything. They take the focus off the whole food, and focus on single nutrients, as if we even know the whole story. We don’t. You can’t weigh and measure shit food and get the same results as you can with Paleo, and adding supplements to a shit diet won’t do you any good either. Along those lines, I want you to take a good read at this post by J. Stanton: “what is nutritionism?” It takes a look at some of the more important anti-nutrients, and asks some really hard questions. Things you need to think about. Read it, then come back. I’ll still be here…

What’s my point?

My point is that there are a lot of people out there training, including the most elite athletes, who take every aspect of training into account, analyzing everything they can and taking advantage of the newest-in-new hip-technology supplements or training protocols, but they just haven’t considered their diet may be one of the most contributing factors to their ability to heal after they beat the shit out of their bodies day-in-and-out just to compete in the Ironman. They aren’t asking themselves the tough questions. You need to question everything, to come out on top with the best answer.

I’ve questioned everything, and it seems blatantly obvious to me now that grains screw up every system in your body, along with sugar and too many veggie oils. There’s tons of info out there, so don’t just rely on me to spoon feed it to you. Sometimes you just have to ask your own questions and be able to filter out the bull-shit. Honestly, give me one GOOD reason why I should even bother eating grains. Is there anything in there that I can’t get from veggies, meat or tubers or fruit?? Thought not…

My point is that if you know about inflammation, and you KNOW that you are overtraining and about cortisol, and you KNOW that you need to limit systemic inflammation in order to recover propery, why don’t you pay attention to the biggest item contributing to your inflammation: YOUR DIET. Get it under control and only eat what you could pick, dig, or spear (mostly spear) in the words of J. Stanton.

If you couldn’t tell, this post was inspired by a good friend of mine who is training for Ironman, and has found out very quickly what systemmic inflammation can do to your ability to compete.

 

So what’s a good diet for marathoners and Ironman-ers? Here’s a great post from Mark Sisson about marathon fuel, the cleanest way possible. 

End rant…

Like this post? Want to find out more about how to get in shape fast? Check out these articles!

Why you should avoid too many polyunsaturated fats.

What is chronic inflammation. What to eat to avoid it.

The final word on grains and legumes: AVOID them.

The final word on Saturated fat and Cholesterol: EAT them

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