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Self care treatment of injuries using food

by Stacey Kaplan LAc, LMT

As part of an ongoing series, How To Care For Your Injuries; let's discuss how our diet can aid, or impede, our healing process. I've mentioned dietary guidelines to many of you when recovering from injuries; lets examine these recommendations so you have them for the future.

The following suggestions are foods that will optimize your healing potential and shorten recovery time, mostly by keeping inflammation under control in the body.

Food to avoid while healing:
Spicy food can heat you up and encourage inflammation in the body.Fried food and preservative rich foods tax your digestive system which inhibits your healing process.Shellfish can create an inflammatory response in the body. If you already have inflammation because of an injury, it's best to avoid anything that might create more.Alcohol may dull the pain for a short time but will impede recovery.Raw food also taxes your digestive system which will inhibit your healing process.

Food to enjoy while healing:
Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Incorporate turmeric in lots of your dishes.Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, chard, collard greens, are jam-packed with most of the vitamins we need for healing and for health in general.Cook your food while healing; it's easier on your digestive system. Saute, steam, grill, whatever you like, just so your food's not raw.

Using food as medicine can be a powerful tool in your healing process. Enjoy a varied diet including spicy food, shellfish, alcohol and raw food when you're not healing from an injury; there's nothing wrong with these choices in general. Fried food and anything with lots of preservatives should be avoided as often as possible to promote over all health.
Take good care of yourself while recovering from injuries. Get lots of sleep, manage your stress levels and eat well to support your body in doing what it does so well.

Whatever your injury, Chinese medicine advocates immediate treatment. Treat minor problems promptly and they are much less likely to develop into larger, chronic conditions.