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Nutrition for Healing: Proliferation (Part 3 of 4)

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Phase 2: Proliferation: Days 4-21

This week's discussion is on the phase of proliferation. Hopefully, our swelling, pain and discomfort has begun to dissipate and things are becoming easier to accomplish. Inside our body the injury site has been creating a framework of new tissue and blood vessels. It is sweeping up debris from injury, removing damaged cells, breaking down blood clots, and removing lymph. There is a lot going on! And even though the person in question has been sidelined due to injury there is still a relatively high level of caloric needs. Depending on the severity of injury the basal metabolic rate(energy used to keep the body functioning at rest) can increase from 10 to 50 percent. Therefor, it is important for the healing process that appropriate calories are ingested to support those functions as well as healing.

A minor soft tissue injury increases regular caloric needs slightly more toward 10% while a larger surgery like a total knee replacement or healing from a significant burn will be closer to 50%. At the proliferation stage we should be mindful that our body is performing less action than if we are back to our usual active self but also more than being completely sedentary. This is because of all the work going into the healing process.

Eating every 3-4 hours is helpful. An array of foods are needed with emphasis on protein due to the large role it plays rebuilding tissue. We are also in need of good fats and carbohydrates(starches). Remember, we are not training, we are healing so the requirement for carbohydrates will be lower.

precision nutrition calorie control guide pdfHow do you make sure you are getting the right amounts of these items in every meal? An easy reference is as simple as the use of your hand and sports items:

Protein: Men, 2 palms full, women 1

examples: eggs, lean meat, beans

Fats: Men 2 thumbs, women 1 thumb

Examples: avocado, mixed nuts, flax oil

Carbohydrates: 1-2 fists of fruit and veggies

Starches: 2 golf balls men, 1 golf ball women

Example: minimally processed bread, rice, grain

Next week our focus will continue to look at the smaller items or micro nutrients that can further assist our healing process.

Fast Fact: Did you know eating every part of an egg can benefit? Research shows that calcium carbonate found in eggshells may be one of the purest and easiest

to digest and the membrane that separates the egg from

the shell is high in collagen protein that assists in joint health. You can find both in powder and supplement form. This gives new meaning to the incredible edible egg! Be sure to have a conversation with your doctor to find out if this supplementation would be appropriate for you!

If you missed part 2, read it here!

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