Diet For Concussion Recovery: Healthy Eating Tips

The Role of Diet in Concussion Recovery

When you’re diagnosed with a concussion, your doctor will likely suggest rest as the best form of recovery. However, a healthy diet can also play a vital role in speeding up the recovery process.

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Understanding Concussion Damage

A concussion involves the brain being moved around and pressed against the inside of your skull, leading to bruising and tearing of nerve tissues. It also disrupts the balance of chemicals in your brain, impairing nerve cell function. This damage can cause magnesium and zinc levels to drop, resulting in headaches, dizziness, and cognitive problems.

The Importance of a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet contributes to concussion recovery by incorporating foods rich in important nutrients like, magnesium, zinc, folate, choline, Omegas 3s, antioxidants, and protein, all of these aid in healing the brain after a concussion. The brain, a powerhouse of activity, demands substantial energy, like protein, for efficient operation This is especially true during recovery from head injuries like concussions. These injuries increase the brain's energy needs as it strives to repair damaged tissue and regain normal function. Thus, a well-balanced concussion recovery diet should emphasize foods that not only provide energy and protein but also deliver essential nutrients crucial for the healing process.

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Foods to Avoid During Concussion Recovery

Foods to Avoid During Concussion Recovery

During concussion recovery, it's crucial to consider both the beneficial and detrimental foods. While some foods can aid the healing process by supporting factors like BDNF and neuroplasticity, other foods should be avoided. Foods rich in saturated fats and processed sugars are some examples of those food to avoid during concussion recovery.

Dairy Products

Dairy contains saturated fats that can worsen concussion symptoms. However, it provides essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. Consume dairy in moderation, opting for low-fat or reduced-fat options for calcium and vitamin D benefits.

Fatty Meats

Fatty cuts like ribeye steak and lamb chops are high in saturated fats, which can promote inflammation, including in the brain. Choose leaner meats like skinless poultry, turkey, or lean beef. Consider healthier cooking methods like grilling, roasting, or broiling to reduce fat content.

Processed Meats

Processed meats like sausages and salami are rich in saturated fats, sodium, and additives that can exacerbate concussion symptoms. Limit consumption during recovery and opt for whole protein sources like poultry, fish, tofu, or legumes.

Sugary Drinks

Sugary beverages like sodas and fruit juices can lead to energy fluctuations, worsening headaches and cognitive issues. Reduce their consumption during concussion recovery. Choose healthier alternatives like water, herbal tea, or unsweetened drinks to stay hydrated.

Highly Processed Bread

When it comes to bread during concussion recovery, opt for whole-grain or whole-wheat options over highly processed white bread. Whole-grain breads provide more nutrients, including fiber and complex carbohydrates, which can support stable blood sugar levels and sustained energy. Avoid sugary or overly processed bread varieties, as they may lead to energy fluctuations.

It's important to emphasize that complete elimination of these foods isn't necessary, as some offer health benefits. It's essential to strike a balance. Completely eliminating certain food groups may lead to nutritional deficiencies, which can impede your recovery process. Instead, focus on moderation and make conscious choices to support your brain's healing while still enjoying the occasional treat. Consulting with a healthcare professional or nutritionist can help you create a personalized dietary plan that optimizes your recovery and ensures long-term brain health.

The Vital Role of Nutrition in Concussion Recovery

Nutrition is an important part of concussion recovery. Both your brain and body need the proper nutrients to heal correctly. Our brains use up an average of 20% of our total calorie intake. The importance of eating enough calories to give the brain enough energy to heal itself and function normally can’t be overstated. In addition to changes in your diet, it’s imperative that you seek a concussion specialist if you’re finding daily tasks challenging and are experiencing concussion symptoms. A proper diagnosis and treatment plan is essential in ensuring proper concussion recovery and lasting brain health.

Visit Our Advanced Concussion Clinic in Ottawa

At Broadview Health Centre, our brain specialists have extensive experience with various forms of brain injuries, including concussions. We are here to offer comprehensive support, including nutrition guidance and more, to facilitate your recovery. Contact us to learn more about our expertise in concussions, the treatments we offer, and to schedule your first appointment today. Book an appointment.