When you’re diagnosed with a concussion, your doctor will likely suggest rest as the best form of recovery.
Although that may be true, a healthy diet also plays an important role in speeding up the recovery period.
When you suffer from a concussion, your brain gets moved around and pressed against the inside of your skull, which results in bruising and tearing of nerve tissues. The balance of chemicals in your brain gets altered, impairing nerve cell function.
All this damage can cause magnesium and zinc levels to drop, inducing headaches, dizziness, and cognitive problems.
So how does a healthy diet play a role in concussion recovery?
Incorporating foods that are rich in magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants will replenish your brain of its missing nutrients, helping counter the effects of a concussion.
What Are The Best Foods For Concussion Recovery?
The best diet plan for people who have sustained a brain injury is one that fuels the brain.
The brain requires a lot of energy to properly function. When you receive a blow to the head, the brain will require even more energy to recover. Therefore, a good concussion diet should have foods that are high in protein and rich in minerals and vitamins.
With the diet requirements in mind, here are some foods to keep your energy levels up while providing the necessary nutrients:
- Fatty fish, which is rich in omega-3
- Dark, leafy greens
- All kinds of berries that contain antioxidants ( blueberries, cranberries, strawberries)
- Eggs and avocados
- Walnuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds
These foods are important to have in your concussion diet, as each one provides a different nutrient.
Foods To Avoid During Concussion Recovery
Just like there are certain foods to add to your concussion diet, there are some foods to stay away from.
Any foods containing saturated fats and processed sugar should be avoided, as they can obstruct BDNF and reduce neuroplasticity, which are things you want to encourage during concussion recovery.
Some foods that contain high amounts of saturated fats and sugars are:
- Dairy products (milk, butter, cream, cheese)
- Fatty meats (ribeye steak and lamb chops)
- Processed meats (sausage or salami)
- Sugary drinks
Keep in mind that these foods shouldn’t necessarily be completely prohibited as some foods, like dairy products, have important health benefits. The key is to eat these foods in moderation in order to not hinder the brain recovery process.
Advanced Concussion Clinic in Ottawa
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.
Our brain specialists at Broadview Health Centre have years of experience with numerous forms of brain injuries. It allows us to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.
Reach out to us to learn more about concussions and the treatment we offer and book your appointment today.