Do you wish you had mutant healing powers like Wolverine? How about the ability to regenerate damaged or destroyed tissue and bone like Deadpool? What if I told you that even you, a mere mortal could harness superhuman healing power?
I recently fractured my shoulder and initially was told it would take six weeks, however my orthopedic surgeon just told me I’ve cut that prognosis in half. After reviewing my latest x-ray, she said she was blown away at the fact that there is bone forming at three weeks. “Wow, I typically only see bone formation at six weeks.”
While we may not be able to instantly re-grow a limb like superheros, we humans do have the power to regenerate parts of our body. It typically happens at a slower rate than what you see in the movies, but it’s not much different. For example, we have fibrous connective tissue called collagen that holds cells together. This collagen forms in a criss-cross pattern, much like stitching, and this self-healing stitching forms bone, skin, cartilage and tendons.
Healing plant-based foods
Food has the ability to accelerate this collagen stitching, but only if you’re eating the right foods. In addition to regenerating bone and tissue, certain foods can either increase or decrease your level of inflammation. It should be a no-brainer, but sugar, processed food, dairy and meat increases oxidative stress and inflammation. Conversely, whole plant-based foods are the unmatched way to decrease inflammation.
For my recovery I kicked my plant-based diet into high gear! I was less concerned about gaining weight and more focused on getting plenty of nutrients. My meals were packed with fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and quinoa, which are all high in micronutrients and macronutrients. Breakfast was typically a green smoothie with kale, spinach, blueberries, banana, beets, a big chunk of fresh turmeric and ginger, and some spirulina. For lunch and dinner I made a big batch of nutrient-dense soup full of veggies, herbs, nut butters quinoa and loads of turmeric; which were easy to digest and allowed me to consume a higher amount of nutrients in a compact form.
In addition to healthy meals, I also added a few supplements to really boost my vitamin and mineral intake:
- 8 drops liquid Vitamin D3
- 1 capsule Magnesium Bis-Glycinate
- 2 tablets of vegan iron
- 1 scoop 2x/day Greens + Bone Builder
I think, therefore I am. Positive thinking isn’t just a hippie mindset, it’s been discovered that the body has the ability to self-heal. Thoughts and expectations have a profound affect on how we heal, how we feel, and even our DNA structure.
A growing body of scientific research suggests visualization can work to alter your state of health. It describes how imagining or meditating on a desired outcome with positive imagery and intention, you recruit your body to heal.
It might sounds a little hippie, but for my recovery I did some healing visualization where I imagined my bone regenerating and healing itself. I imagined a strong, powerful and healthy shoulder. Who knows if it worked, but as the doctor said, I did heal much faster than normal.
Sleep is the low hanging fruit of injury recovery. The more shut-eye you can accumulate, the more your stem cells can proliferate, and the more growth hormone can stimulate bone and muscle repair.
It’s not always easy sleeping with an injury, but for my recovery I ensured an 8–9hr window of sleep each night. I also went to bed each night with a heat pack on my shoulder to increase blood flow to the area.
Ditch the idea of lying immobilized on the couch, wasting away your summer waiting for your busted body to heal itself. Not only will a bit of exercise stimulate blood flow to much your injured areas, it has been shown to boost your immune function and release anti-inflammatory cytokines which signal cells to help build and repair muscle tissue.
I’m not suggesting you hit your workout at 100%, you should cut back on intensity and think about how you can move smartly. If you’re able to do cardio, venture out for some long walks or hop on the spin bike. Talk to your doctor and physiotherapist about some light resistance exercises and stretches, and stay in a pain-free range.
Top Nutrients for Healing
|Vitamin C||Our bones are a dense connective tissue made up of collagen. Vitamin C strong collagen it’s necessary to have ample supplies of vitamin C||Citrus Fruit
|Magnesium||Without magnesium, calcium may be not fully utilized, so it is critical to pair these two minerals.
|Boron||Helps your body metabolize important minerals such as calcium.||Almonds
|Zinc||Along with Vitamin C, proper calcium absorption also depends on zinc.||Sesame Seeds
|L-lysine||Amino acid that helps in the absorption of calcium from the digestive tract||Quinoa
|Vitamin D3||Needed for proper absorption of calcium from the gut, as well as calcium regulation in the body||Liquid Vitamin D supplement
|Vitamin B6||Needed to maintain proper intercellular magnesium levels||Sweet Potatoes