What Can you do to support your recovery from a traumatic brain injury?
Your diet is of utmost importance after you suffer a traumatic brain injury. What you put in your body can aid or hinder your healing, depending on what foods you choose to consume. A healthy diet is vital to your health overall, but a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can amplify the need to eat healthily and expedite healing to provide your body with the goods it needs to recover.
Here are four things you can do to support your recovery from a traumatic brain injury.
1. Consume Prebiotics and Probiotics
It’s relatively common to have gut issues after a brain injury since the vagus nerve connects your digestive system and brain. Incorporating prebiotics and probiotics into your diet can boost your recovery and supplement the support your gut needs.
Balanced diets with the right supplements can lessen the symptoms that brain injuries can cause, like a decreased appetite or cravings for sweets. Some foods offer natural prebiotics, including onions, asparagus, fruits, vegetables, garlic, artichokes, and dark chocolate.
The cocoa content in dark chocolate has to be at least 70%, so this doesn’t include milk chocolate. Fruits are excellent sources of prebiotics and are high in antioxidants. To satisfy those cravings, turn to natural sweet treats like berries and apples rich in fiber.
2. Adhere to Healthy Diet Tips
Certain foods can improve your cognitive function, which can be affected by head injuries. The level of brain damage you acquire is evaluated by professionals and used to determine the appropriate course of action for recovery. No matter what level of brain impairment you suffer from your TBI, a healthy diet can speed up your recovery.
Omega-3 fatty acids are the best vitamins you can consume for your brain. Wild fish is higher in omega-3 than farmed seafood, and fish canned in brine is a better source than canned in oil. Meat and eggs are also good sources of vitamins your brain needs.
Fruits and vegetables provide minerals and vitamins like calcium that promote brain function. Micronutrients like vitamins and minerals are essential because your body cannot produce them. Macronutrients, like those found in fish, give you energy by consuming calories vital to your brain’s healing process.
Protein and natural foods will also help fuel your brain. Having small and healthy snacks every few hours will help boost your energy. Consuming small amounts of food at a time can help with diminished appetite since you won’t be trying to eat a big meal all at once.
3. Choose Foods With Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Foods with anti-inflammatory properties can help improve your brain’s cognitive function after an injury. Chicken, green vegetables, and fish are good choices.
These foods work to decrease inflammation in your body and can boost your immune system. You can try various things to reduce pain and inflammation following a TBI. People with decreased appetites might find smoothies a fantastic alternative to full meals because they are so filling.
They can also be jam-packed with all your body’s ingredients to expedite healing and help manage your pain. Fruits like pineapple that contain anti-inflammatory properties are excellent natural sources.
Hydration is also a key ingredient to the healing process in TBI patients. However, staying hydrated can be a challenge if you are suffering from a lack of thirst or simply don’t enjoy drinking water. Smoothies can help here, too.
4. Try the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet promotes brain health. It tends to include hefty portions of grains, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables, fish, and olive oil.
Fish is the best food to rely on for expediting your healing process when suffering from a brain injury. You just have to ensure you are getting the right source of omega-3. The omega-3 fats found in fish are a much better source for promoting brain healing than plant-based foods.
Since the brain is made up of fat, proper sources of omega-3 fats like the ones found in fish are imperative in helping it fire and process electrical signals at the appropriate speed. Microalgae can be found in supplement form for those who dislike seafood, so you can still get the goodness omega-3 provides for your brain.
Many berries and fruits are associated with improving brain health. For example, pomegranates can give you extra brain power and improve your memory. Walnuts are also fabulous for improving your focus.
Healing From TBI
Healing from TBIs is challenging and looks different for everyone. No matter how difficult it may seem, you are not alone in your struggles. Avoid consuming alcohol, artificial sweets like candy, milk chocolate, and excessively salty foods. Stick to a balanced diet and provide your body with the foundation it needs to heal and recover properly. This will fuel your recovery and improve your health, allowing you to live life fully after recovery.