Recovery food will give your body a boost when you’ve been sick, on antibiotics, or feel drained altogether. When your body is low on energy, embattled by illness, recovering from surgery or fighting back against inflammation vital fuel will support healing. In this post, we give you loads of tips, hints, and resources so you can get back on track. Check out will what to eat for which conditions and what to avoid.
Do let us know what you think – and feel free to join us and get The GOODista newsletter, updates and more.
Recovery Food: Real Food Is Medicine
The fundamental principle is that food is medicine. To start off all that you eat needs to be real. Processed foods or human-made substitutes counteract the restorative qualities. To live long and prosper your body needs food (and drink) made by Mother Nature. Think fruit, vegetables, whole grain, oils and lean fish and meat.
Preventative health allows the body to get better when it needs to without input from outside sources. You learn how to read your body’s signals and what it needs. For instance, after a heavy gym session, you know how to recover by resting and eating the right kinds of food after a workout.
Why You Need Real Food
Many of today’s illnesses are due to nutritional deficiencies. The majority of processed convenience foods are packed with synthetic ingredients, preservatives and low in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and enzymes. What many people eat is not food, which can contribute to illness. You can make a difference for yourself by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
If you get hurt, have surgery, fall sick or feel inexplicably drained your whole system goes into alarm status. Your body and mind feel the impact in every way. While you struggle to understand how your normal energies could get so low so fast – rest assured. You can increase the speed of recovery by injecting extra natural goodness through specific foods or diets.
When Do You Need Recovery Food?
Here are some situations and body signals that tell you recovery food can help:
- Surgical intervention or accident may lead to follow-on complications. The best foods to eat are packed with vitamins and minerals. Recovery food decreases the risk of infection, accelerate healing, increase strength and energy. Read on to see how anti-inflammatory foods combat iron deficiency, constipation and fight inflammation.
- Antibiotics are great at killing the germs they target. But they also take out all the good-for-you bacteria in the stomach. Your energy gets drained and you feel sluggish. See below why a rebalancing diet will aid a speedier recovery.
- Stress, too much work, pressure or strain will make you tired. You may need to rebalance hormones, detoxify the liver and regulate blood sugar as well as get rid of the acid, i.e. to alkalize the body. The anti-inflammatory diet, Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and a cleansing diet all work to help you get back on track. Which one is right for you?
Recovery Food Impact
When life and work events provoke the body you can fight back with specific recovery food. Different foods can impact in different ways. The right kind of food acts as medicine when you need it the most. The best news is however that food made by mother nature will work preventatively too. It keeps you balanced, energized and stable. It is also the best anti-aging cure there is!
5 Ways Recovery Food Help
- Control and Decrease Inflammation: Inflammation is part of the immune system and the body’s response to an outside threat. This is, in fact, part of the healing process. There are two different types of inflammation. One kind is acute inflammation (from a wound for example). The other is chronic. A poor diet, stress, minor food allergies, a sedentary lifestyle and more can contribute to chronic inflammation.
- Balance Hormones: Hormones affect many aspects of your overall health. Hormonal imbalances are caused by a combination of factors (Diet, stress levels, and toxins for example). When one or more of the hormone levels are even slightly imbalanced, it can cause widespread major health problems.
- Alkalize The Body: Alkalizing the body has become essential as processed, low-quality foods make the body more acidic and allow diseases to thrive more easily. Scientists claim that illness and disorder cannot take root in a human that has a balanced pH.
- Balance Blood Sugar: When blood sugar levels aren’t managed, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can then occur as levels rise and fall drastically. These come with many side effects that are indicative of prediabetes or diabetes, including fatigue, sugar cravings, changes in blood pressure, weight loss or gain, nerve damage, and nervousness. If you have mood swings it can be because of your blood sugar level.
- Detoxify, Eliminate and Improve Absorption of Toxin: Many people don’t realize that the sluggish and even bloated feeling we get during the day can be the result of excess toxins in the body. This affects immune system function, our mood, metabolism and our ability to fight disease. Interestingly symptoms of poor health in people free from a diagnosed condition may also be related to toxin buildup.
Recovery Food: What To Eat (and Not)
Whether you feel fatigued or have just checked out of the hospital – knowing what to eat to get onto the highway to health again will help you get there faster.
What you will want to avoid at all cost are foods that promote inflammation: Corn and soybean oils; Pasteurized dairy; Refined carbohydrates; Processed meats; Sugars and Trans fats.
Instead, you can start by taking a good look at the picture below and read on to see which specific diets target our condition. As a rule though – eating natural, non-processed food is the cornerstone of preventative health.
Basic Good Food Guide
- Organic Vegetables (all kinds, raw and cooked): In particular leafy greens, mushrooms, asparagus, artichokes, zucchini, fresh herbs, and beets.
- Fresh Fruits: Especially berries, citrus, and melon, which are great sources of antioxidants
- Grass-Fed/Pasture-Raised Meats/Fish: Grass-fed and free-range meats offer not just protein, but also many fatty acids that are essential for the body. Turkey, beef, lamb, venison, fish, and organ meats are all good choices
- Low-Glycemic Carbohydrates: In addition to fruits and vegetables include ancient grains (gluten-free is best), soaked legumes and beans, nuts and seeds.
- Healthy Fats: Good sources include wild seafood, coconut oil/cream, real olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
- Other Superfoods & Condiments: Sources include apple cider vinegar, garlic, raw honey, spices like turmeric and cinnamon, cocoa, sea salt, and stevia.
- Healthy Drinks: Good choices include plain water or seltzer, herbal teas, fresh veggies juices, bone broth, and coffee and red wine in moderation (1 glass/day).
Recovery Food Specific Diets
The most common recovery food is the so-called anti-inflammatory diet. Not only does it beat back acute and chronic inflammation but also works to get you on to the road of a permanent healthy lifestyle change. Other diets will aid you to rebalance hormones, alkalize the body, detoxify and aid the liver, or help regulate blood sugar.
When health experts talk about anti-inflammatory diet it is most often connected to deal with chronic inflammation. However, also after an acute inflammation helping the body by increasing antioxidants, iron and Vitamin C will definitely make a difference. Read The Ultimate List of Top Inflammatory and Anti-Inflammatory Foods.
If you want a specific plan go for the Mediterranean diet which has anti-inflammatory properties. Another good one is by well-known Dr. Weil. It gives you excellent basics on how and when to eat what and gets you going on a real lifestyle change too.
Other Recovery Diets
- Rebalance Hormones: Did you know that you can rebalance hormone levels naturally? The best way to get back on track is to eat lean protein, healthy fats, cleansing spices and to add meditation and/or yoga to your routine. Read 10 Ways To Balance Hormones Naturally.
- The Alkaline Diet: An alkaline diet (high in plant foods that are detoxifying) helps with cellular renewal and might promote longevity. You want to lower the acid in the body because if your bloodstream becomes too acidic, it will steal calcium (a more alkaline substance) from the bones to try to balance out the pH level. Did you know that calcium-rich dairy products create acidity in the body? Therefore it causes some of the highest rates of osteoporosis. ? One way to prevent osteoporosis is to eat lots of green leafy vegetables like Spinach, Watercress or Collard Greens. Fresh fruits and vegetables encourage alkalinity the most. Uncooked fruits and vegetables are said to be biogenic or “life-giving.” Cooking foods deplete alkalizing minerals. Increase your intake of raw foods, and try juicing or lightly steaming fruits and vegetables. Read The Alkaline Diet.
- Detoxify and Cleanse The Liver: The liver has over 400 functions in the body and is easily put under stress. Too much stress, processed foods, environmental toxins, and alcohol can all make you feel sluggish, fatigued and moody. A basic start is to do a detox. Read The 7 Day Detox Plan. A detox will naturally reduce inflammation, boost energy, support digestion, cleanse the liver and promote healthy skin. Did you know that drinking turmeric tea will boost the detox and act as an anti-inflammatory aid? Look at this infographic. To further address the liver you read up on how Ayurveda can really make a difference. You can also eat more Liver Cleansing Foods.
- Regulate Blood Sugar: To achieve healthy blood sugar levels and maintain them, eat a low-processed, anti-inflammatory diet that includes protein foods, healthy fats, and high-fiber foods. Make sure to swap your carbs and sweeteners to healthier alternatives, avoiding refined flour and utilizing natural sweeteners in moderation. Make sure to walk into healthy habits and include regular exercise, stress management and very importantly get enough rest.
Recovery Food After Surgery, Fatigue, and Sickness
Check out what you are going through and get inspired how to change. Do remember that some foods are considered a No-No when you’re sick or recovering: High fats content; junk food and sugar as well as highly spiced foods. They can feed and stimulate rather than promote recovery.
What To Eat…
- After Surgery? If you have a planned operation coming up or have an injury with following medical intervention, you will want to make sure that you recover faster by eating healing foods. Look at the anti-inflammatory diet and read: 10 Best Healing Foods After Surgery
- When You Feel Fatigued? You feel low, drained of energy, beaten, and down. Most of the time this is due to forgotten meals, rushed snacks, and low-quality nutritional foods that contribute to the drain of body and mind. To get back on track you need to eat healthier and aim for foods made by mother nature. Consider what the anti-inflammatory diet has to offer and read this excellent article: Foods That Fight Fatigue
- After Illness, Flu and Food Poisoning? When you’re recovering from illness, you will need to get your energy levels back faster. You can get some great ideas from this article: Speed Up Flu Recovery. If you have been food poisoned you will want to read: What To Eat After Stomach Flu or Food Poisoning. Do consider how natural food with plenty of fruit and vegetables along with lean protein, whole grains, and water is excellent.
Recovery Food: To Feel, Be and Do Good
Overall you can eat healthily and stay on the right side of wellness as longs you choose natural, non-processed foods – and even when you’re out, travel or don’t have time making healthier choices is possible.
It is about consciously thinking: would this benefit my body? Sure you can talk yourself into a chocolate bar, crisps, and corn flakes but the quick energy boost will drain you even more after a short while – and the human-made substances will toxify your body. What it comes down to is that you are what you eat – not what you avoid. How do you want to feel?
Making small steps every day towards a healthier lifestyle makes sense. You will feel the energy coming back, and suddenly even a grey day will make you smile. If you like articles about healthier choices, foodie fitness and wellness subscribe to our newsletter.
We aspire to inspire you to Feel, Be and Do Good!
Subscribe to Newsletter and More
Inspiration to Feel, Be and Do Good