Keywords: concussion, post concussion syndrome, concussion diet
Accidents happen… they are a part of life and we never know if or when we may be the victim of a head injury. Getting hit in the head can be scary and can turn many people’s world upside down. After any life-threatening injuries have been ruled out, many patients don’t know where to turn next. Rest? Minimize physical and mental activity? Isn’t there more that can be done?
When the brain is injured, just like other tissue in the body, an inflammatory process is turned on in the brain to help it heal. The brain needs time to rest and recover, so yes, relaxing at home, minimizing screen time and physical activity are a must. We would like to take it one step further to speed up the healing process with specific food options that will help send good nutrients and fuel to the brain.
Here is a list to help you on your way to recovery!
What to EAT after a concussion:
1. Vegetables, vegetables, and more vegetables! Here is a list of some recommended high nutrient veggies to load up on: spinach, kale, bock choy, avocado, asparagus, artichoke, broccoli, and cucumber!
2. Fruits: Low glycemic index fruits are best. What is the glycemic index? The glycemic index is a number assigned to foods based on their relative raise in blood glucose. Foods lower on the glycemic index will create less swings in blood sugar which can be exhausting for an injured brain. Here is a list of suggestions; cherries, peach, plum, apple, pear, strawberry, grapes, blueberries, apricots.
3. Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are ideal, as they are packed with omega 3's and healthy fats and protein.
4. Eggs: A great source of protein.
5. Meats/Fish: Choose unprocessed, lean meats (preferably grass-fed and pasture-raised) Wild caught fish; salmon is a must.
6. Coconut oil: Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid that truly is a super food for the brain. This is definitely the healthiest fat on the market. You can add it to a salad, eat it from a spoon, or cook with it. Because coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid it takes higher heat for it to break down and produce free radicals (those are negative ions that promote aging and tissues damage).
What to AVOID after a concussion:
1. Alcohol 2. Processed sugar 3. Fried and salty foods 4. Caffeine
After 7-10 days if you are still struggling with symptoms it is time to get further help. Functional neurologists are trained healthcare professional in the diagnosis and treatment of post-concussion syndrome. If you have any questions the staff at Better Brain & Body are here to help. Call today and we will be happy to assist you; 704-752-8100.