19 Foods to Heal & Recover Faster

To mend muscles and fix fractures more quickly, look no further than your local grocery store.
By Kelly Bastone

Aches and pains are inevitable after finishing a long ride. Did you know that certain foods can help with the healing process? Sports dietitian Cynthia Sass is here to help! Here are her tips to eating to ease the pain.

When an injury sidelines a cyclist, the natural reaction is to cut back on calories until it’s time to ride—and burn energy—again. But the healing process demands fuel, too. “It’s like fixing a house,” says sports dietitian Cynthia Sass, “A crack in the foundation requires raw materials to patch things back together, and in the body those raw materials come from what we eat.”

Proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants help heal wounds, relax stressed tendons and mend fractured bones more quickly. So in addition to your doc’s advice to elevate and ice, choose the right combinations of foods to speed recovery and get back on your bike. Here’s where to aim your shopping trolley at your next grocery shop.

Produce Section

BUY

Carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes and spinach (kale) for vitamin A; oranges, strawberries, peppers and broccoli for vitamin C

WHY

Vitamin A helps make white blood cells for fighting infection, “which is always a risk with injury,” says Sass. Vitamin C has been proven to help skin and flesh wounds heal faster and stronger, making it a valuable ally when caring for road rash. Vitamin C also helps repair connective tissues and cartilage by contributing to the formation of collagen, an important protein that builds scar tissue, blood vessels and even new bone cells.

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