By Deepika Rathod
I’m a 21-year-old female and have recently undergone an ACL reconstruction surgery. Could you please give me tips to reduce the swelling?
Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL reconstruction) is a surgical tissue graft replacement of the anterior cruciate ligament located in the knee to restore its function after anterior cruciate ligament injury. The torn ligament is removed from the knee before the graft is inserted. Aside from the obvious physical therapy, the key objective when it comes to nutrition after ACL surgery is reducing inflammation of your injured knee as well as boosting your immune system.
Vitamin E helps minimise oxidative stress and inflammation of your knee after surgery which helps for greater strength gains of the muscles around your knee. Food rich in vitamin E are tofu, spinach, almonds, roasted sunflower seeds, avocados, fish (rainbow trout), olive oils, broccoli, etc.
Vitamin C helps boost the immune system, serves as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent that helps speed up healing. When you consume both vitamin E and C, they work together as a team almost immediately to help minimise inflammation and increase strength in one’s knee following ACL surgery. According to the Linus Pauling Institute (Micronutrient Research for Optimum Health), vitamin C aids muscle strength recovery from ACL surgery. Food to be eaten post ACL surgery are fruits like lemon, oranges, sweet lime, amla, guava and vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower and berries.
Vitamin A increases the production of collagen which is a vital protein in your ACL, meniscus, ligaments and tendons. Foods rich in vitamin A are sweet potato, carrots, kale, squash, romaine lettuce, prunes, dried apricots, cantaloupe melon, sweet red peppers and mango.
Omega 3 fatty acids control inflammation which is an essential part of the healing process. Fish such as herring, salmon, sardines, mackerel, lake trout and albacore tuna are high in Omega 3 fatty acids. Adding these food items to your post-operative diet will add benefits. Walnuts and flaxseeds are also important contributors of an Omega 3 rich diet.
• Zinc along with vitamin C boosts the immune system. Include seafood (oysters), spinach, chia seeds, flaxseed, nuts (almonds and pecans) and lean chicken in your diet.
• Flavonoids are antioxidants which help reduce inflammation, prevent cellular damage, and promote healing on the cellular level. They heal blood vessels within or around the knee area after surgery. They help reduce swelling by protecting cells from oxygen damage or oxidative stress, blood vessels from rupturing and enhance one’s vitamin C. Flavonoids are found in apples, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, onions, cabbage and black beans.
Vitamin E, C, A, omega 3 fats, zinc and flavonoids along with vitamins C and D play a key role in speeding one’s healing process by reducing inflammation and increasing strength.
I’m a 28-year-old overweight female. Could you suggest something that will help me retain energy for longer periods of time?
Certain foods can actually boost calories, regulate your blood sugar and trigger feel-good chemicals in your brain to improve your energy level, enhance your mood and increase your metabolism so you burn off more calories. It’s all about eating the right types of food. Eating breakfast regularly and snacking throughout the day (after every 2-3 hour) along with drinking lots of water can keep energy levels high. Below is a list of few food items that will help increase energy levels.
Green leafy vegetables
Whole grains like wheat, jowar, bajra, etc, are digested more slowly, keeping your blood sugar and energy levels stable and helping you feel satiated longer so you avoid sweets and empty carbohydrates. A fibre rich diet also helps reduce cholesterol levels and weight. For fibre intake, include whole grains, oats, fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
Vitamin C helps strengthen the immune system and protects one from infections like cold and cough. Ensure you consume foods and fruits rich in vitamin C like lemon, oranges and sweet lime.
Eggs are high in iron and protein to give you energy. Choline is a type of B-vitamin that is found in eggs and is required for brain function and energy production.
Yogurt contains probiotics, which are well known for being a key part of healthy digestion. These help fight a weak immune system and boost energy levels.
Spicy curries made with turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and other spices can boost energy levels with antioxidants, normalise blood sugar levels and promote good circulation.
Start eating five to six meals a day. The largest meal should be reserved for morning (when your body is more receptive and uses more nutrients than it generally does). You should also consume four teaspoon of fat (oil) every day, use only this amount of oil while cooking meals per day. Avoid vigorous exercise, but start brisk walking for 20 to 30 minutes. Hope these tips help you increase your energy levels, lose r weight and make you feel active.