As a volleyball player, getting hurt happens. Volleyball player injuries can be a super downer on your momentum and psyche. It can be disheartening and frustrating when you can’t train to your full capacity.
Depending on the injury, research has shown that icing, message, compression, rest, strength work and elevation are all helpful components of treatment for injuries. Thankfully, there are healing foods that aid muscle recovery, tendon injuries and help decrease healing time to get back into rotation. Your body is built to heal from the inside out and eating recovery foods is extremely important in the healing of injuries. If you provide the right foods and nutrients for your body during recovery and healing, the duration on an injury can be shortened.
So, that is why we will be discussing some of the top 6 helpful foods for recovery! These foods should be incorporated daily, if possible. When we focus on the foods to add, it helps decrease the foods that may be slowing us down.
What to include in your diet, #3
What is it?
Vitamin A is the name of a whole group of fat soluble vitamins called retinoids (retinol, retinal and retinyl esters to be exact). There are two forms of vitamin A available in the diet. The first is preformed vitamin A (found in foods from animal sources-such as dairy, fish and meat) and provitamin A carotenoids. Because these retinoids are very bioavailable and stored in our tissues, too much animal-derived vitamin A can build up in the body and become toxic. It does take a lot. The second is provitamin A carotenoids, found in fruits and vegetables is in the form. These must be converted by the human body into usable retinoids. The body can make all the vitamin A it needs from these plant-derived carotenoids. They are water-soluble and do not accumulate in the body, so toxicity is rare.
How does vitamin A help with healing?
Vitamin A has been shown to be a valuable piece in the injury healing puzzle. When your body starts to heal, it needs to grow new tissue to fix the damaged pieces. Cells are used to reproduce and create this new tissue. Vitamin A contributes to cell growth and cell reproduction, creating more building blocks to work on healing the injury.
Vitamin A is also required to create collagen, the main structural protein in various connective tissues.
Additionally, Vitamin A acts as anti-inflammatory. It tends to slow down fibroblasts, inflammation causers, and speed up macrophages, cells that initiate reparative behavior in tissues.
What foods contain Vitamin A?
The first type of vitamin A, the preformed type, is found in meat, poultry, fish and dairy products.
The second type, provitamin A, is found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant based products. The fruits and vegetables that contain the most include: Sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, leafy greens, pumpkin, cantaloupe, peppers, mangos and squash.
How to get enough in?
Intake recommendations for vitamin A is 700mcg. When looking at contents of foods, however, the amount shows in IUs (international units). 5,000IU is the recommended amount. You CAN get too much vitamin A, but this is very difficult from food alone. If taking a supplement, make sure you do not have more than 9,300IU daily from them. If you do, you can get nausea, headaches, extreme cases coma or death.
Most people in the United States get enough vitamin A from foods they eat, with injuries, it is ultra-important to make sure we are. How? Look at the colors of your food. Aim for oranges and dark greens. If you include these in at least 2 meals a day, you should be good!
I hope this helps you stay on point! If you have any additional questions, or need more help with power fueling, shoot me an email! at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to help you!
Eat power food, be powerful.
What is your favorite vitamin A food? Share below in the comments!
Healing Foods - Vitamin A
Sources include carrots, pumpkin, spinach, and acorn squash
Lindsay Wexler, RDN, CSSD, LD
Clinical Dietitian, Board Certified Sports Dietitian