8 Foods That Support Regeneration and Help Your Body Heal
“What should I eat to optimize healing?”
I get this question almost daily in my work at Joy Wellness Partners and Enliven Aesthetics. When patients come to us for regenerative medicine injections, we tell them the providers do the treatment but it truly is their body that will do most of the healing work.
Whether we are treating their face with a Vampire facial, or their hair with a peptide / PRP / PDO threads procedure, or their injured knee, shoulder or other joint with an orthopedic procedure, we commonly share this insight:
“We plant the seeds, but your body is the soil; you determine if it’s rich, fertile soil that will give the seeds the best chance to grow.”
We encourage our patients to eat foods that promote natural regeneration, increase blood flow and growth factors in the area we are treating, and reduce harmful inflammation.
A good example of the way our body regenerates cells is a cut that heals on its own. Regeneration happens naturally when a cut or skin scrape scabs over and heals. Your body has the natural capacity to rejuvenate your skin and your hair follicles, as well as your tendons, muscles and ligaments. In addition to naturally occurring regeneration, regenerative medicine options can also be applied to rejuvenate injured areas below the skin, including the nerves and blood vessels in sexually sensitive areas so as to encourage healthy, satisfying sexual relationships.
Because regenerative healing takes place from the inside out, why not add the best possible nutrition to optimize the recovery process?
Regenerative cell production can be boosted with certain foods. Because diet plays a huge role in the body’s regeneration cycles, it is helpful to think of food as medicine. Incorporating some key foods into a daily diet is a great way to optimize healing after a regenerative procedure. But it will be even more effective if these foods become a daily dietary habit; in addition to aiding the healing process, these will boost the body’s regenerative and anti-aging potential.
8 Cell Regeneration Foods:
Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries all help build up the powerful antioxidant called superoxide dismutase (SOD). This antioxidant is excellent for reducing oxidative stress. A reduction of oxidative stress provides support for the liver and decreases excessive inflammation in joints as they heal. Berries are also rich in flavonoids that repair cellular damage
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and is rich in sulforaphane, a chemical that increases enzymes in the liver that work to neutralize the harmful toxins we inhale as we breathe. All cruciferous vegetables are packed with a unique molecule called DIM that supports hormone detoxification processes, including improving the ratio of healthy-to-less-healthy estrogens. In turn, this reduces inflammation and maximizes free testosterone and healing.
– Ginger root
While Ginger root is known for settling upset stomachs, it also reduces oxidative stress in the regenerative cells that need to heal in the areas we inject. Ginger also increases the lifespan of the regenerative cells like PRP in the target tissue, and maximizes the efficiency of these cells in tissue regeneration.
– Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds have fats and protein to satisfy cravings and keep you feeling full longer. Nuts are high in alpha-linolenic acid which is a type of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fat. Seeds contain plant sterols, also known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Mushrooms, especially varieties such as shiitake and maitake, are high in polyphenols, nutrients known to help detoxify liver cells and protect them from damage. Keeping the liver detoxified is critical in healing since the liver detoxifies the body and enables good growth factors and proteins to be sent directly to the areas tin need of healing.
– Fatty fish and seafood
These foods, especially the SMASH fish (Sardines, Mackerel, Anchovies, Salmon and Herring), contain a rich amount of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and support blood flow to optimize healing in the treated area.
Beets are high in nitrites, which increase nitrous oxide in the body. Nitrous oxide has many health benefits; it improves blood flow, lowers the risk of infection, and reduces harmful inflammation.
Collagen is important in all phases of wound healing due to its chemotactic nature; this means that collagen brings fibroblasts and growth factors to the injured site. Collagen supports the formation of new blood vessels and connective tissue and enables its own regeneration.
While it is valuable to incorporate these foods into a diet during healing, it makes good sense to practice healthy eating throughout life. Even the simple practice of “eating the rainbow” with organic fruits and vegetables can provide great nutrition and continual cell regeneration. Although regenerative medicine options are great methods to encourage the body to heal itself, good nutrition is an extremely important component in this endeavor; a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet provides a strong foundation and ongoing support in the healing process. Remember, when food is viewed and used as medicine, the potential for healing is immense!