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NATURAL RECOVERY FROM INJURY, SURGERY AND INFECTION

At some time during their lifetime, every one suffers an injury of some kind and many are not aware that there are numerous natural foods that can help the body heal faster. Some should be consumed and others used externally and there are some that can be used both ways. Any type of injury or surgical procedure to any part of the body causing inflammation and swelling or an open skin wound will require extra nutritional support in order for the body to repair itself quickly and prevent infection. The natural foods listed on this page are also important additions when recovering from any illness, infection or surgery as they strengthen the immune system.

The best way to use this food guide is to write down your choice of some of the top food sources of each nutrient and then develop recipes that can incorporate them into the daily diet. Some foods are listed under more than one nutrient and therefore are good choices to consume frequently such as:

 

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Aloe vera is the best choice both internally and externally as it is very cleansing and nutritious and its skin healing properties are one of the most powerful nature has to offer. Growing them on a sunny windowsill as houseplant s is a very easy and inexpensive way of obtaining a regular supply.

 

Barley grass powder or juice is a rare plant provider of vitamin B12 that is often lacking in athletes, those on medications or who limit meat consumption.

 

Oily fish is another good choice to gain good protein and the essential omega-3 fatty acids and should be consume two or three times a week and krill oil should be consumed in capsule form every day. The ratio of omega-6 (inflammatory) to omega-3 (anti-inflammatory)  is way above the 4:1 ratio it should be in the western diet. Hemps seeds are the one food that have this correct ratio. The other way is to consume seafood including algae, octopus, seaweed, shellfish and squid that are also rich in minerals and other nutrients vital for fast healing but often lacking in land-grown crops and farm raised foods.

 

Organ meats, pheasant, venison and wild rabbit are the best meat providers of the essential amino acids the body requires.

 

Psyllium husks: A tablespoon of psyllium husks, which help with digestion and the excretory process, should be consumed daily.

 

See more Dietary Essentials below.

 

PROTEIN

 

Protein helps the body to form and grow new tissue, therefore helping to repair damage to the body. Muscle, cartilage, ligaments, hair, nail and skin consist mostly of protein.10,000 different proteins may exist in a single cell of the body and each one requires a different arrangement of amino acids. A typical protein may contain 300 or more amino acids. The sequence of amino acids determines each protein’s unique 3-dimensional structure and its specific function and to make protein, cells must have all the needed amino acids available simultaneously on a daily basis. A small portion of at least one of the following must be consumed daily.

 

Best sources of protein in alphabetical order

  • Beef (lean organic grass fed)

  • Black beans

  • Chia seeds

  • Eggs

  • Cheese

  • Fish

  • Flaxseeds

  • Hemp seeds

  • Lentils

  • Nuts

  • Octopus

  • Organ meats such as heart, kidney and liver

  • Pheasant

  • Pulses

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Rabbit

  • Sesame seeds

  • Shellfish

  • Soya beans

  • Squid

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Venison

  • Watermelon seeds

ALLICIN

 

Allicin is a phytochemical with powerful antimicrobial properties so foods containing this component can be very helpful when recovering from any injury or surgery. When vegetables containing allicin are chopped they should be left for ten minutes to enable the chemical reaction to take place which produces allicin.

 

NOTE: Some people and animals cannot ingest raw vegetables containing allicin as it can cause damage to their stomach linings in which case it should be lightly cooked.

 

Natural sources of allicin in alphabetical order

  • Chives

  • Garlic

  • Leeks

  • Onions

  • Spring onions

COENZYME Q10

 

There are many medications that will lower the body’s levels of this vital enzyme also known as CoQ10 and old age reduces it further. The human body manufactures CoQ10 from amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine which are converted into CoQ10. Proper functioning of this process depends upon adequate amounts of all the precursors being present and the conversion processes working correctly. These amino acids begin to transform to CoQ10 in the presence of vitamin B6. The vitamins B2, B3, B5, B9 (folic acid) vitamin C, selenium and several trace mineral elements must also be present. An additional 10 mg of CoQ10 is gained from a healthy diet which includes the foods below.

 

This vitamin-like fat-soluble substance is found in higher concentrations in high energy areas such as the heart, brain, liver, muscles, pancreas, immune cells, gums and stomach lining, but also in every single cell. It is therefore important that extra is provided for the elderly and anyone taking medications as well as those that have recently suffered an injury or undergone surgery. The following are good sources of this nutrient but it may be necessary to take supplements when the appetite is poor or medications are being administered such as 'Metformin' or 'Statins'.

 

Richest sources of coenzyme Q10 in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Venison 158 µg

  • Beef heart 113 µg

  • Soybean oil 92 µg

  • Rapeseed oil 65 µg

  • Sardines 64 µg

  • Mackerel 43 µg

  • Pork 24 - 41 µg

  • Beef liver 39 µg

  • Beef 31 – 37 µg

  • Sesame oil 32 µg

  • Soybeans 30 µg

  • Peanuts 27 µg

  • Cuttlefish 24 µg

  • Sesame seeds 23 µg

  • Chicken 14 - 21 µg

  • Mackerel 21 µg

  • Pistachios 20 µg

  • Walnuts 19 µg

  • Soybeans (dried) 19 µg

  • Adzuki beans, hazelnuts 17 µg

  • Tuna fish (tinned), herring 16 µg

  • Pollack, almonds 14 µg

  • Eel 11 µg

  • Spinach 10 µg

  • Perilla leaves 10 µg

  • Broccoli, rainbow trout 9 µg

  • Chestnuts 6 µg

  • Rice bran 6 µg

  • Sunflower oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sweet potato, wheat germ 4 µg

  • Garlic, peas, radish leaves,  3 µg

  • Aubergine, beans, bell peppers, blackcurrants, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cheese, eggs, yoghurt 2 µg

  • Apples, buckwheat, Chinese cabbage, millet, onions, oranges, radish roots, strawberries 1 µg

NOTE: Coenzyme Q10 is fat-soluble and will be absorbed best if eaten with fat-rich foods such as avocado, olive, rapeseed and other cold pressed oils, fish oil, nuts or seeds and their oils.

 

MINERALS

 

It is important that the correct level of minerals are present when it comes to wound healing especially if medications are or have been taken as these often effect mineral levels in the body. Natural foods like algae such as chlorella, dulse and spirulina plus kelp and other seaweeds are the richest sources of minerals as well as vitamins required to help the healing process. Many land based crops are severely lacking in many of the trace elements the body requires due to intensive farming techniques. Often refined and processed foods are also sorely lacking in these vital minerals. Unrefined sea salt and Himalayan crystals are the best sources of many minerals and mineral water, bottled at source, can also provide extra elements lacking in table salt and drinking water from taps.

 

PHYTIC ACID AND MINERALS

 

When foods containing minerals are consumed at the same time as foods containing phytic acid, mineral absorption is compromised in the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore it is a good idea to consume the following foods separately from mineral rich foods.

 

Phytic acid content in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Brazil nuts 1719 mg

  • Cocoa powder 1684-1796 mg

  • Oat flakes 1174 mg

  • Almonds 1138 – 1400 mg

  • Walnuts 982 mg

  • Peanuts roasted 952 mg

  • Brown rice 840-990 mg

  • Peanuts (non-germinated) 821 mg

  • Lentils 779 mg

  • Peanuts germinated 610 mg

  • Hazelnuts 648 – 1000 mg

  • Wild rice flour 634 – 752.5 mg

  • Yam meal 637 mg

  • Beans 622 mg

  • Corn tortillas 448 mg

  • Corn 367 mg

  • Coconut flesh 270 mg

  • Rice 66 mg

  • Strawberries12 mg

COPPER

 

Copper is an element essential for the development, growth and maintenance of bones, connective tissues and tendons and is therefore important when recovering from any injury. Copper, together with zinc, improves the absorption of vitamin D, the vitamin which aids in the absorption of calcium. It is also essential for the utilisation of vitamin C and works as an antioxidant. It is found in most foods that contain iron such as green leafy vegetables, algae such as chlorella and spirulina, beetroot, lean meats and sea vegetables like kelp.

 

CHROMIUM

 

Chromium is an important trace element required as a cofactor for the body to use vitamin B 7 (biotin) and is involved with other processes which can help with faster healing. Chromium also helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, aids in blood sugar control, stimulates the production of proteins in the body, raises immunity against infections and suppresses the feeling of hunger.

 

Highest ources of chromium in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Brewer's yeast 400 µg

  • Mussels 128 µg

  • Brazil nut 100 µg

  • Oyster 57 µg

  • Dates (dried) 29 µg

  • Pears 27 µg

  • Shrimp 26 µg

  • Wholemeal flour 21 µg

  • Tomatoes 20 µg

  • Mushrooms 17 µg

  • Broccoli 16 µg

  • Barley (wholegrain) 13 µg

  • Hazelnuts 12 µg

  • Maize (whole grain) 9 µg

  • Egg yolk 6 µg

  • Herring 2 µg

GERMANIUM

 

Germanium is a trace mineral that strengthens the immune system as it promotes the production of interferon, a substance produced in the body that works to prevent viruses and bacteria from penetrating the body's cells. It is also a natural painkiller and therefore is a good element to consume when recovering from any injury or surgery.

 

Natural sources of germanium in alphabetical order

  • Aloe vera juice

  • Ashitaba

  • Beef

  • Bran

  • Chaga mushrooms

  • Comfrey

  • Flaxseeds

  • Garlic

  • Ginseng

  • Hemp seeds

  • Milk

  • Pine nuts

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Rabbit

  • Sesame seeds

  • Spirulina

  • Suma

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Vegetables

  • Venison

  • Whole grains

IODINE

 

Iodine is an important element when recovering from any type of injury especially those involving the skin and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and disinfection agent. Many people believe that using iodised table salt can provide them with iodine they need but once the container is exposed to air, iodine content is nearly gone within four weeks after opening (even faster under conditions of high humidity) therefore it is best to consume the foods listed below to get enough iodine rather than iodised table salt.

 

Highest sources of iodine in micrograms per serving listed

  • Chlorella, dulse, spirulina algae and kelp (1 tablespoon or 5 g) 750 µg

  • Himalayan crystal salt (half a gram) 450 µg

  • Cranberries (4 oz or 114 g) 400 µg

  • Lobster (3.53 oz or 100 g) 100 µg

  • Cod (3 oz or 85 g) 99 µg

  • Plain yoghurt (8 oz or 227 g) 75 µg

  • Seafood, clams etc (3.53 oz or 100 g) 66 µg

  • Potato (one medium size) 60 µg

  • Milk (8oz or 227 g) 59 µg

  • Shrimp (3 oz or 85 g) 35 µg

  • Navy beans (4 oz or 114 g) 32 µg

  • Turkey (3 oz or 85 g) 34 µg

  • One medium sized egg 24 µg

  • Cheddar cheese (1 oz or 28 g) 23 µg

  • Tinned tuna (3 oz or 85 g) 17 µg

  • Gouda cheese (1.42 oz or 40 g) 14 µg

  • Prunes (five) 13 µg

  • Strawberries (8 oz or 227 g) 13 µg

  • Lima beans (4 oz or 114 g) 8 µg

  • Lean beef (3 oz or 85 g) 8 µg

  • Apple juice (8oz or 227 g) 7 µg

  • Peas (4 oz or 114 g) 3 µg

  • Green beans (4 oz or 114 g) 3 µg

  • Banana (one medium) 3 µg

LITHIUM

 

Adequate lithium levels are especially necessary when recovering from brain or spinal cord injuries. It has a role in balancing potassium and sodium levels in the body and this in turn affects many other elemental balances.

 

Richest sources of lithium in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Milk 7533 µg

  • Eggs 7373 µg

  • Tomatoes 6707 µg

  • Mushrooms 5788 µg

  • Cucumbers 5017 µg

  • Pork 3844 µg

  • Black Tea 3737 µg

  • Red Cabbage 3579 µg

  • Cauliflower 3462 µg

  • Beef 3428 µg

  • Swede 2966 µg

  • Paprika 2316 µg

  • Poultry 2379 µg

  • Marjoram 2289 µg

  • Soft Cheese 2276 µg

  • Asparagus 2217 µg

  • White Cabbage 1874 µg

  • Herring 1734 µg

  • Cocoa 1728 µg

  • Potatoes 1592 µg

  • Apples 1449 µg

  • Rice 1260 µg

  • Butter 1070 µg

  • Cinnamon 1046 µg

  • Barley 995 µg

  • Wheat Flour 905 µg

  • Lentils 748 µg

  • Semolina 538 µg

  • Honey 527 µg

  • Bananas 383 µg

  • Red Wine 329 µg

  • White Wine 305 µg

MAGNESIUM

 

Magnesium is an important mineral for wound healing and inulin is a form of starch which enhances magnesium absorption in the intestines and can be gained from consuming any of the following.

 

Richest sources of magnesium in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Rice bran 781 mg

  • Basil, coriander, dill and sage 694 mg

  • Hemp seeds 640 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 535 mg

  • Raw cocoa 499 mg

  • Flaxseeds 392 mg

  • Brazil nuts 376 mg

  • Sesame seeds 353 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 346 mg

  • Chia seeds 335 mg

  • Chlorella 315 mg

  • Wheat germ 313 mg

  • Cashew nuts 292 mg

  • Almonds 268 mg

  • Caraway seeds 258 mg

  • Black strap molasses and dulse 242 mg

  • Buckwheat 231 mg

  • Spirulina 189 mg

  • Oats 177 mg

  • Durum wheat 144 mg

  • Macadamia nuts 130 mg

  • Adzuki beans 127 mg

  • Kelp 121 mg

  • Millet 114 mg

  • Kale 88 mg

  • Amaranth 65 mg

  • Globe artichoke 60 mg

  • Okra and nettles 57 mg

  • Chestnuts 54 mg

  • Rocket 47 mg

  • Dates 43 mg

  • Plantain 37 mg

  • Lentils 36 mg

  • Butternut squash 34 mg

  • Coconut 32 mg

  • Potatoes with skin 30 mg

  • Passion fruit 29 mg

  • Savoy cabbage, halibut 28 mg

  • Bananas, rabbit 27 mg

  • Green beans 25 mg

  • Peas 24 mg

  • Raspberries 22 mg

  • Guava 22 mg

  • Blackberries 20 mg

  • Courgettes 18 mg

  • Kiwi fruit, fennel, figs 17 mg

  • Endive 15 mg

  • Cucumber, lettuce 13 mg

MANGANESE

 

Manganese is a micro-mineral involved in the synthesis of protein like substances, bones and cartilage and is vital for the repair of wounds.

 

Richest sources of manganese in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Cloves 60.1 mg

  • Rice bran 14.2 mg

  • Pine nuts 8.8 mg

  • Mussels 6.8 mg

  • Hazelnuts 5.6 mg

  • Pumpkin seeds 4.5 mg

  • Whole wheat 2.1 mg

  • Cocoa beans 3.8 mg

  • Soya beans 2.2 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 1.9 mg

  • Garlic 1.7 mg

  • Brewer’s yeast 0.08 mg (depending upon source check label)

  • Egg yolks 1.1 mg

  • Black beans 1.1 mg

  • Dried peas 0.39 mg

  • Kidney beans 0.2 mg

NITROGEN

 

Nitrogen is essential for the human body to synthesise amino acids and nitrogen deficiency can lead to slow growth of the hair and nails, brittle hair and hair loss, slower wound healing, muscle wasting, bone fractures, sprains and complex injuries.

 

Richest sources of nitrogen in alphabetical order

  • Asparagus

  • Beef

  • Brewer’s yeast

  • Broccoli

  • Legumes

  • Lentils

  • Lettuce

  • Kelp

  • Mushrooms

  • Nuts

  • Oily fish

  • Organ meats

  • Rabbit

  • Seaweed

  • Shellfish

  • Spinach

  • Venison

  • Whole grains

PHOSPHORUS

 

Phosphorus is an important component of nucleic acids, the building blocks of the genetic code. In addition, the metabolism of lipids (fats) relies on phosphorus and it is an essential component of lipid-containing structures such as cell membranes and nervous system structures. It also plays a role in the structure of every cell in the body. In addition to its role in forming the mineral matrix of bone, phosphorus is an essential component of numerous other life-critical compounds including adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the molecule that is the energy currency of the body. It is therefore important that enough of this mineral is available when recovering from any injury or surgery. Too much phosphorous can cause diarrhoea and calcification (hardening) of organs and soft tissue and can interfere with the body's ability to use iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. It is a matter of getting the balance right which is why supplementation is not advised.

 

Richest sources of phosphorus in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Baking powder 6869 mg

  • Whey powder 932 mg

  • Pumpkin seeds 1233 mg

  • Poppy seeds 849 mg

  • Mustard seeds 828 mg

  • Parmesan cheese 807 mg

  • Brazil nuts 725 mg

  • Raw cocoa powder 734 mg

  • Soya beans 637 mg

  • Beef liver 497 mg

  • Sardines 490 mg

  • Caviar 356 mg

  • Tempeh 266 mg

  • Sun dried tomatoes 356 mg

  • Brown rice 360 mg

  • Buckwheat 319 mg

  • Dried shiitake mushrooms 294 mg

  • Portobello mushrooms 108 mg

  • White mushrooms 105 mg

  • Water cress 60 mg

ZINC

 

Zinc is known as the healing mineral and is part of the enzymes that helps the body to metabolise protein, carbohydrates and alcohol. It also aids in building bones and healing wounds. There are about two grams of zinc in the body where it is highly concentrated in the hair, skin, eyes, nails and testes.

 

Iron can interfere with zinc absorption and therefore, if iron supplements are absolutely necessary, they should be taken alone between meals. Alcohol and some medications can cause excessive expulsion of zinc in the urine and therefore foods containing this vital mineral should be consumed daily by those that drink alcohol or take drugs.

 

Richest sources of zinc in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Oysters 78.6 mg

  • Chlorella 71 mg

  • Wheat germ 16.7 mg

  • Beef 12.3 mg

  • Calf's liver 11.9 mg

  • Hemp seeds 11.5 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 10.3 mg

  • Sesame and watermelon seeds 10.2 mg

  • Bamboo shoots, endives and gourds 9 mg

  • Chervil (herb) 8.8 mg

  • Lamb 8.7 mg

  • Venison 8.6 mg

  • Alfalfa seeds (sprouted), amaranth leaves, Crimini mushrooms, Irish moss and tea 8 mg

  • Crab 7.6 mg

  • Lobster 7.3 mg

  • Agave, basil, beefalo, broccoli, elk, emu, oats, ostrich, spinach and turkey 7 mg

  • Cocoa powder 6.8 mg

  • Asparagus, chicken livers, laver seaweed, mushrooms, parsley and rice bran 5.7 mg

  • Cashew nuts 5.6 mg

  • Pork 5.1 mg

  • Jute (herb), lemon grass, mung beans, Portobello mushrooms, radishes and shiitake mushrooms 5 mg

  • Agar seaweed, butterbur, cauliflower, chicory, Chinese cabbage, chives, coriander, green beans, lentils, lettuce, okra, rocket, spring onions, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes and wasabi (yellow) 3.4 mg

  • Peanuts 3.3 mg

  • Cheddar cheese 3.1 mg

  • Mozzarella cheese 2.9 mg

  • Anchovies and rabbit 2.4 mg

  • Cabbage, cucumber, jalapeno peppers, , kidney beans, navy beans, spirulina and turnip greens 2 mg

  • Arrowroot, artichokes (globe), beetroot, bell peppers, black eyed peas, borage, broad beans, Brussel sprouts, butter beans, cabbage, carrots, celery, chilli peppers, courgettes, dandelion greens, garlic, horseradish, kale, kelp, mustard greens, peas, pinto beans, potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, Swede, sweet potato, tomatoes (red),  wakame (seaweed), watercress and winged beans 1.2 mg

VITAMIN A

 

Vitamin A is a group of nutritionally unsaturated hydrocarbons, which include retinol, retinal, retinoic acid and several pro-vitamin A carotenoids which are necessary for the formation and maintenance of healthy bones, skin, hair and mucous membranes. It is required for development and maintenance of the epithelial cells, in the mucus membranes and the skin which makes it essential for fast healing of damage tissues.

 

Two forms of vitamin A are available in the human diet: preformed vitamin A (retinol and retinyl ester) and pro-vitamin A carotenoids which can create vitamin A and preformed vitamin A is found already formed in foods from animal sources, including dairy products, fish and meat (especially liver).

 

By far the most important pro-vitamin A carotenoid is beta-carotene; other pro-vitamin A carotenoids are alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. The body converts these plant pigments into vitamin A. Both pro-vitamin A and preformed vitamin A must be metabolised intracellularly to retinal and retinoic acid, the active forms of vitamin A, to support the vitamin's important biological functions. To absorb fat-soluble carotenoids it is important to consume the foods containing these with a fat-rich food such as avocado, fish, nut, seed or other plant oils.

 

Richest sources of preformed vitamin A in alphabetical order

  • Beef

  • Cheese

  • Crab

  • Cuttlefish

  • Egg yolks

  • Fish

  • Lamb

  • Milk (full cream)

  • Octopus

  • Organ meats

  • Rabbit

  • Shellfish

  • Squid

  • Venison

  • Yoghurt

Richest sources of pro-formed vitamin A in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Cayenne chilli powder, paprika 49254 µg

  • Sweet potato 19218  µg

  • Carrots 17033  µg

  • Pumpkin 15563  µg

  • Kale 14704  µg

  • Dried apricots 12669  µg

  • Butternut squash 11155  µg

  • Dried mint 10579  µg

  • Cos or romaine lettuce 8710  µg

  • Parsley 8424  µg

  • Cress 6917  µg

  • Watercress 3191  µg

  • Broccoli 2622  µg

  • Butter 2499  µg

  • Peas 2100  µg

  • Apricots 1926  µg

  • Tofu 1913  µg

  • Carrot juice 1912  µg

  • Passion fruit 1272  µg

  • Courgettes 1117  µg

  • Tomatoes 833  µg

VITAMIN B2

 

Vitamin B2, or riboflavin,  is required by the body to use oxygen and the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, carbohydrates and protein. It is further needed to activate vitamins B6 and B9, helps to create vitamin B3 and assists with antibody production, cell respiration, repair and growth so is therefore vital to the healing process.

 

Richest sources of vitamin B2 in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Yeast extract 17.5 mg

  • Lamb’s liver 4.59 mg

  • Baker’s yeast 4 mg

  • Parsley 2.38 mg

  • Cheese 1.38 mg

  • Almonds 1.10 mg

  • Lean beef 0.86 mg

  • Soya beans 0.76 mg

  • Wheat bran 0.58 mg

  • Mackerel 0.58 mg

VITAMIN B3

 

Vitamin B3, or niacin, is essential for proper circulation and healthy skin and is required when there is injury. The body manufactures vitamin B3 from tryptophan and vitamin B6 but it can also be gained through the diet from the following foods..

 

Richest sources of vitamin B3 in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Yeast extract 127.5 mg

  • Brewer’s yeast 40.2 mg

  • Rice bran 34 mg

  • Tuna fish (fresh) 22 mg

  • Anchovies 19.9 mg

  • Lamb’s liver 16.7 mg

  • Chicken breast 14.8 mg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 14.1 mg

  • Peanuts 13.8 mg

  • Tuna fish (tinned) 13.3 mg

  • Spirulina 12.8 mg

  • Calf’s liver 12.6 mg

  • Chilli powder 11.6 mg

  • Venison 10.8 mg

  • Duck 10.4 mg

  • Paprika 10 mg

  • Sun dried tomatoes 9.1 mg

  • Chia seeds 8.8 mg

VITAMIN B4

 

Vitamin B4, or adenine, increases antibody formation in counteracting infection, acts as a precursor for assimilation of other B vitamins, strengthens the immune system response, promotes cell formation and normal growth, prevents cellular mutation and free radical formation and helps to balance blood sugar levels. Although no longer considered a vitamin it is important for those recovering from injury or surgery.

 

Natural sources of vitamin B4 in alphabetical order

  • Alfalfa

  • Aloe vera

  • Apples

  • Avocado

  • Bananas

  • Blessed thistle

  • Blue cohosh

  • Brewer's yeast

  • Burdock root

  • Caraway seeds

  • Cascara sagrada

  • Catnip

  • Cayenne chilli pepper

  • Chlorella

  • Cloves

  • Couch grass

  • Cress

  • Ginger

  • Golden seal

  • Hawthorn

  • Honey

  • Hops

  • Jojoba

  • Kelp

  • Lady’s slipper

  • Mullein

  • Oranges

  • Propolis

  • Rose hips

  • Royal jelly

  • Sage

  • Spearmint

  • Spinach

  • Spirulina

  • Tangerines

  • Thyme

  • Tomatoes

  • Whole grains

VITAMIN B5

 

Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, plays an important role in the healing of skin. It is also used in the creation of lipids, neurotransmitters and haemoglobin.

 

Richest sources of vitamin B5 in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Brewer’s yeast 13.5 mg

  • Chicken livers 8.32 mg

  • Rice bran 7.39 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 7.06 mg

  • Whey 5.62mg

  • Yeast extract 4.60 mg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 3.59 mg

  • Fish roe 3.50 mg

  • Spirulina 3.48 mg

  • Paprika 2.51 mg

  • Wheat germ 2.26 mg

  • Sun dried tomatoes 2.09 mg

  • Goose 1.83 mg

  • Lobster 1.67 mg

  • Duck 1.50 mg

  • Peanuts 1.40 mg

  • Buckwheat 1.23 mg

VITAMIN B6

 

Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is important for anyone who is injured or has undergone surgery as it assists the immune system and is involved with the growth of new cells. It is also needed by the body to manufacture its own vitamin B3 and converts glycogen to the glucose needed for energy.

 

Richest sources of vitamin B6 in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Rice bran 4.07 mg

  • Sage 2.69 mg

  • Brewer’s yeast 1.50 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 1.35 mg

  • Wheat germ 1.30 mg

  • Garlic 1.24mg

  • Pistachio nuts 1.12 mg

  • Tuna fish 1.04 mg

  • Beef or calf’s liver 1.03 mg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 0.97 mg

  • Salmon 0.94 mg

  • Turkey 0.81 mg

  • Venison 0.76 mg

NOTE:  Wild salmon (0.94 mg) contains far more vitamin B6 than farmed salmon (0.56 mg) and fresh salmon and tuna are far richer in vitamin B6 than tinned.

 

VITAMIN B7

 

Vitamin B7, or biotin, is important for skin healing as it is used in cell growth, the production of fatty acids and the metabolism of fats and proteins. It also plays a role in the Krebs cycle, which takes place within the mitochondria. Biotin is also required for healthy hair, sweat glands, nerve tissue and bone marrow and assists with relieving muscle pain. Other nutrients that are required for the effective use of vitamin B7 are chromium, magnesium, manganese and vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12.

 

Highest sources of vitamin B7 in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Chicken livers 180 µg

  • Egg yolk 60 µg

  • Walnuts 39 µg

  • Oatmeal 35 µg

  • Peanuts 34 µg

  • Fish 20 µg

Other sources of vitamin B7 in alphabetical order

  • Ashitaba

  • Almonds

  • Avocado

  • Brewer's yeast

  • Cabbage

  • Cashew nuts

  • Cauliflower

  • Coffee beans (raw)

  • Cranberries

  • Cucumbers

  • Egg yolk

  • Hazelnuts

  • Lamb

  • Milk

  • Mushrooms

  • Onions

  • Organ meats such as heart, kidney and liver

  • Peanuts

  • Pecans

  • Pistachio nuts

  • Pork

  • Poultry

  • Raspberries

  • Soybeans

  • Strawberries

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Swiss chard

  • Tea

  • Walnuts

  • Whole grains

  • Yoghurt

VITAMIN B12

 

Vitamin B12 is very often lacking in people taking medications or on a vegan diet and is essential for the metabolism of amino acids and fatty acids and important for the proper function of the nervous system and the maintenance and formation of blood cells.

 

Highest sources of vitamin B12 in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Clams 98.9 μg

  • Liver 83.1 μg

  • Barley grass juice or powder 80 μg

  • Octopus 36 μg

  • Caviar/fish eggs 20.0 μg

  • Ashitaba powder 17.0 μg

  • Herring 13.7 μg

  • Tuna fish 10.9 μg

  • Crab 10.4 μg

  • Mackerel 8.7 μg

  • Lean grass fed beef 8.2 μg  

  • Duck eggs, goose eggs, rabbit 6 μg

  • Crayfish, pork heart, rainbow trout 5 μg

  • Lobster 4.0 μg

  • Lamb, venison 3.7 μg

  • Swiss Cheese 3.3 μg

  • Salmon 3.2 μg

  • Whey powder 2.37 μg

  • Tuna 1.9 μg

  • Halibut 1.2 μg

  • Chicken egg 1.1 μg

  • Chicken, turkey 1.0 μg

VITAMIN D

 

This important nutrient supports the immune system and can be lacking in someone who has been bedridden and not able to venture outside. Fifteen to twenty minutes of midday sunshine on bare skin is required as often as possible to build up stores of vitamin D. Windows and sunscreens prevent this reaction from taking place. If it is impossible to move the patient outside on a daily basis then there are the following foods which are rich sources of this vital vitamin.

 

Richest sources of vitamin D per serving listed

  • Krill oil - 1 teaspoon: 1000 IU

  • Eel - 85 g or 3 oz: 792 IU

  • Maitake mushrooms - 70 g: 786 IU

  • Rainbow trout - 85 g or 3 oz: 540 IU

  • Cod liver oil - 1 teaspoon: 440 IU

  • Mackerel - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU

  • Salmon - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU

  • Halibut - 85 g or 3 oz: 196 IU

  • Tuna - 85 g or 3 oz: 228 IU

  • Sardines - 85 g or 3 oz: 164 IU

  • Chanterelle mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 155 IU

  • Raw milk - 1 glass or 8 oz: 98 IU

  • Egg yolk - 1 large: 41 IU

  • Caviar - 28g or 1 oz: 33 IU

  • Hemp seeds - 100 g or 3.5 oz: 22 IU

  • Portabella mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 6 IU

The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is approximately 600 IU for ages 19 to 70 and 800 IU for ages 71 and over but this may be far below what should be taken and is dependent upon the amount of sunshine an individual is exposed to on a regular basis. One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.

 

VITAMIN E AND VITAMIN C

 

The body also needs vitamin E to boost its immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria and viruses and for fast skin healing but is often neglected as many believe high levels of vitamin C is the answer for fast recovery. However, an equal amount of both vitamins is required as these two work synergistically and have an effect on levels of important minerals in the body. Vitamin C increases iron uptake, which Vitamin E inhibits. Vitamin C lowers manganese and zinc, while vitamin E helps increase manganese and zinc absorption. As a result, a very high intake of vitamin C will require an equally high intake of vitamin E to maintain the same ratio.

 

Richest sources of vitamin C in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Acerola cherries 1677.6 mg

  • Camu camu berries 532 mg

  • Rosehips 426 mg

  • Green chillies 242.5 mg

  • Guavas 228.3 mg

  • Yellow bell peppers 183.5 mg

  • Black currants 181 mg

  • Thyme 160.01 mg

  • Red chillies 143.7 mg

  • Drumstick pods 141 mg

  • Kale 130 mg

  • Jalapeno peppers 118.6 mg

  • Kiwi fruit 105.4 mg

  • Sun dried tomatoes 102 mg

  • Cloves, saffron 81 mg

  • Cayenne red pepper 76 mg

  • Mustard greens 70 mg

  • Cress 69 mg

  • Persimmons fruit 66 mg

  • Chilli powder 64 mg

  • Swede 62 mg

  • Basil 61 mg

  • Rosemary 61 mg

  • Chives 58 mg

  • Oranges 53.2 mg

  • Lemons 53 mg

  • Kumquats 43.9 mg

  • Watercress 43 mg

  • Wasabi root 41.9 mg

  • Kidney bean sprouts 38.7 mg

  • Elderberries 36 mg

  • Coriander 27 mg

Nuts and seeds are the best sources of vitamin E and a daily helping of one tablespoon of crushed nuts and/or ground or milled seeds should be added to meals. They can be sprinkled on breakfast cereals or yoghurt, salads, rice and vegetable dishes and soups or any other dish and consumed with 2 oz of foods high in vitamin C. See below.

 

Richest sources of vitamin E in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Wheat germ 149.4 mg

  • Hemp seeds 55 mg

  • Hazelnut oil 47 mg

  • Almond oil 39 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 38.3 mg

  • Chilli powder 38.1 mg

  • Paprika 38 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 36 mg

  • Rice bran oil 32 mg

  • Grape seed oil 29 mg

  • Almonds 26.2 mg

  • Oregano 18.3 mg

  • Hazelnuts 17 mg

  • Flaxseed oil 17 mg

  • Peanut oil 16 mg

  • Hazelnuts 15.3 mg

  • Corn oil 15 mg

  • Olive oil 14 mg

  • Soya bean oil 12 mg

  • Pine nuts 9.3 mg

  • Cloves (ground) 9 mg

  • Peanuts 8 mg

  • Celery (dried flakes) 6 mg

  • Spirulina 5 mg

  • Dried apricots 4.3 mg

  • Bell peppers (red), eel, olives and salmon 4 mg

  • Jalapeno peppers 3.6 mg

  • Anchovies 3.3 mg

  • Broccoli, chicken, chilli peppers (sun-dried), cod, crayfish, dandelion greens, egg yolk, duck, goose, pecan nuts, spinach, tomatoes (tinned or pureed) turkey and turnip greens 3 mg

  • Avocado, beef, bilberries, blue berries, butter, chicory greens, cinnamon (ground), crab, halibut, herring (pickled), mackerel, marjoram, mustard greens, pistachio nuts, poppy seeds, sardines, sesame seeds, Swiss chard, trout, tuna, turnips and walnuts 2 mg

FOOD ALLERGIES MAY AFFECT WOUND HEALING

 

Many people are unaware that they may have an allergy to certain components in foods that can irritate the intestines and reduce nutrient absorption. This can also cause gut permeability which then allows undigested proteins to enter the blood stream. The immune system then recognises these as foreign invaders and attacks them. But, because these proteins can be similar to proteins in the body, the immune system may then mistakenly attack those too causing inflammation and pain. It is wise to try an elimination diet of the potential food allergens listed below, especially if wound healing is taking longer than it should.

 

See more on the Allergies page.

 

NATURE CURES DIETARY ESSENTIALS DURING WOUND HEALING

 

Algae: such as chlorella, dulse and spirulina plus kelp and other seaweeds are rich sources of minerals as well as vitamins required to help the healing process. A tablespoon of the powdered form of any of these should be consumed per day until the wounds are healed.

 

Apple cider vinegar: (one tablespoon per day). Add to a small cup of warm water with half a freshly squeezed lemon or lime, half  teaspoon of turmeric, a pinch of chilli pepper and a teaspoon of honey and take first thing upon waking.

 

Banana (one small banana every day). Can be blended with milk and sprinkled with nutmeg to provide a nourishing drink that will also feed the beneficial bacteria in the intestines.

 

Barley grass powder: (1 tablespoon per day) can provide many important nutrients especially vitamin B12 which is unusual for plant foods.

 

Berries: (2 oz per day). Black, blue, red and purple berries are all rich in antioxidants and can help cleanse the blood and prevent infections. Breakfast consisting of berries, plain natural yoghurt, nuts, seeds and powdered foods from this list is a good way to start the day.

 

Black seeds: have long been used as medicine in the Arabian Gulf region, Far East Asia, and Europe. The Prophet Mohammad described the healing powers of the black seeds against a variety of diseases. According to common Islamic and Arabic belief, ‘Habbatul Barakah’ is a remedy for all ailments (universal healer). Black seed is also mentioned as the curative “black cumin” in the Holy Bible and is described as a powerful healer by Hippocrates, Dioscorides and Pliny. The ‘Nigella sativa’ black seeds are very nutrient rich and can be consumed with honey or a teaspoonful of the black seed oil can be mixed with honey and taken once a day to provide many nutrients that will aid in faster healing of wounds and sores..

 

Black strap molasses: contain many healing nutrients and is rich in iron. Mix one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in a cup of hot water or milk and drink this once or twice daily while recovering. Not suitable for diabetics or those with the herpes virus.

 

Brazil nuts: (four every fortnight) consumed separately from mineral rich foods.

 

Flax seeds: (one tablespoon daily) Sprinkle onto breakfasts, salads, rice and any other meals.

 

Ginger: (one inch grated) ginger acts as a good blood thinner and cleanser helping to improve circulation which in turn helps with the healing process. It should be avoided by those taking anticoagulant medications though as it works as powerfully as they do and can cause excess bleeding.

 

Garlic: (two or more cloves per day) Garlic has powerful antibacterial properties and can help cleanse the blood reducing infections in wounds.

 

Hemp seeds: (one tablespoon daily) Hemp seeds are one of the most complete proteins in the plant food kingdom, containing all twenty one known amino acids, including the eight that humans are unable to produce themselves. Hemp also provides vitamin E and essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is a special omega-6 fatty acid, that is also found in borage, evening primrose and black currant seeds and has anti-inflammatory properties which can help wounds heal faster. Hemp seeds are also a very rich source of iron, magnesium and zinc. Cold pressed unrefined hemp seed oil is a concentrated form of the above nutrients. Use this oil as a salad dressing and sprinkle on potatoes and other  vegetables if consumption of the seeds is not possible. It should not be used for cooking as it becomes unstable at high temperatures.

 

Krill oil: (one capsule daily) This will provide the essential omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D which is needed for a healthy immune system.

 

Lemon: (one freshly squeezed per day) Rich in vitamin C and other nutrients required for a healthy immune system, a lemon a day is essential and the zest should also be grated into meals. The juice can be added to herbal teas which enhances their nutritional content and added to fruit desserts, salads, fish and vegetables.

 

Psyllium husks: (one tablespoon of powdered husks per day followed by a large tumbler of mineral water) This helps keep the colon healthy which is especially important for anyone who is bedridden for any length of time.

 

Turmeric (half a teaspoon per day) is a powerful healer and helps to keep the circulation moving which is important when recovering from any injury. It can be sprinkled on many foods such as fish, rice and salads and is particularly good with cauliflower.

 

Walnuts (five nuts daily) should be consumed separately from foods containing minerals.

 

Watercress  is rich in many nutrients especially the minerals required for fast healing of wounds and was greatly favoured by Hippocrates for its healing properties.

 

HEALING GREEN SOUP RECIPE

 

This powerfully healing soup is made using a blender and a small bowlful should be consumed twice a day between meals during recovery.

 

Ingredients

  • Watercress (one bunch chopped)

  • Peas (3 oz)

  • Potato (two large diced)

  • Oats (two tablespoons)

  • Cold-pressed coconut oil (one tablespoon)

  • Onion (one medium chopped)

  • Garlic (two cloves chopped)

  • Mint (handful roughly chopped)

  • Oregano (handful roughly chopped)

  • Sage (handful roughly chopped)

  • Turmeric (half a teaspoon)

  • Cayenne pepper (pinch or a little more if the patient can consume hot chilli)

  • Peppercorns (ground)

  • Unrefined sea salt (one teaspoon)

  • Barley grass powder (one teaspoon)

  • Lemon (one freshly squeezed and half the zest grated)

Method

  • Chop the garlic and onions and leave for ten minutes to allow the chemical reaction that produces the powerful blood cleanser allicin.

  • Place the potatoes in a pan and just cover with bottled mineral water then simmer until soft. If using fresh peas also cook them with the potatoes. If using tinned or frozen peas add after the oats stage below.

  • Lightly fry onions and garlic in the coconut oil until translucent then add to the pan of potatoes with the oats.

  • Simmer until the liquid has mostly been absorbed by the oats.

  • Add the (tinned or frozen peas) watercress and the rest of the herbs and spices.

  • Simmer for just two minutes to wilt the greens.

  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for five minutes.

  • Place in a blender with the barley grass powder and lemon juice and mix until smooth. Add sea salt and pepper to taste and blend again.

  • Keep in a large covered container in the refrigerator and use within two to three days.

  • Serve a small bowl twice a day between meals. This soup can be gently reheated or served cold as desired.

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • Ginger root (one inch grated) can be cooked with the potatoes. The following can also be added to this soup during the final blending stage for additional healing powers.

  • Black strap molasses (one teaspoon)

  • Flaxseeds or hempseeds (2 oz milled or ground)

  • Chlorella or spirulina (one teaspoon)

  • A tablespoon of plain organic yoghurt can be added to the centre of the soup after it is in a bowl with a sprig of fresh mint with a sprinkle of ground black pepper or the soup can be served in a mug.

INTESTINAL BACTERIA AND HEALING

 

It is important that the intestinal bacteria are balanced especially during recovery from injury or surgery. Often antibiotics are given after these events and this can upset the fragile balance of these beneficial bacteria. These bacteria feed on fermentable carbohydrates and produce many beneficial substances, including short-chain fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin K and certain B vitamins. They also promote further absorption of some minerals that have escaped the small intestine, including calcium and magnesium. 

 

Fermented Foods That Contain Beneficial Bacteria

 

A portion of one of the following should be consumed daily during recovery.

  • Brine pickles

  • Kefir milk

  • Kimchi

  • Kombucha

  • Miso

  • Sauerkraut

  • Yoghurt (plain organic with live cultures)

Prebiotic foods containing carbohydrates, such as inulin, encourages a healthy intestinal environment to benefit the intestinal flora. Prebiotic is a fairly recently coined name to refer to food components that support the growth of certain kinds of bacteria in the colon (large intestine), oligosaccharides, resistant  starch and fermentable fibre feeds these bacteria who have an important influence on the rest of the body.

 

When beans and grains are eliminated from the diet, as with the ‘paleo diet’,  this can adversely affect the balance of the intestinal flora which has evolved alongside humans since it became more beneficial for health and survival  to grow and consume agricultural crops rather than rely on hunting and gathering.

 

Foods that feed the existing beneficial bacteria

 

At least one portion of the any of the following foods should be consumed twice a day.

  • Agave

  • Amaranth

  • Apples

  • Asparagus

  • Banana

  • Beans

  • Bran

  • Broccoli

  • Buckwheat

  • Burdock root

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Chicory root

  • Cocoa (raw)

  • Coconut flesh

  • Dandelion root

  • Elecampane

  • Garlic

  • Globe artichokes

  • Kale

  • Leeks

  • Lentils

  • Millet

  • Mugwort

  • Oats

  • Onions

  • Parsnips

  • Peas

  • Quinoa

  • Radish

  • Rampion

  • Rye

  • Salsify

  • Turnip

  • Swede

  • Sweet potato

  • Wheat

  • Yam

  • Yacon root

Making rich soups or smoothies with any of these ingredients and consuming daily can help to restore the balance of the intestinal flora. Add plain yoghurt, spices and herbs for added benefit.

 

ADDITIONAL NATURALLY HEALING, ANTI-INFLAMMATORY  AND NUTRITIOUS FOODS

 

Juices of fruits and vegetables should always be freshly made and consumed immediately as the nutritional content begins to deteriorate soon afterwards. Shop bought juices usually contain preservatives, sugar and artificial sweeteners so should be avoided.

  • Alfalfa

  • Apples

  • Apricots

  • Asparagus

  • Cherries

  • Chia seeds

  • Chicory

  • Coconut

  • Cranberry juice

  • Grapes

  • Green tea

  • Mango

  • Olives

  • Papaya

  • Peaches

  • Pears

  • Pineapples

  • Pomegranate juice

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Radishes

  • Raisins

  • Rosehips

  • Sesame seeds

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Tangerines

  • Watermelon

HERBS AND SPICES THAT HELP THE BODY HEAL

  • Anise

  • Basil

  • Birch tree bark

  • Blueberry leaf extract

  • Borage

  • Burdock root

  • Chives

  • Dandelion root

  • Dill

  • Fennel

  • Golden seal root

  • Horsetail

  • Lemon balm

  • Mint

  • Oregano

  • Peppermint

  • Red clover

  • Rosemary

  • Sage

  • Sorrel

  • Stinging nettles

  • Suma (Brazilian ginseng)

  • Thyme

  • Violet

  • White willow

  • Yellow dock

The roots above must be simmered for fifteen minutes before straining and taken as teas. The leaves of these herbs should be taken as teas by steeping in hot water for fifteen minutes before straining. Then add the freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon which increases their powerful properties ten times and a teaspoon of honey, which also has healing properties, will help make the tea more palatable for some. Spices can be added such as cinnamon and nutmeg for additional healing powers. Other spices that have good healing properties are:

  • Chilli pepper

  • Cumin

  • Paprika

  • Peppercorns (all colours ground)

  • Sea salt or Himalayan salt crystals (unrefined)

  • Turmeric

Sprinkle any of these daily onto meals and soups and add to herbal teas etc.

 

EXTERNAL SKIN  HEALERS

 

Aloe vera gel: from the leaf of the aloe vera plant is probably the most powerful natural way of healing skin and has antibacterial properties. Break open a leaf from this plant and apply the sticky gel inside to the affected areas at least twice a day.

 

Coconut oil: (cold-pressed) can help to heal the skin and has antibacterial and antifungal properties which is important for broken skin.

 

Iodine: should be used to cleanse sores and other broken skin injuries before applying any of the other remedies here.

 

Sea salt plus wheat germ oil and frankincense, myrrh and lemon essential oils can help with skin healing if added to baths.

 

Tea tree oil has powerful cleansing properties. Add a few drops to a bath or dilute with warm water and gently dab wounds.

 

Vitamin E oil should be gently rubbed into affected areas as it is particularly proficient at healing skin fast.

 

Watercress restores the balance of skin lipids, thus reducing the epidermal loss of moisture. The leaves and stems can be crushed to release the juice and this can be applied directly to sores and open wounds on the skin to greatly improve healing.

WHAT TO AVOID WHEN

Never consume refined and processed foods, any foods with additives such as aspartame, coffee,  fizzy drinks, sugar and table salt (use Himalayan pink crystals or unrefined sea salt), white flour and white rice (choose whole grains and brown or wild rice).

Only eat the following fruit and vegetables if they are organic because of the risk of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides:

  • Apples

  • Bell peppers

  • Celery

  • Cherries

  • Cocoa beans

  • Coffee beans

  • Grapes

  • Nectarines

  • Peaches

  • Pears

  • Potatoes

  • Red Raspberries

  • Spinach

  • Strawberries

See also Pain and Inflammation

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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