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In a Pickle - Eating for a Healthy Recovery

Hmph. That’s the pouty sound I make from the sidelines, nursing a knee injury. Here I sit waiting for surgery day, watching my husband use what was supposed to be my birthday present—boot camp classes with Tyson McGuffin. Hmph.

What can I do? Plot revenge for hubby’s birthday, of course. Then I’ll stop the pouting and plan meals for a healthy recovery.

Good food speeds healing. Here are some nutrients on which I’ll be focused, and lists of excellent sources for each. Some of the foods overlap, making them efficient options.

Protein - Extra protein is needed to repair injuries.
Sources: Beans, beef, chicken, chickpeas, dairy, eggs, lentils, pumpkin seeds, salmon, sardines, and soybeans

Vitamin C - Great for repairing tissues, including ligaments, tendons and wounds.
Sources: Asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts,
papaya, pineapple, spinach and strawberries

Zinc - This mineral is important for keeping the immune system functioning well.
Sources: Asparagus, beef, cashews, chickpeas, lentils, oysters, pumpkin seeds, shrimp and spinach

Omega-3 - Healthy fats can help reduce excess inflammation.
Sources: Brussels sprouts, flaxseed meal, grass-fed beef, salmon, sardines, soybeans, walnuts

Fiber - Getting enough fiber fights constipation caused by pain meds and being more sedentary.
Sources (includes foods that feed friendly gut bacteria, a.k.a. prebiotics): Apples, artichokes, asparagus, barley, chickpeas, flaxseed meal, garlic, jicama, lentils, oats, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes and whole wheat

Thoughts on Supplements
While our bodies best absorb nutrients from real food, adding supplements may be helpful if we can’t meet recommendations. Choose products that have been tested for content by an independent third party, such as USP, and ask your doctor which supplements are safe for you.

See you back on the court very soon!

Brandi Givens has been a registered dietitian since 2010. Questions
or comments can be posted to her blog at

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