Nutrition

  • While there aren’t many clear recommendations for nutritional supplementation from research and clinical practice, there are several things that can enhance recovery from concussion.  In general, eating a balanced diet and addressing any possible deficiencies will be of benefit.

 

Tips for nutrition after concussion:

  • Balanced blood sugar levels are always important, but particularly after brain injury because sugar metabolism might be affected
    • Eat as often as needed and consistently throughout the day.  
    • Have a regular schedule of meals
    • Don’t overeat or restrict carbohydrates (unless guided by your healthcare team)
    • Be mindful of simple sugars and foods with high glycemic index
    • Avoid heavily processed foods
    • With supervision, consider a diet that increases ketones (an alternate energy source) like coconut oils, MCT oils and other products.
  • Eat a diet rich in vegetables to ensure you’re getting lots of nutrients
  • Prioritize “healthy” fats!  Your brain is over 50% fat by weight.
    • Sources include avocado, nuts, eggs, meat and fish, dairy, coconut oils
    • Under supervision of a professional, consider supplementing with Omega-3 fatty acids if you don’t get enough in your diet
  • If you have any nutritional deficiencies, speak with your doctor or nutrition expert to assess and address them. All nutrients are important in recovery but a few highlghts include:
    • Vitamin B
    • Vitamin D
    • Iron
    • Zinc
    • Magnesium
  • There may be a link between inflammation and symptoms, so ensure that you are eating a diet that doesn’t promote increased inflammation.
  • Stay well hydrated (with water)
  • Avoid alcohol
  • You may consider avoiding or reducing caffeine and other nutritional stimulants
  • Eating adequate protein is always important, especially when recovering from injuries.  Consider increasing protein intake if you can tolerate it.
  • Eat a diet that increases gut health since this can improve absorption of nutrients, reduce inflammation and improve energy and overall health.
  • Under supervision, consider other supplements that improve mitochondrial health since this can boost energy and function too (in theory).