Prevea Health

Nutrition tips for post-concussion

 
spacer

It is common to have decreased appetite post-concussion due to nausea, headaches and/or dizziness. Below are some general tips to help with recovery.

First 24 hours to 1 week
  • Due to possible decreased in appetite, make sure to consider the following tips:
    • Try not to skip meals.
    • Consume smaller meals more frequently rather than three large meals.
    • The brain needs more energy to heal; aim for power snacks like smoothies, trail mix of dried fruits and nuts, berries and whole-grains.
    • Keep hydrated; water is key! Purchase drinks that are favorites and push fluids often.
    • Include enough protein in the diet to promote brain healing.

1 week to 1 month
  • Continue the tips from above and keep eating some brain super foods:
    • Fatty fish high in Omega 3's: examples include salmon (Alaskan if available), sardines, anchovies, mackerel and Caviar.
    • Leafy dark greens are super foods for the brain because they are chocked-full of fiber, minerals and vitamins: examples include kale, spinach and Swiss chard.
    • Dark cherries and berries (blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mulberries and gojiberries) are known to help impact memory as we age. They also contain glucose, the brain's favorite choice for fuel.

1 month and after
  • Eat a variety of nutrient dense foods (whole grains, 7 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats (oils, avocado seeds and nuts).
  • Hydrate with primarily water and no more than 2 cups of caffeinated coffee a day (if a caffeine user). Avoid soda.
  • Do not skip meals as skipping meals causes blood sugar spikes.
  • If you are experiencing headaches and are hydrating well, keep a food journal of the foods you ate and the timing of headaches. The headaches could be triggered from a specific food or foods your body is not tolerating.

Protein
  • Sources of protein: eggs, bacon, chicken, peanut and nut butters, Greek yogurt, turkey, fish and seafood. For additional sources of protein and the amounts specific foods contain, please go here.
  • The brain needs protein to help reduce the inflammatory response post-concussion. Follow the chart below to know how much protein you should consume per day.
Body Weight Protein Needs
100 lbs. 46-68g
150 lbs. 68-102g
200 lbs. 91-136g
250 lbs. 114-171g
300 lbs. 136-250g


Additional supplements
  • Fish oil: 1000 to 1200 mg 1 x daily
    • It is believed the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can reduce the neural inflammation induced by the concussion injury. Once the swelling starts to shrink considerably, regeneration cna happen so the neurochemical messengers can communicate. 
  • Magnesium: 250 mg 2 x's daily
    • With having a concussion, you do not want to be deficient in magnesium. It is beneficial to eat foods high in magnesium or at the very least, take a magnesium supplement. Ideally, you can get sufficient amounts of magnesium and other minerals from food, but research strongly shows that 40 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium.
    • Food sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, figs, avocados, bananas, raspberries, nuts, seeds, legumes, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus, brussel sprouts, salmon and mackerel tuna.
  • Riboflavin: 400 mg 1 x daily
    • Type and severity of headaches vary widely among concussion patients. Two supplements in particular, magnesium and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) appear to help relieve chronic post-concussion headaches.
spacer

Related medical services

spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer