Nutritional needs change with an injury, and nutrition is an important part of recovering from an auto collision. Many joints and tissues are injured and may extend across your whole body depending on severity. Fish oils are one important supplement that can aid in your recovery.
Due to whipping motion of the head and resulting shaking of the brain within, auto collisions frequently result in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Severity of TBI can vary; symptoms can range from fogginess and fatigue to memory loss, loss of consciousness, and even coma or death.
Nervous tissue is very sensitive to impacts and even mild auto collisions can produce TBI symptoms. Nervous tissue is very specialized as well and often does not recover quickly. Fish oils are a food that can aid in recovery from auto collisions and are particularly helpful in recovering from a traumatic brain injury.
The active component that provides the bulk of benefit from fish oils are omega 3 fatty acids including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega 3 fatty acids provide a variety of benefits.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease cell death after brain injuries. Omega 3 fatty acids also help manage inflammation that is present, particularly in the brain, but in other areas of the body as well. DHA is a component of nerve cell membranes and is needed when recovering from nerve injuries. EPA helps control inflammation after an injury and limit damage to nerve tissue.
Fish oil is a food product that can be obtained in the diet by eating oily fish. That being the case, some fish are better sources of fish oil than others for a variety of reasons. In general, fish that are lower in the food chain are better sources of fish oil due to lower mercury content, as mercury tends to build up in predatory fish, rather than from fish that are primarily herbivores.
Fish that are lower in mercury include anchovies, sardines, herring, salmon, and smaller mackerel.
Larger predatory fish such as tuna tend to be higher in mercury. Chunk tuna is preferred over solid albacore tuna as the tuna species used to produce chunk tuna tend to contain less mercury.
Supplements are an alternative way to get your daily dose of fish oil. Reputable fish oil supplements have mercury filtered and removed. Burpless fish oil supplements are available that have less of a fish taste as well. Generally, up to 3000mg of fish oil per day is recommended for a healthy adult.
One concern with fish oil supplements is freshness, as fish oil can age and become rancid as the oil combines with oxygen. It is important to check product production and expiration dates to ensure freshness.
Some plant based foods contain omega 3 fatty acids, including flaxseed, chia seed, Brussel sprouts, and walnuts and can benefit as well.
A Chiropractor will be able to advise you on nutrition and supplements that can aid in your recovery. Call a Chiropractic clinic if you have been involved in an auto collision.