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For those who have been wounded, ill, and/or injured, nutrition plays an important role in helping the body heal. Maintaining balanced nutrition during healing is possible with proper education and support. For example,the 2010 Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans concludes that good health and optimal functionality across the life span, especially during a time of healing, are achievable goals. This requires a healthy lifestyle approach including a total diet that is energy balanced and nutrient dense. In order to accomplish these goals, a change is needed in the overall food environment, especially for those healing from sustained injuries. To help make these changes, nutrition literacy, comprehensive health awareness, and physical education programs must be addressed.
In all populations, especially those who have been injured, there are many ways to improve "nutritional" wellness and combat the prevalence of overweight and obesity. While this can be done by controlling energy balance and effective weight management, it is often negated by the over-consumption of total calories, skipping meals along with very low physical activity and too much sedentary time. Watching what and how much we eat and monitoring our daily physical activity level can support maintaining a healthy weight.
For those who have been wounded, ill, and/or injured, nutrition can also impact healing and return to mission. The science of nutrition clearly shows that a diet balanced in nutrients can promote better wound healing and tissue recovery. This balance must include protein for muscle recovery, vitamins for tissue repair and reduced scarring, and complex carbohydrates to ensure needed energy during healing.
The Health Promotion and Wellness Wounded, Ill, and Injured team at Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) is dedicated to helping our Sailors and Marines quickly recover and return to mission. Please review the nutritional information for further help and resources dedicated to addressing the role of nutrition for those who have been wounded, ill, and/or injured.
For additional resources visit our Healthy Eating page >>
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Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
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