Heal Thyself! Boost Your Own Body Repairs

Our bodies were designed with some very impressing healing abilities. Some organs, such as the liver, are quite adept at repairing damaged structures.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to help the process. Here are some simple things you can do to increase your body’s natural healing abilities.

Intestinal distress

Your body has its own built-in way of dealing with intestinal issues. The cells that line the intestines are designed to slough off after a few days and be replaced by new ones. So when those cells are damaged, they are quickly removed and replaced.

In case you find that your intestinal issues aren’t resolving quickly enough, you can speed up the process. Adding fiber-filled foods to your diet is a good way to hasten the cellular turnover rate.

In a 2003 study by the Medical College of Georgia, researchers found that not only does consuming “roughage” cause an increase in the production of mucus, but eating these foods causes cell injury, which activates intestinal repair.

“When you eat high-fiber foods, they bang up against the cells lining the gastrointestinal tract, rupturing their outer covering. What we are saying is this banging and tearing increases the level of lubricating mucus. It’s a good thing,” explained study author Dr. Paul L. McNeil, a cell biologist at the Medical College of Georgia.

Clogged lungs

As we breathe in pollutants like smog and smoke, these particles are trapped in our lungs. Thankfully, our lungs are lined with hairlike structures called cilia, that work to gently move lung contaminants up and out of the airways.

According to Norman Edelman, M.D., a scientific advisor to the American Lung Association, “It’s like a mucus escalator. That’s a major form of defense. Within a few days to a week [after quitting smoking], you start feeling better, and you start coughing up all that bad mucus you have down there.”

If you want to speed up the process, get in your daily exercise. Exercise naturally encourages the loosening of mucus and improves circulation in the body.

Also be sure to get your daily dose of vitamin A, which has been shown to help with lung repair. Good natural sources of vitamin A include mangoes and sweet potatoes.

Broken bones

When a bone breaks, it activates the release of bone-building osteocytes (living cells) that are naturally found inside little pockets in the bone. You can also activate these osteocytes by introducing stress to the bone through activities like moderate exercise.

To help strengthen the bones, include a lot of green foods into your diet. These foods are rich with vitamin K, which helps lock osteocytes into the bone as it develops.

According to Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., author of Food and our Bones: The Natural Way to Prevent Osteoporosis, “Greens give you not only calcium, but vitamin K, potassium, and other minerals and nutrients you need to lay down bone. My first three recommendations are vegetables, vegetables, vegetables.”

Many people don’t realize that bones are continuously breaking down and rebuilding themselves in the body. This repair and reinforcement helps to strengthen them and prevent fractures.

Rebuild gray matter

The brain is an amazing organ that tries to naturally repair itself and form new neurons. There are ways you can increase this new neuronal growth, or neurogenesis, by getting regular exercise.

Research by scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that physical exercise significantly increased the growth of new neuronal connections in the brain.