The Power of Nutrition in Healing Diastasis Recti

The Power of Nutrition in Healing Diastasis Recti

Diastasis recti—a condition where the abdominal muscles separate—is not merely a cosmetic concern. It affects the core strength and stability of the body, potentially leading to various health issues if left unaddressed. While physical therapy exercises are often recommended for its rehabilitation, the significance of nutrition in healing the connective tissue cannot be overstated. A nutritionally dense diet plays a pivotal role in supporting the body's repair processes and optimizing recovery from diastasis recti.

Understanding Diastasis Recti

Diastasis recti commonly occurs during pregnancy when the growing uterus causes the abdominal muscles to stretch and separate. However, it can also affect men and women who are overweight, those who engage in improper heavy lifting, certain sports, or individuals with weak core muscles. The separation weakens the abdominal wall, compromising core stability and potentially leading to issues like back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, gastrointestinal issues, hernias, and impaired posture.

The Role of Nutrition in Connective Tissue Healing

Connective tissue, including the abdominal muscles affected by diastasis recti, requires specific nutrients for repair and regeneration. A diet rich in essential nutrients supports the body's ability to heal and rebuild damaged tissues. Nutrients affect us on a cellular level, so they have a lot to do with the healing process of tissue damage. Foods can prevent damage to tissues and can also play a huge role in the healing process. Eating poorly can lead to stress on your body and its ability to heal efficiently. There isn’t just one nutrient or mineral that magically will fix you, however eating nutrient-dense foods “like a package deal” are key in helping your body with optimal function and healing.

Vitamins and Minerals

Certain vitamins and minerals play crucial roles in collagen synthesis, the protein that forms the structure of connective tissue. Vitamin C, found abundantly in citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers, is essential for collagen production. Additionally, minerals like zinc and copper are involved in collagen formation and can be obtained from foods such as nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Zinc is a heavy hitter in the realm of connective tissue repair and is essential in production as well as in cartilage and bone. Zinc neutralizes free radicals which are destructive to our healthy cells. Vitamin E is critical in maintaining healthy cells and assisting in injured tissue repair. Magnesium plays a role in the tissue healing process; its presence affects neuromuscular control and contraction as well as the overall state of the nervous system.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, omega-3 fatty acids possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and promote tissue healing.


Staying adequately hydrated is vital for tissue repair and overall health. Water is essential for maintaining the elasticity and pliability of connective tissue. Water dissolves and dispenses all the food nutrients throughout the body so that cells can use them.


Foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, leafy greens, and colorful vegetables, help combat oxidative stress and promote tissue regeneration.

Crafting a Nutrient-Dense Diet for Diastasis Recti Recovery

When rehabilitating diastasis recti, it's crucial to prioritize nutrient-dense foods that support connective tissue healing. Get a diverse assortment of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, eat seeds, nuts, legumes, fiber, and whole grains.

  • Extra water throughout the day.
  • Adequate protein intake is essential for muscle repair and synthesis.
  • Incorporating high-quality proteins provides the building blocks necessary for tissue recovery.
  • Think whole foods, mostly plant-based, and avoid processed foods.

Some Ideas

  • Carrot sticks with hummus for a dose of vitamin C and protein.
  • Grilled wild salmon served with quinoa and a side of steamed broccoli. The salmon offers omega-3 fatty acids, while quinoa provides protein and fiber.
  • A smoothie made with spinach, banana, flaxseeds, and almond milk for antioxidants, vitamins, and omega-3s.

Jenine Wright, MA, received her Master's degree in Exercise Physiology. She is a Tupler Trained Professional, Nutrition Educator, and has worked with a diverse clientele from professional athletes, pre/post-natal, post-rehab, and more. Jenine’s experience spans from health promotion, clinical, and for the past 16 years has run her own business with the mission to optimize her clients’ overall life and well-being.

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