When injured, the body automatically sets in motion the wound healing process. Factors negatively impacting the wound healing process may include poor nutrition, chronic diseases, patient’s age, infection, dehydration, poor blood circulation, edema, repeated trauma, and patient behavior. For your wounds to heal, you need optimal nutrition.
Nutrition deficiencies hinder the normal wound healing progression. You can correct the deficiencies that delay the wound healing process with good nutrition. Malnutrition increases infection rates and reduces wound tensile strength. It may also cause pressure ulcers and slow wound healing, leading to chronic non-healing wounds. This article gives you nutrition tips to promote wound healing.
1. Sufficient Vitamin C intake
The primary role of vitamin C in the wound healing process is to help with collagen formation, an essential connective tissue protein. Collagen attracts fibroblasts and encourages new collagen deposition to the wound bed. Chronic wounds create excess matrix metalloproteinases that hinder the natural wound healing process. Collagen dressing triggers new tissue, speeding the wound healing process.
Consume fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, including strawberries, broccoli, spinach, kiwi, kale, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Since you may not always get sufficient vitamin C from your diet alone, try dietary supplements like lypo spheric vitamin C for enough nutrient supply.
2. Take protein-packed foods
Protein is crucial for body tissue maintenance and repair. Low protein amounts decrease collagen production, delaying the wound healing process. Sufficient protein levels help you attain optimal wound healing. However, you should ensure adequate energy intake, otherwise your body will use the protein for energy instead of wound healing. Some protein-rich foods to consider are white and red meat, eggs, fish, dairy products, liver, legumes, soybeans, seeds, and nuts.
3. Include fats in your diet
Fats are a concentrated energy source crucial fuel for wound healing. Enough fats are essential in preventing your body from utilizing protein for energy. After an injury, the need for fatty acids (a major cell membrane component) increases. Great sources of fats for wound healing may consist of full-fat dairy products, including cheese, milk, cream, butter, ice cream, yogurt, meat, fats, and oils for cooking or spreading. During wound healing, aim for weight maintenance, so if you’re overweight, don’t try losing weight until your wound is fully healed.
4. Eat vitamin A-rich foods
Vitamin A improves the wound’s inflammatory response, triggering collagen production. Reduced vitamin A levels cause wound healing delays and make your wounds more susceptible to infection. Severe injuries may increase the need for vitamin A, so include vitamin A in your diet. You can get adequate Vitamin A dosage from carrots, eggs, leafy green, papaya, mango, pumpkin, red fruits, vegetables, and oranges.
5. Stay hydrated
Water is a significant blood component, and dehydration lowers your body’s blood volume and affects skin turgor, reducing nutrient and oxygen supply into the wound bed. This interferes with the wound healing process because your body needs adequate moisture to heal properly.
Dehydration results in delayed wound healing and the scarring may be more severe as fewer nutrients and oxygen are supplied into the blood. It also increases infection risks, complicating the healing process. To stay hydrated, increase fluid intake, including water, milk, vegetable or fruit juice, soup, coffee, and tea.
Without proper nutrition, wound healing may take longer than necessary. Try the above nutrition tips to promote wound healing.