Therapeutic Foods That Promote Wound Healing
The food you eat plays an important role in how your body functions on a daily basis. However, many people don’t consider how the food they eat affects their body’s wound healing process. Eating balanced healing foods can help your body heal faster and more efficiently.
Which food necessities are good for wound healing?
A healthy diet is an essential part of healing wounds and maintaining overall health and well-being. This means you should eat a balanced diet and include all dietary essentials, especially:
- Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals);
- Healthy fats;
- Carbohydrates .
The role of proteins in wound healing
Protein is arguably one of the most important aspects of any diet, as it is used for nearly every function of your body. In wound healing, proteins are used to repair tissue, help transport oxygen throughout the body and help fight infection.
Therapeutic Foods Containing Protein
Many foods are good sources of protein that can aid in healing. These include:
- 3 ounces chicken breast = 21 grams of protein
- 8 ounces of yogurt = 11 grams of protein
- 1 cup of milk = 8 grams of protein
- 1 cup of dry beans = 16 grams of protein
Protein needed for wound healing
The amount of protein needed per day depends on the individual, but in general, the average inactive man needs 56 grams per day. Inactive women need to eat an average of 46 grams of protein per day. People with wounds and other medical conditions need to eat more protein each day to help wounds heal. You may consider seeing a wound care professional to help determine the optimal amount you need to heal.
Amino Acids and Wound Healing
Amino acids help build proteins and are used in every cell of our body. Many amino acids play a role in building and repairing tissue, which is important for wound healing.
Therapeutic Foods Containing Amino Acids
Arginine is an amino acid that helps increase blood flow and oxygen to wounds. This increases collagen formation and reduces inflammation. Foods high in arginine include pumpkin seeds, milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Another important amino acid in therapy is glutamine, which stimulates collagen production, regulates nitrogen metabolism, and supports the immune system. Healing foods high in glutamine include chicken, fish, cabbage, spinach, dairy, tofu, lentils, and beans.
Wound care clinics can prescribe wound care supplements that contain these amino acids to ensure you are getting enough.
Micronutrients and Wound Healing
Micronutrients required for a healthy diet include vitamins and minerals. While your body needs a variety of micronutrients, research shows that zinc and vitamins A and C are essential for wound healing. Each of these micronutrients is essential to the body’s innate healing process, and when you’re not getting enough, you may notice that you start to feel more tired than usual. They also aid in the body’s inflammatory response and help produce collagen.
Other notable micronutrients important for wound healing include magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin E and B vitamins.
Therapeutic Foods Containing Micronutrients
While it’s best to eat a variety of foods to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your wound needs to heal, some good options include:
- Foods rich in minerals: oysters, spinach, nuts such as cashews, beans such as peanuts, dairy products, black and lentils, bananas, and fish.
- Foods rich in vitamins: citrus fruits, bell peppers, whole grains, eggs, dark leafy greens, fish, lean meats, leafy greens, soybeans, almonds, sweet potatoes, and milk.
Carbohydrates and Wound Healing
When some people hear the word “carbs,” they automatically think of how carbohydrates are broken down into sugars, such as glucose. However, this glucose comes into play when part of a healthy, balanced diet. Glucose is converted to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a form of cellular energy used in the healing process.
Fat is also important for wound healing
Healthy fats such as fatty acids, lipids, phospholipids, linoleic acid, and arachidonic acid play an important role in maintaining the body and promoting normal wound healing. Research shows that these healthy fats are essential for tissue regeneration and cell metabolism, and contribute to inflammation.
Healing Foods Containing Healthy Fats
Fatty foods that help wounds heal include oily fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, and eggs.
What if healing foods are not enough to heal wounds?
When it comes to nutrition, it’s important to understand that everything you eat affects your body and how it functions. Eating a balanced diet ensures that your body is functioning properly and is constantly creating the necessary cells to help carry oxygen throughout the body. If you need help with a balanced diet, especially with wound healing, you may want to consult a registered dietitian or dietitian.
Unfortunately, sometimes individuals must undergo severe dietary restrictions, which can significantly impact their ability to heal wounds. Underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, can also affect the body’s ability to heal. If this is your case, you can seek out a wound clinic to help you plan your recovery.
Hyperbaric wound care and healing foods can help heal wounds
Some people may have trouble balancing essential nutrients to help get oxygen where it’s needed. Hyperbaric Wound Care Therapy delivers 100% oxygen to the body through inhalation and absorption. This ensures your body gets the oxygen it needs to help improve your body’s ability to heal wounds. When used in conjunction with a nutritional plan, they can ensure you receive optimal health benefits and help your body heal.