Appropriate nutrition is required for optimal wound healing. Nutritional deficits obstruct the natural processes that allow wound healing to go through the stages. Malnutrition has also been associated with lower wound tensile strength and a higher likelihood of infection. Patients who are malnourished are at risk of developing pressure ulcers, infections, and delayed wound healing, all of which can result in chronic nonhealing wounds. Chronic wounds are a substantial cause of morbidity and mortality in a large number of patients and hence pose a considerable therapeutic problem. Because the majority of patients with chronic skin ulcers have some degree of altered micronutrient status and malnutrition, current nutrition interventions are geared at treating the nutritional deficits that contribute to delayed wound healing.
Foods and Nutrients That Will Assist in Healing
A building block for muscle and skin repair is protein, which is made up of many different types of amino acids. It also helps your body fight off infections and stay healthy. Eat three to four times a day. At least 3 to 4 ounces is what you need for one serving. There are a lot of good sources of protein:
- Lean animal meat like beef, pork, chicken, or fish.
- Dried beans, peas, lentils, or tofu
- Cheese, yogurt, or eggs can be made with cheese.
Carbohydrates give your body the energy it needs to heal.
- Whole-grain bread and cereals
Fruits and Vegetables
- Vitamin A-rich foods, such as bright orange fruits and vegetables, and dark green, leafy vegetables, are good for your body and help you stay healthy.
- Vitamin C in citrus fruits and peppers and tomatoes and strawberries and cantaloupe is good for you.
Milk and Dairy
These are good sources of carbs and protein, so they’re good for you. Dairy is good for you unless your doctor tells you not to eat it. Make sure you get at least three servings a day.
One cup of milk or yogurt is a serving, so one cup is one serving. Soy milk can be used in place of regular milk.
Draining wounds lose a lot of fluid. Water comes in to replace the fluid that is lost. Drink about 6 to 8 cups of water each day unless your doctor tells you to drink less.
Eat a balanced meal
You can get all of the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy from eating well-balanced food. Do not skip the chance to eat lean red meats, fortified cereals, or dark green leafy vegetables every day. If you don’t eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, your doctor or dietitian might suggest taking a multivitamin every day. Only take other vitamins or minerals if a doctor or nurse has recommended them. If you need more help getting enough calories and protein in your diet, talk to a dietitian who can help you.
Patients with chronic wound infection are more likely to be malnourished than healthy, thus current nutrition interventions try to address the deficiencies that are causing the wounds to heal more slowly.
The views and opinions stated in this blog are exclusively those of the author and do not reflect iWound, its affiliates, or partner companies.
Future Reading and References
Stechmiller JK. Understanding the role of nutrition and wound healing. Nutr Clin Pract. 2010 Feb;25(1):61-8. doi: 10.1177/0884533609358997. PMID: 20130158.
Bemak, Lani RN Nutrition and Wound Healing, AJN, American Journal of Nursing: June 2018 – Volume 118 – Issue 6 – p 13 doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000534827.42115.d5