Black beans are high in protein, which is essential for wound healing.

Nutrition is an important factor in every aspect of life, as the foods we eat provide with the energy and nutrients our bodies need to function. It also helps determine the speed and efficiency of wound healing. While eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean meats and whole grains is key to proper nutrition, there are some foods with superior value that can help boost the immune system, enhance tissue production and speed up the body’s ability to recover. Consider some of these superfoods to benefit your healing wounds:

Tomatoes

These red fruits often mistaken for vegetables are abundant in lycopene, an antioxidant that’s rare in many other foods. This element is known to protect the body against oxidation that can damage cells, but it also supports good immune function. As such, it has the potential to reduce the risk of wound infection. To incorporate more of this superfood into your diet, add some tomato slices to your sandwich or atop a salad, and pump up the amount of tomatoes in your pasta sauce.

Broccoli

This cruciferous vegetable is high in phytonutrients. According to the National Institutes of Health, these are antioxidants that help manage inflammation and enhance immune function, among other benefits. It also contains vitamin C, which the NIH notes is mandatory for the repair and growth of all forms of tissue, from blood vessels to the upper dermal layer. Add some florets of broccoli to your fresh salad, a bowl of pasta or even your eggs in the morning to increase your intake of this tasty superfood.

Black beans

Protein is the component of black beans that bring them to superfood status. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a single serving – or 1/2 cup – of these legumes provides about 8 grams of protein, and they’re low in both sodium and saturated fats. When it comes to wound healing, protein is needed for the development of new tissue, and a deficiency could lead to slow recovery times. With that in mind, black beans are an excellent alternative to meat for vegetarians and vegans – they can be used as the foundation for meat-free burger patties, as the source of protein in soups and as side dishes and dips in a variety of ways.

Soy

Another go-to food for vegans and vegetarians is the superfood soy. The soybean contains a wide array of vitamins, including A, C, D, E and K, which promote good digestive function, support the immune system and enhance skin health. It’s also high in protein to advance the development of new tissue. Incorporating soy into one’s diet can be difficult, but it can be found in certain products in your grocer’s aisle, from instant oatmeal to vegetarian burgers to dairy-free cheeses.

Chocolate

Those with a sweet tooth will be happy to hear that chocolate has a plenitude of benefits for one’s overall wellness and, in particular, wound healing. According to a report in the Contemporary Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine, dark chocolate can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels. This is key for the body’s ability to deliver oxygen, nutrients and vitamins to the wound bed. It also has strong antioxidizing properties, which can benefit the immune system to help stave off infection.

These foods, when added to a balanced diet, can be a helpful complement to wound dressings and other measures that support rapid and efficient recovery.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.