Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which is important for healing wounds.

It’s not news that diet plays an important role in the body’s capacity for wound healing. Many people are aware that fats, protein, carbohydrates and zinc are necessary for the development of new tissue. However, one often overlooked nutrient is vitamin A.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, vitamin A aids cells in the reproduction process, known as cellular differentiation. This is an integral part of wound healing, as cellular reproduction must occur for new tissue to grow. Vitamin A also helps reduce the risk of wound infection, as it is essential to proper immune system function, and the nutrient helps manage inflammation that occurs after a wound is sustained.

While a serious deficiency in this nutrient is rare, many people have moderately low levels of vitamin A, particularly among low-income populations. The biggest sign of a deficiency is trouble seeing at night – vitamin A is important to sight. Fortunately, this issue can generally be resolved by incorporating more foods high in vitamin A, such as:

  • Kale, spinach and other leafy greens
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash

It’s especially important for pregnant women and children with healing wounds to get enough vitamin A, as these groups are more susceptible to deficiency, according to the UMM Medical Center. Those who are having trouble increasing their vitamin A levels should speak with a clinician before taking supplements for this nutrient, as it can be dangerous in high doses and even lead to liver failure when too much is consumed.

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