Vitamin C is essential for wound healing.

In addition to getting proper rest and keeping the injured area clean, wound healing requires proper nutrition. According to WoundEducators.com, patients who don’t consume nutritious foods increase their risk of infection, which slows down the wound healing process. If you eat a healthy diet, you can boost your immune system and speed up wound recovery. Here are five nutrients that are essential for wound healing:

Protein

Protein is critical during the wound healing process because it helps the body repair damaged tissues. When determining how much protein you need per day, your clinician will consider several factors, such as your dietary history and depth of your wound. If you don’t want to eat meat every day, there are other ways you can boost your protein intake. The National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy suggests adding milk powder to hot cereals and mashed potatoes and eating desserts that contain eggs.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps the body form new collagen, so it is an important antioxidant for wound healing, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, papaya, dark leafy vegetables, kiwis and peppers.

Zinc

Zinc aids in the wound healing process by helping maintain the durability of skin and mucosal membranes, as the National Institutes of Health points out. In addition, this nutrient can boost your immune system. The stronger your immune system is, the better it will be able to fight off infections in your wound. Zinc can be found in a lot of different foods including red meats, lentils, cashews and pumpkin seeds.

Carbohydrates

When recovering from a wound, it is crucial to fill your diet with carbohydrates. Glucose is one of the main types of carbohydrates and provides energy for white blood cells, boosts collagen production and promotes fibroblast growth, according to the University of Nottingham. Oatmeal, fruits, pasta and rice are all good sources of carbohydrates.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is another important nutrient for the wound recovery process because it helps control inflammatory response, according to Alternative Medicine Review. This vitamin can be found in carrots, squash, eggs, sweet potatoes and kale.

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