Dark chocolate is full of copper, one of many nutrients that aid the wound healing process.

Nutrition is an important component of an effective wound care regimen. On the one hand, there is a veritable pantry of foods that promote wound healing, like tomatoes, chocolate and broccoli. Similarly, vitamins and nutrients prove just as beneficial in promoting healing. For instance, vitamin A helps control the inflammatory response, while vitamin C helps create collagen that forms new tissue structures. Those are just some of the many vitamins and nutrients available. Here are a few more worth adding to your daily routine:

Copper

For years, copper has been regarded as one of the most effective nutrients for improving wound healing rates. In early 2016, a study published in the journal mBio found that copper can destroy several different bacterial strains, making it a great choice for dressings and bandages. However, as Healthline pointed out, consuming copper can prove just as beneficial. For one, it will better engage the immune system, resulting in speedier responses to illness and injury. Plus, copper strengthens bone, organs and connective tissue, thus giving you better overall defenses. Copper-rich foods include oysters, dark chocolate, liver and sesame seeds.

Iron

A 2014 review in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology concluded that iron plays a huge role in the wound healing process. Over the years, as the review explained, several studies have uncovered iron’s health benefits, including preventing necrosis in wounds and repairing photo-induced tissue damage. An ongoing lack of iron – a condition called anemia – further demonstrates iron’s overall importance. In anemic individuals, their blood doesn’t get enough oxygen, and this leads to slow-healing wounds and other painful complications. Iron can be found in foods like raisins, fresh tuna, green peas, chickpeas, cashews and roasted turkey.

B complex vitamins

B vitamins help convert proteins and carbohydrates into energy, which it uses to sustain cellular activity. However, specific nutrients in the B family also carry individual benefits as well. For instance, the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine explained that vitamin B1 (thiamine) allows the body to synthesize collagen; without it, your systems can’t repair damage and build new tissue. Meanwhile, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) has been proven to speed up the healing process, allowing for the creation of fibroblasts that aid in tissue repair. B vitamins can be found in everything from rice milk and liver sausage to mackerel and bran cereals.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients.