Your doctor’s best wound healing efforts could be undone by a poorly planned shopping list.

Nutrition plays a crucial role in improving your wound care process. There are a slew of tasty foods that not only bolster your body’s wound healing but also prevent scars and reduce the risk of infection.

Skim milk, for instance, has been known to activate the body’s inflammatory system, and this is important for controlling bleeds. Cauliflower is filled with antioxidants, which help tissue regenerate more efficiently. Nuts are also good for you, supplying an ample amount of protein that gives your body energy to heal effectively. But while there are many beneficial foods in your kitchen pantry, there are also foods to avoid. These items can impede your wound healing, costing you precious time, money, and energy. Be sure to steer clear of the following foods:

1. Nitrate-Rich Foods

Your body’s blood vessels move cells and other chemical components that are essential to wound healing. However, as the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out, these vessels can be damaged by foods that are rich in nitrates. An excess of nitrates can lead to a condition called atherosclerosis, in which fatty plaque forms within the vessel. When this happens, vessels can rupture and lead to decreased healing, various bleeding disorders, stroke, and even heart attack. Nitrate-rich foods include processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, and most deli meats.

2. Spices

While they might enhance the flavors of many different dishes, spices can impede your body’s wound healing functions. It is worth noting that spices such as turmeric and ginger are generally beneficial, and a 2010 study in the journal Platelets noted turmeric especially can greatly reduce your risk of fatal blood clots. However, consuming too much of these spices can interfere with the body’s ability to create blood clots, which is essential for proper healing. A reduced ability to form clots can cause issues with bleeding, and that can lead to a number of complications and even infections of the blood.

3. Skin-Damaging Foods

As Prevention magazine has explained, there are a wide array of foods that are generally bad for your skin. This is more than a cosmetic concern because your skin is the first line of defense against injury. If your skin is weak or easily damaged, it can prevent efficient wound healing. Though agave is seen as a healthy alternative to sugar, it will also break down collagen, which affects the skin’s elasticity. Margarine can also be harmful to skin, as it interferes with the body’s natural hydration process.

For all your specialized wound care products, turn to Advanced Tissue. We deliver to both homes and long-term care facilities.