What we eat makes a major difference in the rate of your wound healing especially when it comes to wounds such as pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, surgical wounds, full or partial thickness wounds, burns, etc.
There are various food items that can help speed up the healing process of wounds, by providing additional vitamins and minerals that in turn aids in the necessary growth of new skin tissue and improving blood flow.
The food items that can help cure wounds faster include:
Turmeric: Turmeric is a well-known spice, popularly used for the treatment of wounds. Curcumin is an antioxidant present in turmeric that helps in lowering inflammation and speeding up the healing process.
Dairy Products: Dairy products such as milk and yogurt can aid in the healing process of wounds due to high concentrations of protein and zinc.
Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein and contain many vitamins. They mostly contain vitamin A and D but also contain zinc and iron that promotes healing.
Meat: Meat has a significant amount of protein and zinc and therefore, it aids in speeding up the healing of wounds.
Zinc: Clinical evidence shows that zinc aids in the promotion of epithelialization of wounds. Foods that contain zinc include meat products (oysters and other seafood, beef, chicken, etc.), dairy products, whole wheat, and wheat germ, beans, lentils, and various nuts.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is essential for the healing of wounds and the formation of scar tissue. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that is necessary for collagen formation in the skin.
Patients with wounds should eat ample amounts of amla, guava, lemon, orange, cranberry, strawberry, pineapple, kiwi fruit, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, spinach, cabbage, and other food items that contain vitamin C.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin C, which are known to speed up wound healing.
Ghee: Ghee is used extensively in Ayurveda for the healing of wounds. Research shows that ghee aids in closing wounds and regenerating cells around the wounds, eventually speeding up the healing process.
Iron: A deficiency of iron may retard the process of wound healing. Some of the foods that are rich in iron are leafy vegetables, lentils, and turkey.
Fluids: Finally, for any form of healing, it is necessary that you consume ample amounts of fluids (not talking about coffee, carbonated drinks, and alcohol).
It is best to only consume adequate amounts of water. When you increase your protein intake, it can cause dehydration. Most people need 30 mL per kilogram of body weight or a minimum of 1,500 mL per day (1.5 liters).
It is important to monitor for signs and symptoms of dehydration.
Increase Calories: It is recommended to increase the total amount of calories while trying to heal a wound or multiple wounds. Consume an adequate amount of carbohydrates and fats in addition to the increased protein needs mentioned above.
Oral Nutrition Supplements: Elderly patients with wounds might have more difficulty with healing and increasing their calorie and protein needs due to the decreased appetite. For such patients, nutrition supplements are often recommended to improve healing.
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