Eating Right for Wound Healing


Most wounds, such as cuts and scrapes will heal quickly if kept free and clean of infection.  More serious wounds however, will require more intervention, energy, vitamin, mineral, protein and fluid intake.  More serious wounds would include bed/pressure sores, broken bones, torn or disrupted soft tissue, and surgical incisions and repairs.  Our food choices and our nutritional status will affect how our bodies heal from wounds, injury and surgical intervention.bandaid

Nutritional Tips:

  • Stay well-hydrated
  • Eat enough calories from a balanced diet of proteins, vegetable, fruits, dairy, and grains
  • Include plenty of protein – aim for 20-30 grams per meal and 10-15 grams per snack
  • Include plenty of vegetable and fruits for needed vitamins and minerals –  if specific requirements are needed see your doctor and registered dietician for information
  • If diabetes is a factor, keeping blood sugar levels under control is very important

Lean and High Quality Proteins keep the immune system strong and aids in wound healing.  It also helps to build muscle and bone tissue.  The size of a deck of cards = about 3 oz = 20-25 grams of protein.

Vitamin C & Zinc are superstars for their roles in healing.  Vitamin C is needed to make collagen which is important for repairing tendons, ligaments and healing surgical wounds.  Zinc helps to keep the immune system strong and helps to build collagen.

Vitamin D & Calcium are great for healing and building bone, but both are needed together because you can’t absorb calcium without Vitamin D.

Fiber will help after injury and surgery because pain medications can cause constipation and bowel issues, so the fiber will help to keep your digestive track moving.

Vitamin A helps to regulate the immune system and protects us from infection.

Vitamin E helps as an antioxidant which neutralizes the free radicals that hurt our immune system function.

Vitamin B6 helps maintain a healthy immune system, and helps our nerve function.

Protein – chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, soy-based foods

Vitamin C– citris fruits, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli, bell peppers

Zinc– meat, fish, poultry, dairy foods, whole grains, beans/peas, nuts   (food sources are best)

Vitamin A– sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, red bell pepper, eggs

Vitamin E– almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, spinach

Vitamin B6-beans, poultry, fish, dark leafy greens, oranges, cantalope


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