How Can Good Nutrition Help Your Long-Term Wound Recovery?
Why are Nutrients Necessary for Wound Repair?
Our bodies are machines that require fuel to perform basic bodily functions. This fuel comes from minerals, proteins, and fibers found in food. When you deprive your body of necessary nutrients and vitamins, you risk slowing down those bodily processes. For example, when you’re sick you may feel tired or fatigued. That’s because your body is transferring most of your energy to focus on fighting the disease. This leaves other bodily processes, such as temperature regulation, sleep, or digestion, to function at a lower performance than usual.
Good nutrition during recovery is important because it allows your body to complete your normal bodily processes while taking on the extra work of repairing wounds. A wholesome, well-balanced diet is important for getting all of the fiber, proteins, and vitamins needed for repair.
Zinc is a micronutrient that is essential to every process of wound healing and recovery. From membrane repair to scar formation, zinc is a part of every phase. To increase zinc levels, take supplements or eat more zinc-rich foods like meats, fish, or legumes such as beans or chickpeas. Refer here for a list of foods high in zinc and information on zinc supplements.
Like zinc, vitamin C plays a crucial role in wound recovery specifically in the role of producing collagen. Collagen is a type of protein that is the framework of building connective tissues. When you have a cut, scrape, or more serious wound, tissue is damaged and lost. By consuming foods rich in vitamin C, your body produces collagen which creates the building blocks for new membranes. Should the body not produce the necessary collagen, supplements or biomaterials can be used to supplement proper nutrition.
Proteins play a huge role in both muscle tissue and bone recovery and development. Protein is also responsible for fighting infection! Wound recovery, depending on the severity, can be sensitive and preventing infection is always important. By maintaining a well-rounded diet and consuming proteins, you increase your body’s ability to fight bacteria that could otherwise slow down your recovery.
Everyone’s body is different. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements or making dietary changes while in wound recovery. Age, weight, sex, and activity can impact how much you need of different nutrients. Refer to the links below for more information.