How do Nutrients help the Healing of Wounds?

by Garreth Myers

A healthy diet containing all the essential nutrients is necessary for the body to fight different types of infections and help in the healing of wounds. Wounds are usually caused by external injuries, trauma, or even surgical procedures, and nutrients play an important role in speeding up the healing process of such wounds. Although there is no specific, diet for wound healing, studies have shown that people who lack essential nutrients in their diet are likely to experience longer healing periods as compared to others. A poor diet is one, which is low in nutrients as well as calories. The most important nutrients required for the healing of wounds include proteins, carbohydrates, vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, fats, calories, and water. Proteins are an important component for the synthesis of collagen.

Insufficient intake of protein in the daily diet can affect the quality and time of wound healing. When wounds are a result of trauma, the body's demand for protein increases and in the case of stress or sepsis, this demand increases even further. The body's requirement for protein varies depending on the type of wound. In general, the body requires at last 1.5-3 grams of protein per kilogram of the body weight of the individual. Foods that are rich in proteins include milk, dairy products, fish, lean meats like chicken and turkey, eggs, nuts, seeds, and tofu. These should be included in the daily diet for speeding up the healing process of wounds.

Diet, Nutrition, Vitamins for Wound Healing

Vitamin C is another important nutrient that helps in wound healing. This nutrient should be consumed daily either through the intake of fresh foods or dietary supplements for the quick healing of wounds. Vitamin C is important for the proper functioning of the protocollagen hydroxylase enzyme that helps in generating collagen. It is also vital for the synthesis of intracellular tissue matrixes such as the skin, bone, blood vessels, as well as the connective tissues. Furthermore, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that increases the levels of reactive oxygen in the wounds thereby speeding up the process of healing.

Foods like green and red bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, oranges, strawberries, cantaloupes, and grapefruit are all rich sources of vitamin C that you can include in the daily diet to assist with wound healing. Similarly, vitamin A is also very helpful in wound healing as it helps in the normal growth as well as the differentiation of the skin. The strength of scar tissues increases with the presence of vitamin A in the body, as does the body's inflammatory response.

Carbohydrates are also vital in the process of wound healing. Carbohydrates provide tremendous cellular energy during the process of wound healing. They not only help meet the body's energy requirement, but also help in the movement of fibroblasts that are important in the healing of wounds. Carbohydrates also strengthen the body's immune response by enhancing the activity of white blood cells in the body. Along with carbohydrates, a person suffering from any kind of wound requires the right daily intake of calories to help him stay energized and prevent loss of body mass. After any kind of trauma, the body's requirement for calories increases and therefore it is important to maintain an adequate calorie intake to help heal wounds faster.

Fats are a great source of calories and play a vital role in the functioning and structuring of the cell membranes, which is very important for proper wound healing. Experts recommend that for faster healing of wounds, 20% of your caloric intake should come from monosaturated fats, which help in the synthesis of new cells. You can speed up the wound healing process with the regular intake of all these essential nutrients.

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