Did you know your nutritional status can greatly impact the way you heal a wound? Wounds can range from a cut, scratch, or scrape that breaks the skin. Most people can heal a wound quickly by keeping it clean and free of infection while some wounds, like pressure sores are more serious and often require medical attention. People who are bedridden, use a wheelchair frequently or who are unable to change their position are at higher risk for developing pressure sores. Those with diabetes are at greater risk for developing a type of wound on their feet called a foot ulcer, which commonly take weeks or months to heal. Our health and the foods we consume influence the way our wounds heal, especially the more serious cases, because the healing process requires calories, vitamins, minerals, and protein.
Quick Healing Tips
The tips below provide personal care guidance for you to follow in combination with your healthcare provider’s recommendations:
- Calories: It is very important to eat enough calories from a balanced diet to promote wound healing. Make sure to include foods from all food groups – protein, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grains.
- Protein: Aim to consume 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal and 10 to 15 grams of protein with each snack.
- Water: Stay well-hydrated by consuming water and other unsweetened beverages like milk, tea, or 100% fruit juice.
- Vitamins & Minerals: Depending on the severity and type of wound will impact the requirements of certain vitamins and minerals. Talk with a registered dietitian nutritionist for guidance on the optimum amounts of calories, protein, fluids, vitamins, and minerals for your specific needs.
- Blood Sugar: To prevent and treat a wound, it is crucial for those with diabetes to control blood sugar levels. Work with your physician and registered dietitian nutritionist to develop a blood sugar management plan.