Nutrition is a major factor in wound healing. It is important that you eat well-balanced meals from a variety of foods. When you have a wound, your body requires more calories to help heal and these calories should come from healthier, protein rich foods.
The current daily value (%DV) for protein is 50 grams per day and is meant as a general goal for most people. Protein is the building block to help build and repair muscle, skin, and other body tissue. Wounds often drain protein-rich fluid, which puts patients with wounds in need of additional protein to heal. Increasing your dietary protein intake is very important for wound healing. If you are a dialysis patient or have kidney disease, talk to your Nephrologist about how much protein you can take in with your condition.
Here are two important nutrients for wound healing:
- Arginine, which helps aid metabolism, is indispensable for collagen formation, cell proliferation, and angiogenesis* (the development of new blood vessels).
- Glutamine provides energy and DNA bases in rapidly proliferating cells.†
Increasing these nutrients through supplements may improve wound healing. High protein items that can be added to your diet include eggs, chicken breast, red meats, almonds, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, lentils, beans, peanut butter, tofu, seeds, nuts, fish/seafood and grains such as quinoa. Protein bars, shakes and drinks should add 15-30 additional grams of protein per serving. If you need to supplement your diet, we offer a multivitamin that covers vitamins A, B, C, and E, and could prove beneficial to your health.
NOTE: If you are on Coumadin, please contact the coumadin clinic or your prescriber before starting any new supplements.
*Witte MB. and Barbul A: Arginine physiology and its implication for wound healing. Wound Repair Regen 2003; 11:419.
†Soeters PB. and Grecu I: Have we enough glutamine and how does it work? A clinician's view. Ann Nutr Metab 2012; 60:17.