Nutrition for Wound Healing

Balanced nutrition, plenty of fluids and daily exercise are important for keeping skin healthy and healing wounds. 

For balanced nutrition

  • Eat three meals and one to two snacks a day.
  • Limit processed or pre-packaged meals to control added sodium and fat.
  • Choose foods from each of the food groups: 
  • Whole-grain breads and cereals
    • 5-7 ounces per day 
  • Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables and fruit in a rainbow of colors
    • 2-3 cups of each per day 
    • Focus on whole fruits and vegetables (apple vs. applesauce or juice) for added nutrition and fiber
    • Look for “low-sodium” and “no added sugar” 
    • Limit juice to no more than 1 cup per day
  • Dairy including low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, pudding, cheese
    • 2-3 cups per day 
  • Lean or low-fat protein sources such as eggs, beans, loin or round cuts of meats, fish, soy, nuts and seeds
    • Bake, broil or grill whenever possible 
    • Avoid high fat and high salt proteins such as bacon, sausage, ham, processed meat
    • 5-7 ounces per day

Stay well hydrated

  • Drink plenty of fluids including water, broth-based soups, juice, milk, tea and coffee.
  • Avoid caffeine, high-calorie and/or sweetened beverages
  • 8-12 glasses per day; half plain water

Stay active

  • Exercise is important to increase blood flow and promote wound healing.
  • Take mini-walks (5-10 minutes) every couple of hours.
  • If unable to walk, make sure to move in your chair or bed to increase blood flow.
  • Before starting, talk with your doctor about what physical activity is safe for you to do.
Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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