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
- 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
- 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
- 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.