Nature's Elixirs

What Foods Can Heal Wounds Faster

If you’ve been injured, the hardest thing to endure is waiting for your wounds to heal. Time is the best cure, but there are some things you can do to speed the healing process. Aside from rest, diet is probably the simplest. What you eat has a lot to do with how you feel, and even more to do with how you heal.

The human body is fragile, and there are endless ways to damage it. The most common of these, of course, is injury. Whether you’ve pulled a muscle, broken a bone, or simply torn your skin, any number of activities may result in a wound. The injury can range from deep wounds that keep you sidelined to minor cuts and scrapes that remain harmless unless untreated.

Surgery is a less common affliction, though millions of human beings go under the knife yearly. While medical attendance is assured in the hospital, much of your recovery time is spent on your own. Doctors will tell you how to care for your wounds, but a healthy diet is a sure way to hasten convalescence.

A less obvious source of bodily injury is one that affects all of us, namely ageing. It’s an inescapable fact that as you get older, some things break down. Wounds like bedsores, ulcers and malformation come with little warning. While no one knows a way to reverse time’s march, an augmented diet can do wonders to ease the effects.

In general, to speed wound healing you need a good dose of calories, vitamins, protein and minerals (Of this latter, zinc is especially helpful). Many of the foods you eat to absorb these nutrients are what you’d expect from a balanced diet. Some of them, however, may pleasantly surprise you. To get the elements you need, doctors and nutritionists suggest the following food groups: Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, Meat and Dairy.

As you can see, these are the typically healthy groups. What may be different, however, is the portions (and proportions) from each group. Depending upon your wounds, one or the other of the categories listed may need to be expanded or minimized. You should increase or decrease quantity according to medical instruction and need.

While recovering you should adjust your diet to accommodate your particular type of wound. Deep punctures or muscle tears probably need extra protein (e.g. meat and nuts). Broken bones could use extra supplies of dairy (milk, and eggs for example). Probiotics like yogurt and kimchi help digestion, which keeps the skin clearer and healthier. You should also not overlook the water, one of the most important diet elements. Every bodily function uses water, and no recovery is possible without proper hydration. Several glasses a day (and more depending upon the medicines you take) should become the norm in the road to wound healing and good health.

From the food groups we mentioned earlier there are individual foods that deserve special mention. From fruits, you should eat berries, such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Eating oranges, mangoes, tangerines, tomatoes and cantaloupes gives you vitamin C and vitamin A for skin rebuilding. As we mentioned earlier, meat, beans, eggs and nuts provide protein,. They also help build joint and ligament fiber. Dark greens, such as kale and spinach, are also rich in vitamin A. Whole grains, like oats, quinoa and wild rice, help heal deep wounds and keep the body strong for fighting infection. Good fats from nuts, oil and fish help your body retain vitamins and keep the immune system strong, also decreasing the risk of infection.

Of the minerals, magnesium, iron, potassium, and the aforementioned zinc are important. Potassium is good for heart health. Iron strengthens the blood. Magnesium builds muscle and aids respiration, while zinc bolsters immunity. Vitamins E, C, B and A all help to rebuild wounded tissue by providing energy to the body’s defences. They do everything from increasing blood flow to assisting muscle regeneration. Green vegetables and fresh fruits are a source for these elements and can be eaten with meals or separately as snacks.

Whether for wound healing or otherwise a balanced, healthy diet should always be maintained. General rules still apply, of course. Stay away from foods that cause you allergic reactions or exacerbate the underlying medical conditions. As with all healing, rest is essential, as is exercise. Don’t overdo it, of course, and mind your environment. If you’re trying to get better, it doesn’t help if you’re exposed to toxic substances, poor work conditions, or even bad weather. As with all things medical, check with a physician before making any decision.