The human body is incredible at healing wounds caused by injury or surgery, but sometimes, it doesn't have all the tools it needs to do its job effectively.
In those cases, you may be wondering: “what can I eat to make my wound heal faster?”
Your medical health professional will have stressed the importance of rest during your recovery, but another principal factor in recovery time is a balanced, wound healing diet. What you eat, and how much of it you eat, plays an important role in your recovery time.
So choose wisely.
“What can I eat to make my wound heal faster?” is a great question, and the answer is worth paying attention to if you want wound healing to go swiftly and smoothly.
Before we get into our specific list of what you can eat to make your wound heal faster, let’s discuss what a wound healing diet should look like in general.
How to create a wound healing diet
Want to know what you can eat to make your wound heal faster?
Well firstly: a bit more of everything!
Recovery is hard, calorie-burning work and the body is going to need a bit more of everything it was getting before - even if you’re much less mobile than normal during your recovery time.
In a caloric shortfall, where your body isn’t getting all the important proteins and nutrients that it needs, your body may be forced to slow down wound healing time or create a scenario of the wound not healing altogether.
It’s tempting to try and shed a few pounds while you’re in recovery, but recovery time isn’t time off for your body. It’s still hard at work (often even harder at work) and has important dietary needs.
Here’s an overview of those needs:
A woman with average weight should aim to eat 2500 calories per day while recovering. A man with average weight should aim for 3400 calories per day while recovering.
To put things into perspective, those amounts are respectively 14% and 21% increases on average day-to day-calorie recommendations.
Of course, to see what a healthy caloric surplus should look like for you, you should take personal factors into account such as the seriousness of the wound you’re healing from, and other health issues you’re monitoring at this time.
Question your doctor or nutritionist about how many calories you should be consuming for optimal wound healing.
Now we know that you need to eat more than you were before, let’s turn our attention to what you can eat to make your wound heal faster.
What can I eat to make my wound heal faster?
We’ve selected 12 foods for our list of what you can eat to make your wound heal faster. Listen up especially if you’ve undergone an operation of some sort - these foods should be cornerstones of your wound-healing post surgery diet.
The first food on our list of what you can eat to make your wound heal faster are eggs. A wound healing diet demands extra protein. And eggs are packed full of protein and robust nutritional power.
Why is protein so important for wound healing?
Your body needs protein for collagen synthesis that is crucial in the proliferation and remodeling stages of wound healing. Without adequate amino acids from protein in your diet, your body may not have the proper building blocks to create new tissue.
Luckily, eggs are extremely versatile and easy to work into your daily routine. Dean Martin likes a kiss with his eggs in the morning, but we just like ours full of natural wound-healing protein!
Fried, scrambled, in an omelet, or in a quiche - the protein from eggs makes it top of the list for what you can eat to make your wound heal faster.
Blueberries, strawberries, gooseberries; take your pick. Berries are next on our list of what you can eat to make your wound heal faster.
Berries are great foods for healing wounds faster because of their vitamin C content.
As mentioned above, your body will need to synthesize lots of collagen during the wound healing process. Vitamin C is a necessary cofactor in collagen synthesis, which makes berries (and many other fruits) a great addition to your wound healing diet.
But the reason berries, in particular, have made our list of what you can eat to make your wound heal faster is that they are high in antioxidants as well as vitamin C. Antioxidants may speed wound healing by reducing oxidative stress and toxins in the wound site.
3. Lean meats
Lean meats like poultry are another great addition to our list of what you can eat to make your wound heal faster.
Turkey and chicken may help your wound heal faster because the specific amino acids found in their protein, glutamine and arginine, are exactly what your body needs when forming wound healing collagen. Arginine is linked to mass building in the proliferation and remodeling phase of wound healing, and glutamine supports the immune system, which is also working hard during all phases of healing.
If you’re looking for foods for healing wounds faster, getting ample protein from poultry could be the ticket.
Though eating liver might not be as fashionable as it once was, we can’t deny that it makes a great addition to a wound healing diet. It definitely makes the list of what you can eat to make your wound heal faster.
Excellent nutrient composition. Liver contains not just protein, but iron, zinc, B vitamins, copper, and vitamin A - which inhibits inflammatory cells and plays a valuable role in wound healing.
Like liver, salmon is a useful protein that is complemented by B vitamins, iron, and zinc.
The healthy omega-3 fats found in salmon are also positively connected to immunological health, as well as the general health of the human body.
You can safely eat multiple servings of salmon each week, so we recommend finding as many ways as possible to fit it into your diet!
6. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds (including sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, and more) are great plant-based protein options.
If you are vegan or vegetarian, you may want to opt for nuts as the main source of wound-healing protein.
Healthy fats and vitamins that support wound healing such as zinc, vitamin E, and manganese are present in different nuts and seeds. Vitamin E protects against cellular damage by acting as an antioxidant in your body. Vitamin E is also significant for immune health which, as we have investigated, has a constant presence in the wound healing phases.
Spinach is part of a group of what nutritionists refer to as leafy green vegetables that also includes kale, arugula, mustard greens, and Swiss chard. Characterized by their vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, and vitamin A content, they support a variety of anti-inflammatory and immunological processes that take place during wound healing.
Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense leafy green vegetables available, containing significant amounts of protein.
That makes it a no-brainer to add to our list of what you can eat to make your wound heal faster.
Broccoli is a standout in a group that nutritionists refer to as cruciferous vegetables. Other cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, cabbage, and even brussel sprouts.
What do the nutrients in broccoli do to make your wound heal faster? Broccoli contains high levels of glucosinolates, compounds that your body use to promote strong immune health by suppressing inflammation and inducing death in infected cells. This helps to prevent infection from spreading, and may speed up wound healing.
As fruits go, avocados are one of the fattiest options available. But don’t worry, these are good fats! Over half the fats found in avocados are monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats help your body by supporting your bloodstream and blood pressure.
Your circulatory health is always a strong indicator of general health, which is why so much of your annual checkup caters to cardiological measurements like pulse and blood pressure. In times of wound healing, blood vessels are often severed or damaged.
Considering that blood vessels are the transportation network of the body, the supply lines of blood vessels are often some of the first body parts to be replenished so they can help service the ongoing wound recovery of the rest of a damaged area.
Just as avocados help support general circulatory health, they will support circulatory health during wound recovery; which is why they make our list of what you can eat to make your wound heal faster.
Yogurt, depending on the source, can be a great one stop shop for nutrition. Protein, calcium, and vitamins are found in abundance within high-quality yogurt, and its convenience makes it a useful addition to your daily diet.
Yogurt can be eaten on its own, with antioxidant-rich berries, in sauce for your other proteins, you name it!
In addition, if you have a bone or skeletal injury, calcium will play an important role in rebuilding bones with strong density. Yogurt is also a natural source of probiotics, which may help boost your immune system health.
Just make sure to look for yogurts that are natural and don’t have any added sugars.
Quinoa is a great answer to the question, “what can I eat to make my wound heal faster?” Although we haven’t specifically mentioned carbohydrates up until now on this list, carbs are the initiator of energy within cells that power the wound healing process, so they are an important addition.
Quinoa specifically is a great food for healing wounds faster because of its complex carbohydrate composition.
Sweet potatoes, whole grain foods, and beans also make great alternatives.
The reason that complex carbohydrates are preferable to simple carbohydrates like those found in white bread and sugary cereals, is that they take longer to break down.
Initially, taking extra time to digest sounds like a disadvantage, but complex carbohydrates produce energy more steadily over an extended period of time. As wound healing is a constant process, a steady flow of energy is preferable to having a large quantity of energy made available to the body all at once.
Okay, we know you don’t eat water, but we simply cannot complete a list of what you can eat to make your wound heal faster without stressing the importance of hydration! Although not a food, water should always be structured into any effective diet, and that’s especially true for wound healing.
Water helps transport nutrients around the body.
Dehydration, on the other hand, will slow delivery of the nutrients found in foods on the rest of this list - thereby hindering effective wound recovery.
The simple effectiveness of water should never be underestimated and so it rounds out our recommendations for a wound healing diet nicely. No patient wants to be left wondering what to do if a wound won’t heal.
Follow a balanced wound healing diet made up of these 12 suggestions and you should see signs of a healing wound sooner rather than later.
But one big thing is missing…
What else can I eat to make my wound heal faster?
One word: collagen protein supplements.
It’s important to take ownership of your own diet, so that following your diet routine is something you can be responsible for and stick to. Our recommendations are a great starting point, but even with your best efforts, you might not be getting enough protein for effective wound healing from your diet alone.
Perhaps the quickest and most convenient way to take on more protein is through wound healing supplements.
In particular, liquid protein for wound healing.
ProT Gold medical-grade collagen protein products (in liquid and powder forms) are specifically designed to be the protein-rich supplement your body needs to help your wound heal faster. Your body uses collagen synthesis to create new tissue fibers; providing the body with extra collagen can directly (and swiftly) impact your wound healing.
Our collagen has been rigorously tested for effectiveness and are legally approved for use as a medical nutrition supplement.
And, whether recommended by your doctor or used on your own, they are completely safe for daily supplementation. Loaded with all the vital amino acids for collagen production and new tissue generation, you can rest easy knowing you’ve done your part in wound recovery, so the body can get to work healing itself effectively.