Fruits For Wound Healing list includes strawberries, grapes, raspberries, kiwis and blueberries. We’ll also mention some other types of fruits that are worth mentioning. You may never have heard that these fruits are beneficial for wounds and wounds healing, but don’t take my word for it, read the article to see it for yourself!
Nutrition for Wound Healing
If you have any type of new or chronic wound, good nutrition can help your body’s overall health to help support healing. Nutrients from foods help your body build and repair tissue and heal wounds. Good nutrition can also help you fight infection. During healing, your body may need more calories and protein. And if you have diabetes, it’s very important to control your blood sugar to help your wound heal.
Nutrients you need
Nutrition helps give your body the energy it needs to repair tissues and heal wounds. Nutrients you need from food to keep you healthy include:
- Protein. Protein can help build tissue and prevent infections. It’s found in meats, fish, eggs, cheese, milk, nuts, and beans.
- Carbohydrates. These help give your body the energy it needs to heal. Carbohydrates are found in grains, fruits, beans, and other legumes.
- Fats. Healthy fats help your organs, skin, hair, and brain. They also help your body absorb certain vitamins.
- Vitamins. These include vitamins C, D, B-6, B-12, folate, and others. These help your body repair tissues, use energy, and do many other processes.
- Minerals. These include iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and others. These help with many things, such as making sure your cells have enough oxygen, your nervous system works well, and your bones stay strong.
Preparing healthy meals
When making meals each day, follow the guidelines from MyPlate. Your basic daily diet should include:
- Fruits and vegetables. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed. Vegetables may be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Grains. All foods made from grains are part of the grains group. These include wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, and barley. You can find grains in foods such as bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereal, tortillas, and grits. Grains should be no more than a quarter of your plate. Aim to make whole grains at least half or your daily grain intake.
- Protein. This group includes meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products such as tofu, nuts including nut butters, and seeds.
- Dairy. All fluid milk products and foods made from milk that contain calcium such as yogurt and cheese are part of the dairy group.
- Oils. These are fats that are liquid at room temperature. Oils are not a food group, but they provide important nutrients your body needs. They include canola, corn, olive, soybean, and sunflower oil. Some foods are naturally high in healthy oils, such as nuts, avocados, olives, and some fish. Foods that are mainly oil include mayonnaise, certain salad dressings, and soft (tub) margarines.
Getting enough protein
Protein helps your body build and repair tissues. Protein also helps your immune system work well. This helps protect wounds from infection and let them heal. Infection can delay healing. To get enough protein while you’re healing, you can:
- Add protein to every meal. This includes turkey, chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish, shellfish, eggs, and cheese. Protein is also found in foods such as nuts, nut butters, beans and other legumes, seeds, and tofu. You can also get protein from animal milk and soy milk.
- Have protein supplements between meals. There are many kinds of protein drinks and other protein supplements. These have protein from whey, soy, and other sources. If you have trouble digesting lactose or soy, ask your healthcare provider which type of protein supplement may be best for you.
Adding vitamin C
Research has shown that vitamin C can help with tissue health and repair. Add vitamin C to your diet while your wound is healing. You can get vitamin C in your diet by eating or drinking juice from citrus fruits such as oranges, clementines, grapefruits, lemons, and limes.
Other food sources of vitamin C include tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, green and red bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kiwifruit. You can also get vitamin C in supplement form via tablets, chewables, and other types of supplements.
Zinc helps your body’s immune system and helps make protein to heal wounds. To add zinc to your diet, choose whole grains and eat protein, such as eggs, meat, dairy or seafood. Zinc is better absorbed from animal sources such as beef and seafood. Good vegetarian sources include wheat germ, beans, nuts, and tofu.
Controlling your blood sugar
If you have diabetes and you have wounds, it’s important to control your blood sugar. High blood sugar can slow wound healing and make it easier for wounds to get infected. Take good care to manage your diet, take your diabetes medicine, and measure your blood sugar as directed. Tell your healthcare provider if your blood sugar is not under control. He or she can help you get it back on track.
Healing Foods for Post-Surgical Recovery or Wound Healing
There is a wide variety of nutritious foods available worldwide, but choosing the right kind for the suitable situation will assist in managing the condition better and looking after the overall health. For example, if someone has recently undergone a surgical procedure or an injury, the body needs good food to heal well and speed up the recovery process. A nutritional approach is consistently effective in speeding up healing.
Dieticians, health experts, and doctors believe foods rich in antioxidants, quality protein, and healthy fats repair the damage faster. However, the pathophysiology of wound repairing is a complex process. It involves various mechanisms, including hemostasis, cell migration, cell proliferation, tissue growth, and tissue remodelling. Therefore, if one lacks a proper diet or good nutrition, it will impair healing.
This article provides foods that are scientifically proven to be beneficial for wound care. Incorporating these few foods that are listed below promotes rapid wound healing.
Best Healing Foods
Research findings consider ginger to be one of the best healing foods. Ginger contains gingerol, which has potent medicinal properties and gives the superfood punch. It is famous for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is full of essential vitamins and minerals. Ginger speeds up the healing process and is beneficial, especially for minor cuts, abrasions, incision wounds, and nausea.
As per USDA, 100 grams of ginger hold the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 80 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 17.8g
- Fat: 0.75g
- Dietary fibre: 2g
- Calcium: 16mg
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100 grams of ginger. It is not the recommended amount for consumption. However, do not consume more than 4 grams each day.
Recent reports suggest beetroots possess antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties called betalains. The father of medicine “Hippocrates” recommended beetroot leaves for quick and secure healing of wounds. Rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, copper, iron, and other vitamins and minerals encourage wound healing. In addition, Beetroot juice can make scars, dark spots, and injury marks fade away.
As per USDA, 100 grams of beetroot hold the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 43 kcal
- Protein: 1.61g
- Carbohydrates: 9.56g
- Fat: 0.17g
- Dietary fibre: 2.8g
- Calcium: 16mg
- Magnesium: 23 mg
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100 grams of beetroot. 80-100 grams is considered safe for each day. However, every individual is unique, and the body requirements differ depending on specific conditions. Therefore, a customised plan is always good for healing faster.
Carrot is rich in vitamin C, which helps treat wounds faster. Besides vitamin C, it contains beta carotene, which helps heal scars and wound marks. Vitamin A plays a significant role in healing wounds. It is associated with collagen production, wound healing, and bone osteogenesis. Therefore, research proves carrots are suitable for wound care.
As per USDA, 100 grams of carrot hold the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 41 kcal
- Protein: 0.93g
- Carbohydrates: 9.58g
- Dietary fibre: 2.8g
- Calcium: 33mg
- Magnesium: 12mg
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100 grams of carrots. Safe recommendation differs from person to person, but 75-80 grams per day is good.
Research shows that flaxseeds encourage pro-inflammatory cytokine production at the location of the injury. You can consume it with yoghurt at breakfast. You can even add flaxseed oil for salad dressing. The benefits of flaxseeds are not unknown. Including flaxseeds in your diet improves your overall health.
As per USDA, 100 grams of flaxseeds hold the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 534kcal
- Protein: 18.3g
- Carbohydrates: 28.9g
- Fat: 42.2g
- Dietary fibre: 27.3g
- Calcium: 255mg
- Magnesium: 392mg
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100 grams of flaxseeds. It is not the recommended amount for consumption. However, 1 tbsp each day is considered safe for a healthy person.
Brussel sprouts fall under cruciferous veggies. It is rich in potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin K, vitamin C, etc. It looks like mini cabbages. Since it is high in antioxidants, vitamin C helps produce collagen. The reasonable amount of vitamin K present in this vegetable stops the wounds from bleeding as it increases the clotting time. Studies have claimed the benefits of Vitamin C in brussels sprouts for wound healing. You can eat it as a salad, snacks, soups, and side dishes for meals.
As per USDA, 100 grams of brussels sprouts hold the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 43 kcal
- Protein: 3.38g
- Carbohydrates: 8.95g
- Fat: 0.3g
- Dietary fibre: 3.8g
- Calcium: 42mg
- Magnesium: 23mg
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100 grams of Brussels sprouts. However, the recommended amount for daily consumption is 75-80 grams per day.
Blueberries are a powerhouse of antioxidants. Therefore, nutritionists recommend them for treating wounds. Ascorbic acid in this berry helps in the clearance and apoptosis of neutrophils (one of the prime inflammatory cells employed in the wound section). Vitamin C and K present enable collagen synthesis. Polyphenolic compounds participate in contrasting features of wound healing. Overall, the consumption of blueberries is perfect due to the nutrients loaded in them.
As per USDA, 100 grams of wild blueberries hold the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 57 kcal
- Protein: 0.74g
- Carbohydrates: 14.5g
- Fat: 0.33g
- Dietary fibre: 2.4g
- Calcium: 6mg
- Magnesium: 6mg
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100 grams of blueberries. It is not the recommended amount for consumption. However, half a cup (75grams) is considered safe for daily intake.
Research has found that oatmeal helps improve diet quality. In addition, doctors recommend oatmeal if a patient has an injury in the digestive tract or is recovering from a surgical repair. It also improves digestive health. Rich in zinc and manganese, it helps renew skin cells, boost collagen production, and support wound healing.
As per USDA, 100 grams of oats hold the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 375kcal
- Protein: 12.5g
- Carbohydrates: 67.5g
- Fat: 6.25g
- Dietary fibre: 10g
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100 grams of oats. However, the recommended consumption is a half-cup (40 grams) per day.
Bee Honey (Raw-100% pure)
Traditionally, honey is known for its multiple benefits. Research has found that the use of honey helps improve wound healing. Applying honey to your wounds means you speed up recovery and inhibit bacterial growth in that area. It is used for healing, swelling, sores inside the mouth, burns, and wound dressing. Therefore, not only its consumption but also its topical application on injuries is beneficial.
As per USDA, 100 grams of honey hold the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 304kcal
- Protein: 0.3g
- Carbohydrates: 82.4g
- Dietary fibre: 0.2g
- Calcium: 6mg
- Magnesium: 2mg
- Potassium: 52mg
- Phosphorus: 4mg
- Ascorbic acid: 0.5mg
- Folate: 2µg
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100 grams of bee honey. It is not the recommended amount for consumption. Be sure that the honey is 100% pure. Honey bought from local stores or markets are adulterated with sugar solution, which will not be effective.
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, papaya, and kiwis contain a good amount of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is responsible for healthy skin and immune systems. Therefore, one must have vitamin C rich foods or supplements after surgery or any wound on your body. Research indicates citrus fruits can be a therapeutic potential for wound treatments. It can also aid in a minimal scar on the skin after surgery.
Studies aimed to determine avocado’s healing activities and properties show significant results. Loaded with vitamins, protein, and minerals, it proves good tissue healing. In addition, it accelerates collagen synthesis and decreases inflammatory cells.
As per USDA, 100 grams of avocado hold the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 160kcal
- Protein: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 8.53g
- Fat: 14.7g
- Dietary fibre: 6.7g
- Calcium: 12mg
- Magnesium: 29mg
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100 grams of avocado. It is not the recommended amount for consumption. ¼ to ½ (30-50 grams) avocados each day is considered safe. However, this is a general guide.
The essential element of turmeric is curcumin. This traditional spice has a lot of medicinal properties; curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, has a powerful ability to control inflammation. Turmeric wound healing properties are no secret.
According to studies, curcumin present in turmeric is beneficial for wound healing and recovery. It also reduces the risk of having cutaneous wounds. The study also states that turmeric helps skin regeneration, and boosts collagen and skin elasticity. In addition, using turmeric with ginger has proven to be extremely helpful in treating wounds.
As per USDA, 100 grams of turmeric hold the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 312kcal
- Protein: 9.68g
- Carbohydrates: 67.1g
- Fat: 3.25g
- Dietary fibre: 22.7g
- Calcium: 168mg
- Magnesium: 208mg
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100 grams of turmeric. However, the general recommendation is half to one teaspoon per day.
As per research, walnuts are a rich source of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, the rich fibre content and vitamin E make them suitable for skin and hair health. Nuts and seeds like almonds, peanuts, or walnuts are excellent during post-surgery healing. It is a powerful healing food that is easy to consume as a snack. These foods provide plant-based protein and healthy fats, which are helpful in the healing process.
Walnuts are perfect for bone health. It is rich in copper, magnesium, and manganese, which are suitable for improving the quality of bones; if someone is going through a bone fracture, surgical repair. In addition, it helps maintain collagen and elastin, which are healthy for bone structure maintenance.
As per USDA, 100 grams of walnuts hold the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 654kcal
- Protein: 15.2g
- Carbohydrates: 13.7g
- Fat: 65.2g
- Dietary fibre: 6.7g
- Calcium: 98mg
- Magnesium: 158mg
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100 grams of walnuts. It is not the recommended amount for consumption. Approximately 25-30 grams (a handful) of walnuts are considered safe for a healthy human.
Apple is a rich source of phytochemicals. Consuming this inhibits cancer cell growth. In addition, according to a study, apples have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and wound healing properties.
As per USDA, 100 grams of apples hold the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 52 kcal
- Protein: 0.26g
- Fat: 0.17
- Dietary fibre: 2.4g
- Calcium: 6mg
- Magnesium: 5mg
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100 grams of apples. However, 1-2 small apples per day are allowed for a healthy individual.
Low-Fat Cow’s Milk
Proteins are the building block of tissues in our body. Milk is rich in it. Therefore, a person undergoing cell damage and wound healing should include milk in the diet, either for injury or post-surgery wound healing. Low-fat cow’s milk has proved to accelerate skin-wound healing. Therefore, daily, 1-2 servings of milk help recover from injury or surgery. In addition, low-fat cow milk has a good amount of calcium, essential in wound healing.
As per USDA, 100 ml of low-fat milk (1%) holds the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 43kcal
- Protein: 3.38g
- Carbohydrates: 5.19g
- Fat: 0.95g
- Calcium: 126mg
- Magnesium: 12mg
Note: This is the nutritional value for 100ml of low-fat milk (1%). The recommended amount for milk consumption is 1-2 cups/day for adults.
Nutrition and wound-healing foods
If the person you are caring for has a wound, they will have extra nutritional (dietary) needs which include an increased need for protein, vitamins, and minerals. Good nutrition is the initial building block of wound healing. Think of foods that promote wound healing like the materials needed to rebuild the wall of a house that has been damaged by fire.
Think of protein which helps to heal skin and tissue as the bricks. Think of the vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates as the mortar that helps hold the bricks in place making the wall strong again.
It is important to point out that when someone had an open wound that has since healed, it can take up to two years for the tissues to become strong again. The healed tissue has only 80 percent of its original strength. This makes that area slightly weaker and more prone to injury.
Generally, when a wound is healing, extra proteins are required. The vitamins and minerals that have been identified to be the most beneficial are A, C, E, and Zinc. If the person you are caring for has diabetes, it is important that they have good blood glucose control as this is essential to wound healing.
Foods containing protein and the suggested vitamins and minerals needed for wound healing include:
- Protein: Meat, fish, eggs, beans, milk, yogurt (particularly Greek), tofu, and soy protein products
- Vitamin A: Carrots, orange and dark green leafy vegetables, fortified dairy products, cereals, and liver
- Vitamin C: Citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and tomato juice
- Zinc: fortified cereals, seafood, and red meat
It’s important to include an item from the meat and alternatives food group of Canada’s Food Guide at every meal. Below is a sample meal plan for increasing the protein and caloric intake of a person who weighs 150 lbs (68 kg). Use this as a guide and make adjustments to suit the needs of the person in your care who has a wound.
2 slices of rye toast (you may substitute with orange juice, broccoli, or cereal)
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 cup milk
½ can tuna (approximately 90 grams) on a pita with lettuce and tomato
1½ cup yogurt
3 chocolate chip cookies
1 chicken breast
1 baked potato with margarine
Coleslaw with light dressing
½ cup cooked carrots
½ cup applesauce
In addition to ensuring that meals contain the best balance of nutrients to promote wound healing, there are other factors that can affect food intake:
- Can the person reach their food/feed themselves or do they need help?
- Do they wear dentures to help with chewing the food? If so, do they fit properly without causing pain or falling out?
- Does the food need to be a certain consistency (e.g. soft, pureed, etc.)?
Here are some general nutritional guidelines to consider when preparing meals that promote wound healing for the person in your care:
- Offer well-balanced meals from a variety of foods
- Include adequate protein to maintain good immune function and lean body mass
- Look for nutritious foods that maintain the weight of the person in your care within a healthy range. Every person has different nutritional needs. Aim to maintain the weight of the person in relation to their height as opposed to achieving an “ideal” body mass index (BMI) number.
- Include vitamin and mineral-rich foods to stay healthy
- Don’t forget fibre and fluid
- Food safety is important!
- EAT WELL AND LIVE WELL
Pressure injuries and nutrition
Pressure injuries, more commonly known as pressure ulcers or bed sores, develop because of injury to the skin and tissues caused by pressure, friction, or shear (damage caused to tissues when the bone moves one way but the skin does not).
Malnutrition has been identified as a risk factor for the development of pressure injuries.
Improving energy and protein intake through the use of oral nutritional supplements (additional 250 kcal per day) is associated with reducing the risk for chair-bound or bedridden older adults who are the most vulnerable for developing pressure ulcers.
A Registered Dietitian can provide a valuable, individualized assessment to identify the nutritional status of the person you are caring for and recommend any additional dietary requirements to support wound healing and overall good health. A doctor can also refer the person you are caring for to a Registered Dietitian.