The Build­ing Blocks of Wound Healing

March 20, 2024

We all know that maintaining a healthy diet is beneficial for our overall well-being, but how does it affect the healing process of wounds? A lot, it turns out. Though often overlooked, good nutrition is important, and wounds must be well-fed to heal. During the healing process, your body is busy adding new tissue, replacing fluids, and fighting infection, so it needs more water, calories, protein, and vitamins.


Drinking extra fluids replaces fluids lost from wounds. For those with heavily draining wounds, this is especially important. Hydration also helps to regulate body temperature and deliver nutrients to cells. Choose fluids wisely and avoid sugary, caffeinated drinks. Water is the best and least expensive option for hydration.


Calories provide energy to the body. Increased calorie intake is also important for healing because the body requires extra energy to heal a wound. If you do not feel you can eat three large, calorie-dense meals per day, try eating five or six small meals or snacks.


Protein is necessary for new cell and tissue growth throughout the healing process. Protein also helps fight infection, balances body fluids, and carries oxygen through your body. Increase your intake by adding various proteins, like chicken, fish, turkey, or eggs. If you are having difficulty getting the recommended amount of protein, try a protein supplement such as Juven®, Boost®, Ensure® or Carnation® Instant Breakfast. Add a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter to supplement or enhance the flavor.


During the healing process, the body needs vitamins for various purposes. Vitamin C aids tissue repair. Vitamin B-complex helps cell growth and increases the oxygen supply to your wound. Vitamin A helps decrease the effects of any steroid treatment you receive for wound healing. Get these vitamins and more by increasing your fruit and vegetable intake. Good quality multivitamins can also offer the recommended amount of these vitamins and other minerals, such as zinc, iron, and copper.

The Bottom Line

Because wound care is essential to those with wounds, Onslow Memorial Hospital’s Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center focuses on providing patients with all the tools they need for optimized healing, which includes nutrition counseling. The Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center at Onslow Memorial Hospital works with each patient's primary care provider to suggest dietary changes that aid in wound healing.

Start your wound-healing journey today by taking steps toward eating a nutrient-rich diet. You can train your brain and your taste buds to adopt a nutritious diet. Your wounds will thank you.

If you have a wound or sore that will not heal, ask your doctor to refer you to Onslow Memorial Hospital’s Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center. Learn more about our center here.