Nutrition & Wound Care

Submitted by Dr. Anthony Viol on January 18, 2021

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Eating the right foods can help your wound heal.

Your body requires more calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals to heal a wound. It is important you eat a variety of foods that have the needed nutrition for wound healing. Learn what to eat when you have a wound in this blog.

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ChooseMyPlate.gov is a good tool for you to use. It tells you about different foods for healing wounds that you should eat. It tells you the number of servings you should eat. It is important to eat foods from each of the different food groups every day.

Examples of Foods Needed for Wound Healing

Each day, eat 2-3 servings of protein, at least 1 serving of a food that is high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Zinc.

Proteins

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Dried beans
  • Nuts

Vitamin A

  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Orange or yellow vegetables
  • Orange fruits
  • Fortified dairy products
  • Liver

Vitamin C

  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage

Zinc

  • Fortified cereals
  • Red meats
  • Seafood

Food Groups and Serving Sizes

Breads and Grains (use whole grain sources)

  • 1 slide bread
  • 3/4 cup dry cereal
  • 1/2 cup cooked cereal, pasta noodles, or rice

Vegetables

  • 1 cup cooked or raw vegetables
  • 1 cup raw leafy vegetables

Fruits

  • 1/2 cup canned fruit or fruit juice
  • 1 piece of fruit
  • 3/4 cup fresh fruit

Dairy

  • 1 cup milk or yogurt
  • 1 ounce of cheese

Protein

  • 2-3 ounces of meat
  • 1 cup cooked beans or legumes
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter

Fats and Sweets

  • Good source of calories but may be restricted by special diets

Ultimately, your doctor may put you on a special wound healing diet. It is important to follow your doctor's diet instructions. This will help your wound to heal and prevent complications. 

Dr. Anthony Viol is a board-certified plastic surgeon and a Medical Director at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center’s Advanced Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center. Dr. Viol received his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va., where he also completed a residency program in general surgery. He completed a fellowship in plastic surgery at Duke University in Durham, N.C. and has vast experience caring for slow-to-heal wounds and the surgical treatment of skin concerns.