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Good food for wound healing

Eating well can help your wound to heal more quickly. You need a range of nutrients such as protein, vitamin C, and zinc to help your wound heal.

However, protein is the most important nutrient. Protein helps:

Which foods are a good source of protein?

Protein-rich foods include:

How many servings of protein foods do I need each day?

Milk and milk products

Have three servings a day.

One serving is:

If you are a healthy weight or overweight, have low-fat milk (green or yellow top), low-fat yoghurt, and cheeses such as cottage cheese and edam.

If you need to gain weight, have whole milk (dark blue top), Greek yoghurt, and cheeses like cheddar and colby.

Lean meats, chicken, seafood, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds

Have two to three daily servings of:

One serving is:

Tips to eat more protein

Other ways to help your wound heal

Eat three meals a day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a small snack in-between. Don't skip meals.

Eat at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day. A serving is the size of the palm of your hand. Choose a variety of different coloured vegetables and fruit. This provides a range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep you healthy and help your wound heal.

Choose at least six servings of grain foods every day.

One serving is:

Wholemeal or wholegrain varieties are best.

Drink at least 8 cups of fluid every day. You may need more if your wound is losing a lot of fluid. Where possible, have milk or milky drinks such as fruit smoothies, or coffee or Milo made with milk. You can also have low-sugar drinks, tea, coffee, and water. If you are underweight, you may need an oral nutrition supplement drink such as Complan. Talk to your doctor about this.

What about vitamin and mineral supplements?

Some people believe that taking vitamin or mineral supplements helps with wound healing. But if you are eating well and having the foods recommended above, there's no proof that taking supplements helps.

If you are not eating well and are avoiding a food group such as vegetables and fruit, you may need a supplement. Talk to your doctor about this.

Important!

Talk to your doctor if you:

Your doctor may refer you to a dietitian for more advice.

On the next page: Protein-rich meal ideas

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by Community Dietitian Nurse Maude Association, June 2016.

Sources

Page reference: 35328

Review key: HIGFW-35328