Chronic wound care is a comprehensive process. Wound healing relies on various factors, all of which are important. It is not only about what you put on the wound itself. What you put in your body is also important. Nutrition in chronic wound care is often overlooked, or patients aren’t given proper guidance. On your healing journey, you will need to focus on micronutrients, macronutrients, and fluids. In this article, we look at the significant part that nutrition plays in chronic wound care.
How Does Nutrition Optimize Wound Care?
Your body is an intricate system that often requires complex care to function at its best. Proper nutrition speeds up the healing process, while malnutrition slows its down. Poor nutrition can impair collagen production and weaken your immune system, both of which get in the way of healing. Your treatment strategy needs to tackle wound care from all facets, including what you put in your mouth.
Which Nutrients Should You Focus On For Wound Care?
So, how essential is nutrition? Different nutrients work differently in the body. Some should be combined with other nutrients, while some can be effective on their own. We outline and discuss the most important components that you should focus on when it comes to nutrition and wound care.
Vitamins And Minerals
The best way to get vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal wound care is through a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and animal products such as tuna and eggs. These whole foods can be sufficient on their own, or you might need to or want to purchase supplements to ensure you have a satisfactory intake of vitamins and minerals. A licensed professional will guide you on what you should include in your wound care nutrition plan.
The anabolic factors of wound healing depend on a range of vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins A, B, C, and E, as well as selenium, zinc, copper, and iron. Each plays a different role, from collagen formation and synthesis and other direct or indirect parts of the anabolic process of wound healing. Studies have shown that Vitamin C is particularly important in wound healing, mainly as it promotes protein synthesis and immune system strength.
Sources rich in antioxidants, including vitamins E and A, encourage healing. Healthy fats are high in vitamin E, while vegetables such as carrots and broccoli contain vitamin A. Zinc deficiency has been linked to impaired wound healing and skin cell production.
Proteins, Carbohydrates, And Fats
It’s advisable to up your protein intake if you have an open wound. Enough protein encourages anabolic wound healing. You’ll need to ensure that you are also receiving adequate amino acids in your diet, or from supplements. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, such as glutamine and arginine are particularly vital.
Glucose, your body’s main energy source, is metabolized from carbohydrates. The wound requires energy for collagen production. Carbohydrates also stop protein from being converted into energy. Another main source of energy for your body is fat.
Fat has two key roles when it comes to wound care. Firstly, it is an excellent source of energy and fuel for healing. Secondly, fat is required to absorb micronutrients such as the vitamins and minerals we discussed above. Similarly to carbohydrates, fats can prevent proteins from being converted into energy for the body. Don’t fear fats!
Proper hydration can improve anabolic healing and skin elasticity. If you drink enough water, your skin won’t be as fragile, and it has the chance to heal properly. Hydration helps create efficient blood circulation, which means more much-needed oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the site of healing.
Numerous studies have shown that nutrient-dense foods promote anabolic wound healing. Nutrition is essential for proper wound care. It is best to consult a professional for a nutritional consultation as each person’s nutrient requirements are different. A plan designed just for you will give the best results. Healthy eating isn’t just about feeling well, it is also about healing well!