NUTRITION NEWS

Nutrition News

Nutrition for Wound Healing: How to Spot and Overcome Recovery Hurdles

Nutrition for Wound Healing: How to Spot and Overcome Recovery Hurdles

We're all different. But we're all made up of 99.9% of the same DNA, meaning our bodies aren't so different after all. In fact, we need many of the same elements to function. This is especially true with nutrition for wound healing. Poor nutrition is just one factor that can delay wound healing. Age, as well as health conditions, such as diabetes or cancer, malnutrition, and cardiovascular issues can further impact healing. Soft-tissue infections and medications can also contribute to delayed wound healing. Jeff Nelson, a senior research scientist at Abbott, illuminated the link between nutrition and healing: "The body's priority is survival, so available nutrients get routed to organs first. What remains is sent to support the wound healing process— and it may not be enough." Nutrition for Wound Healing When working to heal wounds, Nelson said, people should prioritize conditionally essential nutrients — amino acids like arginine and glutamine that the body can typically synthesize on its own, but that may be underproduced in physiologically stressful scenarios like during illness or following surgery. Arginine can be found in meats like turkey, pork and chicken, as well as plant proteins like pumpkin and sesame seeds. Glutamine is found in fish, cabbage, spinach and tofu. Conditionally essential amino acids aren’t the only nutrients that support healing. Other helpful ingredients include: Protein from poultry, fish, eggs and beans. HMB (β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate) from a nutrition supplement like Juven. Zinc from whole grains, chickpeas, cashews and almonds. Vitamin C from citrus fruits, broccoli and bell peppers. Vitamin E from vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. Vitamin B12 from fish, meat and milk products. Without proper nutrition, Nelson stressed, wounds may be slow to heal moving from acute to chronic status and resulting in more serious complications.