Dietitian-Approved Guide: Foods To Promote Healing
Whether we are recovering from an injury on the field or a surgical procedure, we all want to heal quickly and get back to life. Summit’s nutrition and wellness team has some nutrition tips that support wound recovery.
Accidents can happen anywhere. Whether a knife slips during kitchen prep or an athlete takes a spill, cuts and scrapes are part of life. In addition, every surgery patient understands that proper care of surgical incisions is part of the recovery process. Good nutrition can promote healing, and Summit’s nutrition and wellness team shares some nutritional recommendations that can help stimulate healing.
Boost the ability to heal
There are a number of things we can do to boost our ability to heal. Of course, it’s important to keep a wound clean and free from infection, but nutrition also plays a role in our ability to recover after a surgery or injury. Serious wounds increase our need for the vitamins, minerals, and proteins our body needs to heal. Good nutrition promotes healing, and it also helps to replace the nutrients lost in the fluid that weeps from wounds in the early stages of healing.
Foods to promote healing
- Calories. The first priority is to eat sufficient calories, and to get those calories from a nutritious, balanced diet. Some wounds require higher calorie intake to heal properly. If you have questions, we are happy to talk with people about creating an individualized eating plan that delivers the vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fluids needed.
- Protein. During healing, the emphasis is on protein. Try to include 20 to 30 grams of protein in each meal. If you like to snack, choose snacks with 10 to 15 grams of protein. Three ounces of chicken, lean meat, or fish give you 20 to 25 grams of protein. You can get six or seven grams of protein in one egg, one tablespoon of peanut butter, a cup of low-fat yogurt, or an ounce of cheese.
- Hydration. Don’t neglect hydration. Water, tea, and coffee are good choices. Milk is great, too, for an extra dose of protein.
Good nutrition has an important role in a comprehensive approach to healing. Here at Summit, we want to help our patients with every aspect of their recovery after an injury or surgery. Our physicians, surgeons, and physical therapists are here to repair and correct physical problems, and we’re happy to offer nutritional guidance so that your body has the resources it needs to complete the healing process.
Learn about whether you need medical evaluation if your legs give out.
Dr. Choi identifies bruised spine symptoms that require medical evaluation.
Ask the Expert: Running Video Series