8 vitamins for wound healing
Cuts, scrapes, and even serious injuries can be healed quicker with the right vitamins.
Whether you've scraped your knee or something more serious, wound healing is a complex process. Wounds are essentially areas of injury that need to be repaired so they can return to optimal function—but it's not always clear what will help your wound to heal faster. Here are the best vitamins for wound healing.
What helps wounds to heal faster?
Wounds heal faster when they are kept clean, dry, and free from infection. They heal even better when exposed to air (air exposure can speed up healing). This can happen naturally by wearing loose clothing or by placing the wound in an open position so it can breathe. If you need to cover your wound with a bandage, make sure to keep it as dry and clean as possible while still allowing some air circulation.
Do vitamins help wounds to heal faster?
Wounds can occur due to an infection, surgery or other trauma. They can take a long time to heal and often leave scars in their wake. While you may have heard about some "miracle" products like silver hydrogel (a dressing for wounds), there's no substitute for vitamins—we recommend these 8 vitamins for wound healing:
1. Vitamin C
If it’s wound healing vitamins you’re after, vitamin C is an important antioxidant that helps your body fight off free radicals, which are molecules that can damage healthy cells. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals in your body, keeping them from damaging your cells and otherwise causing damage to your health. Vitamin C is also essential for the production of collagen, which keeps skin glowing and healthy. You can get your fix of vitamin C by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, including oranges, strawberries, kiwis and red peppers.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a great vitamin for wound healing—it’s important for the immune system, and helps your body to absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D helps wounds heal faster by stimulating the production of proteins that help cells grow and divide. It also helps your body fight infections by keeping the immune system healthy. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in fish, eggs and dairy products. You can also get it from some foods like mushrooms and fortified cereals.
3. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that helps wounds heal faster. Antioxidants help to protect your body from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and DNA, which is why they're so beneficial for helping your wounds heal. Vitamin A has many other functions in the body, including maintaining healthy skin, vision and mucous membranes. You can find vitamin A in dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale, as well as whole milk, eggs and liver.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that helps to protect the body's cells from damage. Vitamin E is required for healthy skin, hair, and nails, and is hugely beneficial for tissue repair during wound healing. Vitamin E may also play a part in reducing inflammation and pain associated with wounds or injuries. Vitamin E is found in nuts and seeds (such as almonds and walnuts), vegetable oils (like sunflower oil), some fruits (like avocado), whole grains (like oats), and wheat germ oil.
5. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is one of the most important vitamins for wound healing, as it helps with the formation of new cells, and plays a role in the production of hemoglobin, which is the substance that carries oxygen through the blood to tissues in the body. Vitamin B6 also helps with the formation of antibodies, which can inhibit tissue damage in your wounds. You can get your dose of vitamin B6 by eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and chicken.
6. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of a healthy nervous system. Red blood cells are important because they carry oxygen to tissues throughout your body, which is necessary for your body to function, from keeping you feeling alert to helping heal your wounds. Low levels of vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, which causes fatigue and shortness of breath, so it's important to include B12-rich foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, and fortified cereals in your diet.
7. Vitamin B9
It's important that you have enough vitamin B9 in your diet if you're trying to heal from a skin wound because it can help with everything from supporting your immune system to increasing the amount of cells that are produced in your body. Ensure you're eating plenty of folate-rich food like leafy green vegetables, nuts, legumes and mushrooms.
Not technically a vitamin, Zinc is a key mineral for helping the body fight infections and support wound healing. Zinc helps to regulate cell growth and repair, which is crucial for wound healing—it also helps to maintain healthy skin cells, so if you are deficient in this mineral it could have a negative effect on your wound's ability to heal properly. Zinc is found in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts and whole grains.
Wound healing supplements
Vitamins and minerals have been proven to help repair damaged tissue and restore normal function. Though if you're struggling to cram all the foods you need into your diet, day after day, supplements can offer a helping hand.
Supplements are one of the best ways to increase the speed that your wounds heal, and the Smart Supplement is crammed with 20 vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that help your body heal.