Healing a wound can take some time, as it is a break in the skin which is the soldier in your line of defense against harmful bacteria that can cause an infection. Provided that you have already dealt with the proper wound care and applied a dressing, you would want to speed up the healing process as much as you can so you can get back to your daily activities without the fear of further injuring yourself.
There are some supplements that can help with the healing of the wound, and although there is still not enough scientific proof that these actually work 100% of the time, they can still do no harm to your body as they are simple vitamins that our organism needs anyway. Be aware of the fact that you should NOT take any supplements or herbs without the supervision of your doctor, especially if you are supposed to have, or have already had a surgery, and watch out for the possible side effects that these vitamins can have on your body.
Vitamin C is one of the most famous vitamins out there, and all the little children know that it is essential for good health and wellbeing. Vitamin C promotes the production of collagen and helps your body form new tissue, thus aiding with the wound healing. It helps with the growth of new blood vessels which is essential when it comes to wound healing, and is a strong antioxidant and enhances your immune system, protecting you from infection. Vitamin C also helps us absorb iron more effectively, and as we know, iron supplies the wound with oxygen, thus promoting the healing.
Take note that Vitamin C supplements can crash or react to some medications such as chemotherapy drugs, warfarin, estrogen, and others and that if you get diarrhea you should lower the dose of the supplement. You can also opt for a more natural solution, and that is to consume foods rich in vitamin C such as oranges, red peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit, guava, kiwi, and green peppers.
Vitamin A stimulates the inflammatory response and works by promoting the synthesis of collagen, which results in a speedier healing of the wound. According to the National Institutes of Health, lower levels of vitamin A can actually increase the risk of infection of the wound and delay the healing, so make sure you get enough of it through food or supplements. Make sure to consult your doctor, and do not take higher doses of this vitamin if you are pregnant, trying to have a baby, or if you have some sort of liver disease, as vitamin A is stored in the liver.
Foods rich in vitamin A include sweet potato, cooked carrots, dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, turnip greens, swiss chard, and pak choi, then we have butternut squash, romaine lettuce, chicory, dried apricots, prunes, and dried peaches, cantaloupe melon, sweet red, yellow, and green peppers, cooked tuna fish, sturgeon, mackerel, and oysters, mango, and papaya.
Vitamin E can affect the wounds which have been infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and promote the healing, according to a review published in International Wound Journal, and written by Rachel Hobson. Vitamin E is fat-soluble, which means that it can be stored in the body in small amounts, and typically, vitamin E is provided in the form called alpha-tocopherol, which is the most active type. Higher doses of this vitamin can actually help with the healing of the burns, but always make sure you consult with your doctor before taking any vitamin E supplements.
If you decide to take a more natural path, here are some foods rich in vitamin E: almonds, spinach, sweet potato (which is also rich in vitamin A), avocado, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, palm oil, butternut squash (also rich in vitamin A), trout, olive oil, dark leafy greens, shellfish, smoked salmon, herring, swordfish, and fruits such as kiwi, blackberries, mangos, peaches, nectarines, mulberries, apricots, guavas, and raspberries.
Vitamin B has several variations: B1, also known as thiamine, B2, known as riboflavin, B3, known as niacin, and so on. Vitamin B helps metabolize carbohydrates and proteins in the aim to produce energy, which is the main agent in wound healing and the growth of new cells. Vitamin B is essential for collagen linkage and it helps the immune system fight the infection, thus promoting the healing process.
Thiamin rich foods include peas, fresh and dried fruit, eggs, and whole grain bread, riboflavin can be found in milk, fortified breakfast cereals, rice, and eggs, good sources of niacin are meat, fish, wheat flour, milk and eggs, pantothenic acid (B5) can be found in chicken, beef, potatoes, porridge, tomatoes, broccoli, and wholegrains. Pyridoxine or vitamin B6’s sources are poultry, fish, bread, wheat germ, brown rice, soya beans, peanuts, and milk. Biotin (vitamin B7) is produced naturally in our bodies, and vitamin B12 is found in meat, salmon, cod, milk, cheese, eggs, and some fortified breakfast cereals. If you are a vegan, you should consider supplementing B12 anyway, as you will not get it from plant foods.
Vitamin D is essential for the proper healing of the wounds, and according to the article published in Advances in Skin & Wound Care journal, when you have an injury your cells require a higher amount of vitamin D in order to heal. Vitamin D promotes the production of cathelicidin which is an antimicrobial peptide which aids in the fight against the infections.
Luckily, vitamin D levels can be elevated quite easily. You can just spend some time in the sun, but depending on where you live you might want to include some vitamin D rich foods in your diet. According to the National Institutes of Health, foods high in this vitamin are salmon, swordfish, tuna, and fatty fish in general, beef liver, egg yolk, swiss cheese, cod liver oil, and fortified drinks such as orange juice or milk.