List of Four Food Essentials that promotes wound healing

 5 minutes read.     

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Do you know that what you eat plays an important role in the overall functions of your body and how fast any injury you sustain heals?

 Eating a balanced diet that contains healing nutrients helps your body to withstand any disease or infection and promotes proper response in all the metabolic and anabolic functions of the body.

According to the WHO, malnutrition refers to all forms of deficiency, excess, or imbalance in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients.

In this article, I am going to reveal to you in 5 minutes research-proven, four food essentials that will improve your wound healing.

Stay with me.

What Food Essentials Promote Wound Healing?

1. Protein (Macronutrients)

Protein is a macronutrient that has been extensively studied as regards its effect on wound healing.

Amino acids are the building block of protein, that is to say, “protein breaks down into amino acids in the body”.

Among amino acids, those that play an important role in wound healing, are arginine and glutamine.

Arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide (nitrogen) and proline which are very essential for the inflammatory process and synthesis of collagen (a protein compound in the bone, tendon, and connective tissue).

Arginine stimulates the production and secretion of growth hormone as well as activation of T-Cells (white blood that improves immune response to wound healing)

Glutamine plays several roles via its metabolic, enzymatic, antioxidant, and immune properties. In wounds, it protects against the risk of infectious and inflammatory complications by up-regulating the expression of heat shock proteins.

 Glutamine is a precursor of glutathione—an antioxidant and an essential cofactor of several enzymatic reactions—which is important for stabilizing cell membranes and for transporting amino acids across them.

 In addition, glutamine is involved in the inflammatory phase of wound healing by regulating leukocyte apoptosis, superoxide production, antigen processing, and phagocytosis.

A large amount of protein can be lost when someone sustains an injury, especially a chronic wound. Chronic wounds are defined as wounds with a full thickness in-depth and a slow healing tendency.

As a result, your protein and energy intake need to be increased by 250% and 50% respectively.

This is because the cells that are involved in wound healing require protein for their formation and functions.

An increased intake of protein will promote your immune response which will contribute heavily to wound healing.

Food rich in Arginine includes:

Chicken, Soybeans, Turkey, Spirulina, Lentils, Chickpeas, Pork loin. Pumpkin seeds/melon seed/egwusi, Peanuts/ground nuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashew, Hazelnuts, Brazil Nuts.

One cup of dried pumpkin seed contains 6.905g of amino acid.

Other seeds with a high amount of arginine include watermelon, sesame, and sunflower seeds. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are all sources of arginine.

Food high in Glutamine includes:

Foods like red cabbage, seafood, grass-fed meat, eggs, legumes, milk, yogurt, nuts, ricotta cheese, beans, parsley, dark leafy greens, pumpkin leaves (ugu), and organ meat can promote glutamine levels.

2. Carbohydrates (Macronutrients)

You may be surprised if I tell you carbohydrates play an important role in wound healing. When you hear about carbohydrates, perhaps the first thing that comes to your mind is how this carbohydrate will be converted to excess sugar in your body. However, one needs extra energy during the period of wound healing.

Carbohydrates stimulate the secretion of hormones and growth factors, including insulin which is helpful in the anabolic processes of new cell growth.

 In contrast, hyperglycemia (excess glucose in the blood, as in a diabetic person) and its complications might reduce white blood cell function and promote wound formation, hence delaying wound healing in a diabetic patient.

Higher glucose levels could interfere with the process of nutrient absorption, causing the depletion of several micronutrient nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, B12, B6, and folic acid hence wound impediment. 

Food high in carbohydrates include:

rice, beans, spaghetti, yam, coco yam, cassava, and cassava-based products, corn, plantain, banana,  potatoes, flour-based products, sugar can, honey, date fruit, all sugary fruits, and energy drink.

3. Vitamins and Minerals (Micronutrients)

Vitamins are undoubtedly the most investigated micronutrient in the wound healing process. Vitamin A deficiency impairs B cell (white blood cell) and T cell (a white blood cell derived from bone marrow that promotes immune function) function and antibody production during the inflammatory phase.

 It also decreases epithelialization, collagen synthesis, and granulation tissue development in the process of wound healing.

In addition, vitamin A seems to work as a hormone that modulates the activity of epithelial and endothelial cells, melanocytes (skin cells), and fibroblasts by binding to retinoic acid (Vitamin A) receptors.

 In general, vitamin A is topically administered for the care of dermatologic (skin) conditions due to its stimulating properties of fibroplasia (formative cells) and epithelialization (formation of membranous tissue covering the internal organs and the internal surface of the body).

Food rich in Vitamin A includes:

pumpkin leaves (ugu), garden leaves (aghara), red oil, eggs, mangoes, organ meat, carrot, tomatoes, melon, milk, apricot, broccoli, spinach, pawpaw, capsicum

B vitamins, which consist of thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, folic acid, pantothenate, and cobalamins, are essential cofactors in enzyme reactions involved in leukocyte(white blood cell) formation and in anabolic(body cell building) processes of wound healing.

Among these, thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine and cobalamin are also required for the synthesis of collagen. As a result Vitamin B deficiency indirectly affect wound healing.

Food rich in vitamin B includes:

 egg, avocado, salmon, banana,, organ meat, chicken and turkey,  deep green leave vegetables like pumpkin leaves, garden egg leave (ugu and aghara), milk, yogurt, pork, trout, sunflower seed, beef, oysters, clams.

mussels, black beans(akidi), kidney, chickpeas, green soybeans(edamame), green peas, lentils, pinto beans, roasted soy nuts, liver, olive oil, tomatoes, prawns, peanuts/ground nuts, clay fish, spinach, salmon, cashew, cheese, and haricot.

Vitamin C seems to be involved in wound healing with several roles in cell migration and transformation, collagen synthesis, antioxidant response, and angiogenesis.

During wound healing, it participates in the recruitment of cells to the wound and their transformation into macrophages.

Vitamin C is essential to counteract the production of free radicals in damaged cells, while its deficiency might increase the fragility of new vessels.

However, studies have shown that vitamin C supplementation seems to have a beneficial effect only in combination with zinc and arginine, in pressure ulcer patients.

Vitamin D also had demonstrated a positive role in wound healing, though more research was recommended to establish in-depth evidence.

Sources of D vitamin include:

Though sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, it is also abundant in natural food sources like mushrooms, fatty fish, and eggs. Etc


Several minerals are involved in the wound healing process due to their roles as enzyme structural factors, metalloenzymes, and antioxidants.

Among these minerals, zinc has been scientifically proven to be effective in wound healing.  Zinc is essential for DNA replication in cells with high cell division rates, such as inflammatory and epithelial cells, and fibroblasts.

During the process of wound healing, zinc promotes immune response and counteracts susceptibility to infectious complications by activating white blood cells and producing antibodies.

Interestingly, clinical evidence had shown that topical administration of zinc to surgical wounds significantly improves the healing process. However, conditions that can affect zinc metabolism should be put into consideration.

There is less evidence established on the contribution of iron in wound healing.

I hope you’re getting value.

Food high in Zinc includes:

Turmeric and tiger nuts,

Curcumin is the main ingredient found in turmeric that plays a great role in wound healing. It is rich in several nutrients such as B Vitamins,

Vitamin A, C, K, and E, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, and Zinc, among others. With this, Turmeric has numerous benefits including cell and tissue growth.

Other sources of zinc include beans, legumes, nuts such as potatoes, dark chocolate, and eggs.

3. Fats and oil (Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids)

When it comes to wound healing, the main types of fatty acids that are very important for wound healing are linoleic and linolenic acids.

Most omega-6 fatty acids in the diet come from vegetable oils, in the form of linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is converted to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in the body.

Many studies have described the positive effects of oils rich in linoleic acids such as Lucama nut oil (LNO) and pumpkin oil on wound healing.

Linoleic acid has been thought to be behind the effects of pumpkin oil on wound healing. Pumpkin oil is constituted mainly of linoleic acids (50%), oleic acid (25%), and palmitic acid.

This high content of linolenic acid was correlated with improvement in wound closure since it shortened bleeding time.

Clinical studies indicate that topical treatment with pumpkin oil accelerates tissue repair, mainly due to the effects of linoleic acid.

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)which is an omega-6 fatty acid formed through linoleic acid metabolism, has also indicated a positive effect on tissue repair. Although more studies are necessary to prove the beneficial effects of GLA on wound healing.

Arachidonic Acid is another type of Omega 6 fatty acid that generates eicosanoids which play a vital role in wound healing.

Omega 3 fatty acids are healthy polyunsaturated fats:

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can prevent wound infections and can improve early wound healing, but after several days may decrease the deposition of collagen, possibly preventing extensive scarring.

Omega 3 fatty acids of three types:

  • ALA (alpha linolenic acid)
  • DHA (Docosahexanoic acid)
  • EPA (Eicosapentaenoic

Food rich in Omega 6 fatty acids include:

Soybeans, corn, safflower and sunflower oils, nuts and seeds, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.  Omega 6 fatty acids are also found in plant seed oils, such as borage, black current seed, and primrose oil.

Food rich in Omega 3 fatty acids include:

Walnut, Chia seed, Flax seed, Salmon

The wound passes through four phases before. The below infographic briefly explains what happened in each phase.

four phases of wound healing

There are some factors that can affect or delay wound healing.

Such factors include:

  • Age
  • Socio-economic difficulty
  • Nutritional Deficiency
  • Diabetes


Yes! It’s true, all the above-mentioned food essentials promote wound healing.

Now you’re aware of this, any time injury or wound situation arise, mark those foods that are rich in arginine, glutamine, carbohydrate, zinc, vitamin A, B, C, and D, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid and feed on them, you will see the positive effect.

This valuable information is not supposed to be hidden, now that you’re aware of it, spread it to other people and let them know about it to help themselves and their loved ones.

I hope you get the value worth your time. I appreciate the time spend with me. Leave a comment if you like this post. Do you have any objection to the food essentials I explained in this article as regards wound healing?  Feel free to share in the comment below.



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