Q: “I seem to always be getting cuts and grazes that take ages to heal. Could changing my diet help?"
Joey, via email
A: HFG nutritionist Claire Turnbull answers:
“Nutrition plays an essential role in wound healing. A healthy diet with a balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat, is a good place to start. There are also specific nutrients that can improve your chances of healing.
Include protein-rich foods at each meal and snack, since an inadequate protein intake can delay healing.
Fatty acids are a part of cell membranes, so to help damaged cells heal, it’s important to include enough healthy fats in your diet. Eat small amounts of nuts, seeds or avocado every day and use a little canola or olive oil in cooking. Omega-3 fats are also very important, so try and have salmon at least once a week.
Vitamin A (in milk, eggs, dark leafy greens and orange fruits and veg) stimulates the production of collagen, helping wounds heal.
Zinc, found in red meat, poultry, eggs, fish, shellfish and milk products, is involved in the production of protein and collagen.
Iron is important as it plays a part in the system that provides oxygen to the wound.
Vitamin C supports the immune system and helps strengthen the healing wound.”