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The Best Foods to Eat to Help Stitches Heal

author image Sara Ipatenco
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.
The Best Foods to Eat to Help Stitches Heal
Vitamin C-rich bell peppers may help your wound heal. Photo Credit Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

You may get stitches if you have a serious injury, such as a puncture wound, or when you've had surgery. Keeping your stitched wound clean and appropriately covered are two of the most important ways to encourage healing. Adding certain foods to your diet may also promote faster healing by helping your body to mend itself.

Foods with Vitamin C

The Best Foods to Eat to Help Stitches Heal
Strawberries have a high amount of vitamin C. Photo Credit moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images

Your body relies on vitamin C for wound healing, including wounds that require stitches, because it promotes the repair of collagen. Collagen is essential for the health of your skin and tissues and is necessary for proper healing of wounds. Adding foods that contain large amounts of vitamin C to your diet may encourage your stitched wound to heal more quickly. Oranges and other citrus fruits are healthy sources of this vitamin, but bell peppers, strawberries and tropical fruits also have high amounts of vitamin C.

Foods with Vitamin A or Beta-Carotene

The Best Foods to Eat to Help Stitches Heal
Romaine lettuce contains high amounts of vitamin A. Photo Credit fcutrara/iStock/Getty Images

Vitamin A works as an antioxidant to heal skin and skin cells. Brigitte Mars and Chrystle Fiedler note in their book, "The Country Almanac of Home Remedies," that foods with beta-carotene work similarly because your body converts this nutrient into vitamin A to encourage wound healing. Foods that contain vitamin A include fortified dairy foods and liver and foods that contain beta-carotene include carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes and leafy greens, like spinach, kale and romaine lettuce.

Foods with Zinc

The Best Foods to Eat to Help Stitches Heal
Zinc is present in seafood and red meat. Photo Credit Kelly Cline/iStock/Getty Images

Zinc works in a similar way to vitamin C by encouraging your skin and skin cells to repair themselves, which enables your stitched wound to heal properly and more quickly. Zinc also enables your tissues to heal more quickly. Including zinc in your wound-recovery diet will also boost your immune system, which may help fight off infections. Eating seafood, red meat and fortified cereals will help you get more zinc in your diet.

Foods with Protein

The Best Foods to Eat to Help Stitches Heal
Nuts are rich in protein and may help your wound heal. Photo Credit Adam Korzeniewski/iStock/Getty Images

Foods that contain protein may help your stitched wound heal properly because this nutrient is essential for growth and development. Cleveland Clinic reports that foods with protein are considered "power" foods to improve wound healing. The clinic also notes that eating two to three servings is the optimal amount to encourage your stitched wound to heal properly. Lean beef, pork, chicken and turkey are all healthy ways to get protein in your diet. Other protein-rich foods include fish, nuts, beans, seeds and dairy foods.

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