Wondering what foods are good for pressure sores? Pressure sores can be prevented or healed fast by making some key changes to the diet. This post sheds light on this subject.
Caregivers must consider nutrition in the prevention of pressure ulcers and related skin conditions. Poor nutrition is one of the factors that can facilitate the development of pressure ulcers (or also known as bedsores, or pressure sores).
Residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities often consume a sub-standard diet. They get neglected by busy and overworked staff members. But such cannot be the case with elderly folks living with family members. A family caregiver can help the elderly eat healthily.
Weight loss resulting from a poor diet is the biggest cause of pressure ulcers in bedridden people. Caregivers can help them maintain healthy body weight. A nutritious and wholesome meal is key. Likewise, raw fruits and vegetables can help reduce nutritional deficiency.
The role of nutrition in wound healing
Nutrition is paramount for the fast healing of wounds. Poor nutrition can make it incredibly hard for a wound to heal quickly and completely. According to a study by Joyce K Stechmiller, malnourished individuals are predisposed to develop pressure ulcers, and chronic wounds that do not heal easily.
Protein-energy malnutrition is common among bedridden persons in hospitals, nursing homes, and even in those living with their families. Protein is a key nutrient essential for the growth, repair, and development of muscles. Protein-energy malnutrition occurs when a person consumes food with low protein content.
Folks who live on soups, cookies, or fast food can also suffer from protein-energy malnutrition. Comfort food with low nutritional value can make them feel good in the short term, but it is detrimental when consumed regularly. This is where a micronutrient-rich diet comes into the picture.
What are macronutrients?
Foods rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and fats fall under the macronutrient category. They are the primary source of energy and hence must be consumed in large quantities.
Think of bread, rice, or pasta. You cannot eat small portions of rice and feel full. You must have large portions — which will keep you energized for the next 3-4 hours. In the further sections, I share the foods that are good for pressure ulcers.
What foods are good for pressure sores?
To prevent pressure ulcers, a person must eat foods that are rich in protein, amino acids, and fats. In addition, efforts must be made to prevent dehydration. You can offer them store-bought energy drinks, milk, or just water. So, what foods are good for pressure sores?
Protein-rich foods can help speed up the healing process. Once you self-diagnose the ulcer, you can up the protein intake of the affected person.
- Ezekiel bread
- Brussels sprouts
Furthermore, foods rich in amino acids can help repair and regrow the affected muscles. Look for foods that contain essential amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine. If you are unable to find natural sources of amino acids, you can always offer the affected person nutritional supplements (commonly used by bodybuilders to gain muscle mass).
Amino acid-rich foods
- Garbanzo beans
- Chia seeds
Lastly, there are good fats and bad fats. To prevent or heal a pressure ulcer, you must include fat-rich foods in the diets of the person at risk. The right amount of good fat can help the body absorb nutrients. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered to be good fats— they do not increase cholesterol levels.
Foods rich in fats and oils
- Dark chocolate
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Full-fat yogurt
- Hemp seeds
What are the early signs of a pressure ulcer in a bedridden or immobile person?
If you are a caregiver to an elder or a bedridden person, you must already have dealt with unforeseen changes in the mental and physical condition of the person you are taking care of. A pressure ulcer is a physical condition that can be prevented with ease.
Some early signs could indicate an imminent pressure ulcer. What are those signs?
- Sudden and unexpected weight loss
- Not eating a healthy diet
- Loss of appetite
- Not drinking enough water
- Old age is an indicator
- Partial mobility
- Nausea or vomiting
Consult a geriatrician if you notice the aforementioned signs in the person you are taking care of. Do not delay or put off visiting a doctor. Low nutritional status is a good indicator of an oncoming pressure ulcer in a bedridden person.