Most people have a scar or two that they wish would just go away. Some people have used products to improve naturally improve scars, while others have sought more drastic and invasive measures to get rid of the scars such as laser treatments, deep chemical peels, or painful dermabrasion. These medical treatments are very expensive, and all run the risk of causing additional scars even though they were intended to resurface of old ones. Furthermore, as people age, many notice that small wounds, lacerations, and abrasions take longer to heal and leave darker, more prominent scars.

Why does this happen? 

Consuming certain foods while the body is attempting to heal the wound might be slowing down or even sabotaging the wound healing process; hence creating larger, darker scars that don’t seem to fade as quickly as ones gotten at a younger age. Even spending money on invasive medical treatments to get rid of scars is futile, since these procedures require their own healing processes.

According to Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo, certain nutrients play critical roles in wound healing, and typical Western diets may not provide enough of them. If you suspect your diet does not have enough of the following nutrients, you should definitely consider taking adding them to your diet preferably via food sources over supplements so your body’s healing process can function at its while your scar is forming, and after.

Make sure your diet includes these 7 staples to help prevent and naturally improve scars:


One of the more controversial and confusing macronutrients, we can’t deny the importance of high quality protein for healthy skin. (Learn more about how much protein you need for healthy, glowing skin in our NAA Membership resource card about protein portions)Protein breaks down into amino acids. L-Arginine and Glutamine are particularly important in wound healing. They can increase the amount of reparative collagen, help white blood cells and fight of bacterial infections. Plant sources of protein and amino acids are preferable over animal sources because they do not cause or increase inflammation in the body. Inflammation in the body will hinder its healing process. Try to add foods such as unprocessed and organic nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens, cauliflower, and summer squash to your diet.

Vitamin C

This antioxidant is crucial for proper collagen production, and also helps to keep inflammation at bay internally. Experts say that wound healing requires more Vitamin C than daily food intake normally provides. Eat lots of citrus fruits and drink freshly squeezed fruit juices.

Vitamin B Complex

“The vitamin B-complex refers to all of the known essential water-soluble vitamins except for vitamin C. These include thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitaminB3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), biotin, folic acid and the cobalamins (vitamin B12).” This combination is known to speed up wound healing, and increase protein synthesis and the amount of repair cells at the site of the wound. It also prevents excessive inflammation. Vitamin B5 is particularly beneficial right after the wound occurs. Some good food sources of Vitamin B5 are wheat bran, wheat germ, barley, oats, nuts, eggs, and poultry.

Vitamin A

One of the more controversial micronutrients, Vitamin A is a case where many people are deficient, but getting too much can be downright toxic, which is why we don’t really see it offered in supplement form. However, sticking to fresh, whole fruits and vegetables delivers bioavailable Vitamin A precursors–carotenoid antioxidants–that the body knows how to use, and safely store–to promote tissue synthesis and enhance resistance to infection. Some great sources of Vitamin A are red, yellow, and orange vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, squash, and red/orange/yellow bell peppers.


Zinc is a crucial mineral for would healing, and according to Dr. Chrysopoulo, has been shown to reduce healing time after surgery by up to 43%. Zinc can also reduce inflammation and bacterial growth, whereas a deficiency can worsen the scar. Sea vegetables, pumpkin seeds, and spinach are some great plant food sources of zinc.

Essential fatty acids 

Make sure you also eat enough foods that naturally contain omega-6 or omega-3 essential fatty acids (nuts, seeds, cold pressed fixed plant oils, pastured eggs, and small fatty fish are great sources). These healthy fats help the cells retain moisture, and stay nourished and protected as they perform their functions in the wound healing process.


For the body to perform ANY of its vital functions, adequate hydration is key. It’s important to drink enough pure, filtered water every day. Some guidelines say that men should drink 13 eight-ounce cups and women 9 eight-ounce cups of water. Water containing liquids such as soup and tea are also excellent for hydration.

We’d love to hear from you!

Have you noticed differences in how fast your skin heals from wounds or fades scars depending on what you eat? Please share your thoughts and experience below!

*This article originally published as Is Your Diet Affecting the Way Your Body Heals?