Will vegan wound take longer to heal?
I have been fully vegetarian, mostly vegan for several months now, and am planning on going full vegan this year. During the holidays, I cut one of my fingers badly while chopping up food, requiring stitches. A friend told me the wound would never heal due to the lack of meat in my diet (he said I needed more protein for the wound to heal).
Now that the stitches are out, it seems to be healing ok, but not very fast. Do I need to worry about adding more protein or fats to help the cut heal? What other nutrients would help?
Interesting question, Brian. Unfortunately, I think your friend was messing with you. There is no particular reason why being a vegan or vegetarian would mean that your wounds are going to take longer to heal. This might be an old wives' tale, but I've never heard this one before.
If you are eating a well-balanced vegetarian (or vegan) diet, you will not be lacking in anything that promotes healing. The main mineral associated with wound healing is iron, and many people actually don't get enough iron, vegetarian or not. However, if you eat plenty of leafy greens and a good variety of beans, you will get plenty of iron.
Contrary to your friend's warning, the healthy vegans I know actually find that their bodies recover faster from illness and long exercises, as well as from cuts. So, no fear, just eat a well-rounded diet!