How to Prevent and Treat Bruising Naturally: Are Vitamins Good for Bruises?
Several vitamins can help prevent and heal bruises, as can many minerals, enzymes, and flavonoids. We’ve assembled a list of these supplements, all available in health-food stores, and their best dietary sources.
According to Women’s Health magazine, easy bruising could indicate a vitamin K deficiency. This vitamin is necessary for blood clotting and strengthens capillary walls to help prevent breakage. Topical vitamin K cream is known to help quickly heal bruises.
Excellent sources of vitamin K include:
- Leafy greens like kale, lettuce, and spinach
- Brussels sprouts
Vitamin C helps form blood vessels, muscle cartilage and collagen in bones. It also plays a key role in the immune system’s healing processes. Increasing vitamin C intake, therefore, may be useful for someone who bruises easily. As our bodies don’t produce it on their own, diet and supplementation are the only sources.
Citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, and lemons are some of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C. Studies have even found that the flavonoids they contain significantly heal persistent bruising in seniors, otherwise known as senile purpura.
Here are some other foods rich in vitamin C:
- Brussels sprouts
Zinc is a trace mineral that helps the body’s immune system heal injuries. More specifically, it contributes to the chemical reactions required to regrow tissue, promoting wound healing.
Here are a few great dietary sources of zinc:
- Pumpkin seeds
An enzyme found in pineapple plants, bromelain is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. When applied to skin, it may also help reduce swelling and bruising.
Like bromelain, quercetin occurs naturally in certain fruits. This flavonoid with potential anti-inflammatory properties is able to heal bruises, so you’ll often find it in various anti-bruising skin creams, frequently along with vitamin K or bromelain.
Other nutritional sources
In addition to the foods mentioned above, proteins can also help prevent and reduce bruising by strengthening capillaries. Lean protein sources, like poultry, fish, and soy, provide these benefits without the high cholesterol and saturated fat of red meat.
Aloe vera, comfrey and mountain arnica (Arnica montana) are all known to help alleviate bruising as well.
Other ways to prevent and treat bruises naturally
R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is often used to treat strains and sprains; it can also help heal bruises. Let’s break this concept down:
Nothing promotes healing like rest and relaxation. The less you move about, the more your body can focus on healing. If you can’t rest completely, try at least resting the bruised area.
Apply ice to the injury immediately after it occurs; then, if bruising appears, apply ice to the bruise for up to 20 minutes each hour. If you don’t have an ice pack, you can use a bag of ice or frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel or cloth.
Cooling the blood vessels down can help decrease blood flow to the injured tissue, reducing the inflammation that causes visible bruises.
Wrap a light compression bandage around the bruise. Squeezing the tissue can prevent blood from leaking into the injured area, alleviating inflammation and pain.
Elevate the bruise above the heart to allow fluid to drain away from it instead of toward it. In addition to reducing redness and swelling, this can also help reduce pressure and pain.
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