Foods that help to heal after surgery
My grandma always had to undergo surgery. I say “always” because at times they operated on her up to four times a year. Her stay in the hospital was usually between seven to ten days, and I was with her most of the time. This gave me many insights into the healing process of the body after the surgical procedure and made me decide to write about foods that help to heal after surgery.
I remember that I began wondering if food could not be a major factor in the recovery of a patient. Since we are what we eat, I thought that there must be special edibles that aid and speed up the recuperation process, too.
So I used the time to do research on many topics such as “faster recovery from surgery”, “foods that aid the healing process after surgery”, etc. Today, I’m happy to share some useful findings and info in this post with you all.
If you’ve had a recent operation, are about to have surgery, or have been injured in an accident, you can improve your chances of a speedy recovery.
Surgery is like an invasion
Surgery is like an attack on the body (though for the useful purpose). Although an aciurgy is sometimes necessary to improve your health or save your life, recovery can be stressful on many levels.
Therefore, the body has many requirements to heal before he allows you to return to your normal life. Of course, healthy eating is essential for a full recuperation after surgery. Needless to say, after an operation or accident, the body needs all the essential nutrients.
They come in the form of calories, proteins, minerals, and vitamins to give your body strength and energy to entirely recover from the massive body invasion.
Healthy and balanced eating after surgery helps reduce the risk of infection and speed healing of incisions or wounds.
Naturally, there are always specific factors that one must consider, such as the patient’s age, the history of illnesses, such as diabetes and allergies, if any. In general, however, the basic recommendations are the same, and they can be adapted according to individual tastes, interests and specific needs.
So it happens that the family members taking care of the patient must ensure that the postoperative diet is filled with an adequate balance of carbohydrates, proteins, calories, minerals, and vitamins.
After surgery, doctors often ask the patient for constipation. This is because prescription painkillers often have a side effect of reducing the movement of the bowel.
Because constipation is generally unhealthy, and especially after surgery, it can increase the level of pain and put extra strain or pressure on the incision. Therefore, it is important to avoid constipation as much as possible.
While there are foods that can help prevent or treat constipation, several other foods that can make constipation more likely.
For better bowel function, it is essential to include fiber in the diet because high fiber foods play a vital role in preventing constipation. Therefore, it is a healthier choice compared to low-fiber foods.
High fiber foods selection:
Whole grain loaves of bread – Look for breads that use whole grains and are darker in color. In general, white bread is made from refined flour with very little fiber content.
Fruits – Fresh fruits are rich in vitamins and fiber. Especially great are raspberries, strawberries, oranges, apples and bananas. If you like exotic fruits, then you’re covered in that aisle, too. One cup of guava has 9 grams of fiber, one persimmon has 6 grams and a mango delivers you 5 grams of fiber.
Vegetables – fresh vegetables are a good source of fiber, minerals and vitamins. Here the artichoke is the queen of the fiber content with 10 grams for a medium-sized one. Also, broccoli, swiss chard, carrots, beets, spinach and collard greens are great fiber suppliers.
A sufficient protein amount is essential for healing since amino acid from protein is called “building blocks.”
The amino acids in protein help the wounds to heal and regenerate the tissues. Protein consumption also helps the body gain strength and energy. It is recommended to eat lean meats such as chicken, turkey, seafood and eggs as these are good sources of protein.
For vegetarians, the options to get enough protein are nuts, beans and tofu. Dairy products also contain protein, but avoid them if your stomach is sensitive, or you are bothered with constipation.
If you cannot get enough protein in your normal diet after surgery, you can add protein powder to your beverages or smoothies. Some people find it easy to drink the shake, and they can add fruits like berries or bananas.
More meal ingredients that help to recover after surgery
Vitamins and minerals should be the most important nutrients in your postoperative diet. You can find vitamin A in orange and dark green vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and spinach. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, melons, berries, potatoes, kiwis and sweet peppers. Vitamin C is extremely helpful in wound healing.
You can encounter vitamin D in milk, fish, eggs and fortified cereals. If you feel like it and have a balcony or garden available, then you can sit outdoors on sunny days and absorb vitamin D through your skin, as well. What’s more, vitamin D is that it is good for bone health, too.
Vitamin E protects the body from free radicals. You can obtain it from vegetable oils, nuts, beef liver, milk and eggs. Vitamin K is available in green leafy vegetables, fish, liver and vegetable oils. It is necessary for blood clotting.
Zinc (found in meat, seafood, dairy and beans) and iron (in meat and poultry, beans, apricots, eggs, whole grains and iron-fortified cereals) are also helpful and essential for wound healing and energy recovery after surgery.
Lots of Fresh Veggies & Fruits
Beets, dandelions, parsley, mustard greens, carrots and fresh lemon juice are wonderful choices to support your liver function. At this stage, the liver plays a crucial role in the purification of the blood, removal of toxic residues from anesthesia and other drugs. It also helps to wash away all kinds of waste products.
The foods that you should eat and should not eat may vary depending on the type of surgery and any medication. Talk to your doctor about your specific postoperative dietary requirements.
One thing that does help to gently detoxify your body after surgical intervention is fruit and vegetable smoothies. They are easy to digest, support your intestines and cleanse your gut and circulatory system.
They, furthermore, prevent eventual inflammations, strengthen your immune system and supply you with all the essential nutrients at the same time. Especially green smoothies are an excellent aid to regain strength again and to heal faster.
Feel free to read up on my post regarding green smoothies so you can learn all the benefits. You even get our personal favorite recipe, so you can try this powerful smoothie medley yourself at home.
Low energy levels/fatigue are common problems that challenge the patients who have undergone surgery. Therefore, by eating the right types of carbohydrates, it can help restore energy levels. High-fiber foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and beans and lentils are a good source of carbohydrates. These foods increase the energy level without causing constipation.
You can get healthy fats, in reasonable quantities, from olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, nuts and seeds. Good fatty acids improve the immune response and support the absorption of vitamins in the body. Fat also helps to increase the energy level after surgery.
Foods to avoid during the postoperative period
Naturally, it is best to have organic and fresh food. Therefore, it is better to avoid processed foods altogether, as they may contain more than the usual amounts of fat, sugar, salt, preservatives and other chemical additives.
At the same time, processed foods can not supply enough nutritious minerals, fiber and vitamins compared to your home-cooked and wholesome foods.
For example, an orange or an apple would be a whole meal compared to orange juice or apple juice in a can or tetra-pack This is an obvious fact since the latter are processed, concentrated versions that clearly lack natural fibers and are not fresh.
Similarly, a baked potato at home would be a healthier food choice for the patient. Rather than opting for frozen fries, which would be a processed and less healthy alternative, especially if you need to deep fry them.
As the body recovers and tries to return to its normal state, it is better to avoid the following categories of foods:
Summary of foods to eschew
1- Processed foods
2- Junk/Fast food
3- Sweets and sugary foods – such as cakes, pastries, candies, etc
4- Red meat
5- Soda, alcohol
These can also help with holistic healing after surgery
Drink plenty of water: It is necessary to stay hydrated after the operation. Proper hydration helps the body to absorb medication after surgery. Make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water (about 3 liters) every day.
I truly hope you aren’t in this position where you or a loved one have to go through an operation. However, in the event that this is the case, I truly hope that the above-mentioned foods that help you heal after surgery will come in handy and you will make use of my advice.
It’s really a game-changer and ensures that you heal properly and without any complications. Unhealthy foods can cause dramatic damage to our bodies when we are seemingly fit, let alone when we are vulnerable and weak. Just keep this thought in mind and, for goodness sake, treat yourself well.
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