While you may not always have the luxury of planning when to have surgery, how you recover is often times up to you. From antibiotics to pain medication, to movement and therapy—each of these play into the speed of your post-operative recover, but it’s easy to overlook one’s diet during this process. It’s tempting to want to spoil yourself because your under the weather, however the food you eat can be incredibly helpful for a speedy recovery.
Digestible Fiber To Get Your GI Back On Track
The side effects of anesthesia and numerous medications can linger with you for a time, one of the most common being constipation. Consuming digestible fiber from natural sources such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and certain whole grains can help you stay regular. Be sure to avoid dried or processed foods and produce, as well as dairy and cheese, and too many sweets, as they can bind up your GI further.
Specific Nutrients To Promote Healing
Focus on foods with naturally high concentrations of Vitamin A and C (found in dark green and orange vegetables, citrus fruits) aid in tissue rebuilding, specifically wound healing, and Vitamin D (some dairy, eggs, and fish) support healthy bone density and reconstruction. Beyond vitamins, minerals such as zinc and iron, found in a variety of proteins including certain lean meats, beans, whole grains and seafood also aid in wound healing.
Healthy Fats for Nutrient Absorption
While not a direct influence on healing, healthy fats work with your digestive enzymes to help break down vitamins and minerals for better absorption. Focus on monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, certain oils, fruits such as avocado, and avoid saturated fats.
Maintain Energy With Good Carbohydrates
Just as we stated previously, avoid processed carbohydrates, rather focus on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and beans. They’ll pack a punch to give you energy and keep you full longer throughout the day.
If you’re not sure if the food you’re eyeing fits the bill, use this simple visual guide to help you make your decision:
- Is it highly processed? (Look for whole ingredients)
- If meat, is it lean? (Dense proteins and nutrients without saturated fats)
- If fruits or veggies, is it naturally brightly colored? (Natural, vibrant color is generally a sign of higher nutritional value)
Remember: diet is only one part of your surgical recovery process, but it plays a big role in how fast you recover and how well you feel during.Tags: healing, healthy living, healthy meals