What should you eat after surgery?

Recovering from surgery can be long and grueling. An often overlooked aspect of recovery is diet. Eating the right foods will not only make the recovery process more tolerable, but help to decrease overall recovery time. What exactly should you eat?

Lean Proteins
Lean proteins, such as eggs, fish, turkey, and legumes, will help to provide the body with the amino acids necessary for cell regeneration. Essentially, these types of proteins will help to effectively knot the body’s tissues back together.

Fiber and Magnesium
Many people face digestive upset and constipation after surgery. This is often due to medications prescribed after their operation (antibiotics and pain medication). Eating foods high in fiber, such as prunes, beans, oatmeal, and bran flakes will increase the ease of bowel movements. Additionally, a simple over the counter magnesium supplement will help to induce regular bowel movements.

Dairy Products
Antibiotics are typically prescribed after surgery, as these help to prevent infection. However, they do kill beneficial bacteria in your gut. Eating foods such as yogurt, cheese, and kefir will help restore this bacteria and improve immune function.

Vitamins A,C,D, and E
Vitamin A (dark green and orange vegetables) and Vitamin C (citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers) help the body’s ability to heal wounds. Vitamin D (fish, orange juice, sunlight exposure) is essential for bone growth and repair. Vitamin E (vegetable oils, nuts, milk, and eggs) protects the body from damaging free radicals. Increasing your daily intake of these vitamins will improve your body’s ability to absorb important nutrients

Water is essential for the body’s ability to process waste. Increasing water consumption will help reduce many common post surgical symptoms (nausea, constipation, etc.). A minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended.

Mark Forman, DPM, M.B.A, F.A.P.W.C.A.

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