After surgery the body needs to eat enough calories and nutrients to fully recover. Eating a healthy diet can help speed healing, increase your strength or energy and can also help decrease the risk of infection. One of the most common complaints after surgery is constipation, so to try and avoid this you need to eat plenty of fibre.
Whole grain and oatmeal are good sources of fibre and also some fresh fruit and veggies. To prevent constipation avoid foods like dried or dehydrated foods, processed foods, cheese & dairy products, red meats and sweets.
The amino acids in protein helps wound healing and tissue regeneration. Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, pork and fish are brilliant sources of proteins. You can also get protein from eggs, nuts, beans and tofu. Protein can also help with strength and energy after surgery. Dairy also contains protein but if you’re struggling with constipation try and avoid the dairy options.
You should avoid dairy, but if you can eat it without suffering with constipation, try and stick to the low-fat options like skim milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt. Always eat cheese low fat or not within moderation until you can determine whether it will affect you or not.
Tiredness is also common following surgery but eating the right kinds of carbohydrates can help restore your energy levels. Try and get your carbs from high-fibre foods like whole grains, fruits and veggies as these won’t cause constipation.
Healthy fats are also important as these will help improve immune response and aid the body’s absorption of vitamins. Healthy fats from olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds will also help increase energy levels after surgery.
Vitamins and Minerals
You can also plan your nutrients in your post-surgery diet using vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin A is found in orange and dark green veggies like carrots, sweet potato, kale and spinach.
Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, berries, potatoes, tomatoes and melon. These are both essentials for vision, skin, bones & other tissues in the body including your immune system which all helps towards wound healing.
Vitamin D is found in milk, fish and eggs. This promotes healthy bones.
Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, nuts, milk and eggs. This helps to repair damaged cells.
Vitamin K is found in leafy green veggies, fish and vegetable oils. This is needed for blood clotting which means it helps wounds to heal properly.
Zinc is found in meat, seafood, dairy and beans. Iron is found in meat and poultry, beans, eggs and whole grain. These are both also helpful in wound healing and energy.
Other than eating the foods mentioned above, you must stay hydrated after surgery. This will help healing and also aid your body in absorbing medications following surgery. So drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
Depending on the type of surgery and medications you’re on the dietary requirements may vary so always ask your doctor.
This article is for information only and should not be used for any type of dietary needs. Always consult your doctor or any other health professional for advice on your situation.