Any kind of surgical procedure performed on our body can be extremely stressful, both physically and mentally. The recovery period includes much more than simply lying and resting and it encompasses diet, physical exercises and working on a positive mental outlook. The length and requirements of the recovery period will, of course, depend on the type of the surgery and doctor’s recommendations, but you shouldn’t allow any kind of intervention to go without proper care and follow-up diet. Eating the right foods can prevent post-surgery complications such as constipation, but also equip your body with proteins and other nutrients that will help it heal. Here are some tips and information that should help you get back on your feet by eating properly.
Avoid Food that Causes Constipation
One of the common problems that happen after most surgical procedures is constipation. It usually arises because of prescription pain medications which are used in the days after the procedure. One of the side effects of the pain medication is reduced intestine functionality. While there are some foods that can help improve digestion, some can cause constipation and should be avoided:
- Processed foods,
- Dried/dehydrated fruits,
- Red meat,
Eat Enough Fiber
Foods rich in fiber are those that can significantly contribute improving patient’s digestion and preventing constipation. Besides, these foods are much healthier than their low-fiber counterparts, so they are speeding up the recovery. For high fiber content, turn to fresh fruits, vegetables, oatmeal and other low-sugar cereal and whole grain breads.
Include Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the basic elements of a healthy life and successful post-surgery recovery. They contain the most important nutrients you require (minerals and vitamins) and are rich in fiber. One side effect of eating more of them than usual, is gas, but it usually passes in a day or two. While all fruits and veggies are good for you, you can choose the ones that specifically address your problem. For instance, if you’ve had a face lift procedure, you can speed up your skin recovery with strawberries, broccoli and other foods rich in vitamin C, because it boosts collagen production. On the other hand, if you were treated for some kidney problem, you should increase your intake of cabbage, cauliflower, apples and cranberries.
Eat Plenty of Lean Protein
Any kind of injury to the body, whether from a surgery or an accident, requires sufficient intake of lean protein to speed up the recovery. Protein needs increase during the post-surgery recovery period, because your body has to produce enough amino acids, or else it will take its own supplies by breaking down the muscle tissue, which is the last thing you need when recovering. Additionally, extra protein strengthens your immunity and helps you get on your feet faster. Lean protein can be found in some meats (skinless chicken and turkey, ground beef, pork loin), fish, shellfish, tofu, nuts, beats and tempeh.
Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals after surgery can impair the healing process and, making the incision close more slowly. It is understandable that sometimes can be difficult to eat during this stressful period because of the lack of appetite, but if you have trouble eating enough, you should turn to calorie-dense alternatives. This means that you should have meals that contain more calories per bite than most. Some of the high-calorie alternatives would be a fruit smoothie, dairy, protein powder, avocado, potato, protein bars, etc.
A surgery, regardless of its type, isn’t something that should be taken lightly. While you’re in the surgery room with your doctor, you’re their concern, but as soon as you walk out of the hospital, you become responsible for your health and recovery. Make sure you’re contributing to a speedy recovery with a proper diet and a healthy amount of rest.