Surgery is a traumatic experience for the body. Whether yours is an elective surgery such as cosmetic surgery – or whether yours is to correct the effects of a disease or an injury – any way you slice it surgery is just plain hard on the body.
During the important days and weeks after surgery, you will find that the one thing that looms large on your mind is how to heal more quickly. Of course, a big part of the post-operative healing equation is getting enough rest. Another big part is doing any light exercises that the doctor prescribes, as well as shifting your body position frequently to allow muscles to strengthen and heal. And, lastly, then there is that all-important part: nutrition.
You see, in the days and weeks after surgery, your body is more susceptible to catching pneumonia or contracting a urinary tract infection. You need a strong immune system to resist diseases and complications like these. And thankfully, good nutrition helps boost your immune system so that you are resistant to post-operative diseases and ailments.
In fact, the foods you eat – both before and after surgery – play a huge role in how fast you recover. It is unfortunate and ironic that many hospitals serve food to post-op patients that is high in fats and low in protein. You would think they would know better! This is why it is all the more important to take responsibility for your own nutrition after surgery.
If you are looking for foods that heal after surgery, here are 5 tips:
1. Try supplements:
Your body has special nutritional needs during the time after surgery, in addition to the basics such as proteins and carbohydrates. Some people benefit from taking supplements such as glutamine (an amino acid for building protein), omega-3 fatty acids, and glucosamine sulfate (for the repair of connective tissue). Given that each type of surgery varies, check with your doctor before taking these or any other supplements to make sure they are compatible with your own recovery.
2. Take more Vitamin C:
Surgery can tend to deplete your body’s supply of Vitamin C. This vitamin contributes to the production of wound-healing collagen. It is also a well-known booster of the immune system. Since Vitamin C is so important to the healing process, it is important to make sure your body has enough of it.
3. Get more fiber into your diet:
Right after surgery, you will notice that the hospital nurses and doctors will tell you that you need to get your bowels moving soon. In fact, if your bowels don’t start moving on their own, the hospital staff will be happy to help things along! To make this important event happen on its own, make sure you eat lots of fiber before and after surgery. Great examples include prunes, fruits, vegetables and legumes.
Keep the water flowing through your system in the days and weeks after surgery. You already know how important water is to the body’s health. Imagine how much more so after surgery. One additional benefit of drinking lots of water: it keeps your bladder flushed out, helping you to avoid the all-too-common post-op urinary tract infections.
5. Eat light and often:
This last tip is actually a good one for your daily life as well. But, eating light and often is especially important after surgery. Heavy meals tax your body’s systems and take away its energy from focusing on the healing process. So, keep things like with meals like toast, pudding, soup, small sandwiches and energy drinks.
Learn about the foods that heal after surgery and get on the road to a much faster recovery.