Healing Foods For Surgery


Scheduling your cosmetic surgery can be so exciting!  The date, time, and place are all planned, but did you ever think about what foods you should be eating to prepare your body for the healing process. Food choices both before and after your procedure are essential to a speedy recovery.

Before Surgery: It is best to eat high quality proteins such as fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds a few week before surgery.  This will  build up your strength and tissue fibers.  Consuming high-fiber foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes; calcium-rich foods such as nuts, fruits, and leafy greens and essential fatty acids such as nuts, seeds, or vegetable oils are also helpful.  Certain amino acids seem to help wounds heal faster, so before- and especially after- surgery, make sure your meals and snacks feature brown rice, walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds.  Vitamin C and zinc also assist your body to heal.  A glass of OJ and eating the daily recommended amount of fruit and produce should provide all the vitamin C you need, while a fortified breakfast cereal is an easy way to get zinc.

It is best to avoid dairy products, sweets, fried foods, and cured meats as these are high in saturated fats and can slow the healing process.  Lighten your diet a few days before surgery; emphasizing fruits, vegetables, ans liquids to help ease the stress on your digestive system.  Also, avoid stimulants such as coffee and alcohol as they can inpair the natural healing process of your bo

After Surgery:  Try to eat small, light, low-fat meals throughout the day when recovering from your procedure.  Examples being; whole-wheat toast, yogurt, pudding, fruits, soup, and small sandwiches and fortified shakes.  If a soft liquid diet is recommended, consider protein and/or nutrient powders, broths, fresh juices, light soups, and pureed fruits or vegetables such as carrots, squash, mashed potatoes, bananas, or applesauce.  Protien is particularly important as it will help build your tissues.  A protein-rich multivitamin shake may be a good way to start getting more protein after surgery.  Constipation is common after surgery due to pain medications, eating fiber can help prevent this from occuring.  Good natural sources of fiber include prunes, prune juice, figs, apricots, berries and other fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.  Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids a day when recovering from most sugical procedures.  This will help prevent dehydration, helps fiber work well, and flushes out the bladder.   Also, olive oil is an excellent and natural way to ease inflammatin following surgery.

Try to avoid drinking caffeinated beverages, if you must, do so sparingly.  Junk food, and especially  foods that contain processed fats such as hydrogenated oils should be elimated from your diet while recovering.

These are some great guidelines to adhere to, however, asking your certified cosmetic surgeon is always best when you have any questions about your cosmetic surgery.

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