What Are the Best Food to Eat After Surgery?

If you have an upcoming surgery planned, it is important to discuss what foods you should be eating after surgery with your general surgeon. Certain types of foods serve specific functions to help heal the body and can speed recovery of wounds, tissues, tendons, and more, while keeping the immune systems boosted to prevent infections.

General Surgeon

What foods you should be eating can and will vary based on the procedure, as well as any medications you will be taking during the recovery process. It is not uncommon to be prescribed pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics. Some of these medicines can cause upset stomach and constipation, which can also be offset by eating the proper post-surgery foods.

  • Almonds – Almonds can help heal surgical wounds and are high in vitamin E.
  • Water – Drinking plenty of water keeps the body hydrated and also helps reduce side effects of nausea and upset stomach caused by certain medications.
  • Legumes – Beans, peas, lentils, and so on contain iron and help create new blood cells to heal the muscles, tissues, and surgical incisions.
  • Proteins – From lean meats and poultry to eggs, fish, and legumes, your body will need a boost in protein intake to rebuilding damaged tissues and muscles.
  • Fish – Fish is not only a great source of protein but, also, contains zinc and omega 3 fatty acids, both of which help speed recovery and reduce risks of infections.
  • Mushrooms – If your surgery was related to bone structures, add mushrooms to your post-surgery diet, as they contain vitamin D used to repair damaged bones.
  • Citrus Fruits – Oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits contain vitamin C that helps repair soft tissues and collagen, as well as replenish depleted vitamin C levels.
  • Bell Peppers – If you do not like citrus fruits, you can eat bell peppers of any color instead as they are also packed full of vitamin C.

Foods to eat after surgery

  • Papaya and Pineapple – These fruits contain enzymes that can help reduce inflammation and swelling, common after surgery.
  • Fibrous Foods – Whole wheat and grains, along with high fiber foods like legumes, help prevent constipation caused by some medications.
  • Berries – Berries contain antioxidants, and your body will need more after surgery to help fight the oxidative effects of the procedure and medications. Pomegranates and cherries can also be eaten in place of berries.
  • Low-Fat Cottage Cheese and Yogurt – While most dairy should be avoided in the short-term post-surgery, these two dairy products contain protein and can speed recovery. With yogurt, look for brands that contain probiotics as this type will also ease upset stomachs and constipation.

Foods to Avoid Post-Surgery

There are some foods you will want to avoid eating post-surgery until your body has healed. These include:

  • Fatty Fried Foods
  • Sugary Sweets and Snacks
  • Processed Foods
  • Cheese and Most Dairy Products
  • Fatty Cuts of Meat

Consuming these types of foods can cause nausea, stomach aches, and constipation. As mentioned previously, it is always a good idea to discuss your dietary needs and what foods you should be eating post-surgery with your doctor, like those here at The Surgery Group of Los Angeles. For more information about our surgical procedures or to schedule a consultation, please call 310.289.1518 today.