What you eat after surgery can affect you in several ways. Post-surgery, your body will require the energy needed for those recovery tasks, like physical therapy. Healthy foods also provide your body with the nutrients it needs to heal properly.
Some food after surgery can also cause unexpected consequences that can hinder your recovery. Such consequences could include constipation or high blood pressure. That’s why it is so important to follow the dietary plan given to you by your medical team.
One of the first things you should ingest after surgery is clear liquids. These include water, soup broth, and fresh juice. You can add some full liquids as well, such as yogurt, and creamy cereals or soups. Even coffee and tea are fine in moderation, with or without milk or cream, depending on your dietary needs.
Whole grains are an essential food after surgery due to their high levels of fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and nutrients. As well as being incredibly healthy, whole grains reduce constipation caused by some medications. Some options to consider are whole-grain bread, crackers, or pasta. Brown rice, legumes, and both cold and hot cereal are good options as well.
Protein is needed to help your body build new tissue, though you must choose your protein sources carefully. Healthy, low-fat options include skinless chicken or turkey, pork, seafood, nuts, legumes, or tofu. Low-fat dairy products are also good protein sources, including cottage cheese and skim milk.
Fruits and vegetables are essential since they are high in vitamins and nutrients that strengthen your immune system. You can choose frozen or canned options, though fresh fruits and veggies are the best foods after surgery. Berries are especially beneficial since they contain high levels of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Leafy greens also contain antioxidants and are high in fiber, so should be added to your meal planning.
As well as eating the right foods after surgery, there are a few you should avoid. Some options increase the chances of constipation, including cheese, red meat, sugary treats, and processed foods. Processed foods also lack the nutrients needed to heal, so are especially detrimental to your health.
Alcohol should also be avoided since it could react with certain medications while increasing dehydration. Spicy foods can upset your stomach, so are also on this list. Fatty or fried foods lack nutrition, plus can be hard to digest or cause nausea or vomiting after surgery.