July 24, 2017 | BY Robert Smith
You will be quite sensitive in the hours, days and possibly even the weeks following your surgery. You may not have much of an appetite. However, you should make an effort to consume nutritious food and stay hydrated until your body is fully healed.
If you fail to eat an adequate amount of nutrient-packed food following your surgery, the healing process will be delayed. The human body requires a steady supply of protein as well as other nutrients to generate new tissue and heal tissues injured during surgery.
One of the easiest ways to get the nutrients you need to heal is by starting with smoothies. Smoothies are loaded with tasty fruits that provide essential vitamins. You can also mix in some protein powder to fortify your tissues.
Smoothies are also calorie-dense, providing your body with the sustenance it needs to recuperate. If you don't have much of an appetite, be sure to focus on eating foods high in calories like avocado, fruit and vegetable juice, nut butters and other foods without “lite”, “low-fat” and “low-calorie” labels.
Focus on consuming more calories than you typically would to equip your body with the strength it needs to recover.
According to the Hospital for Special Surgery, hydration is critical to healing. You may need to drink more water than usual because of your post-surgery medications. The HHS reports eight glasses of water is necessary each day following surgery. To aid in the healing process, you may consider increasing this to ten glasses.
Protein provides amino acids that hasten the healing process. Proteins also help the body function as designed.
However, you shouldn't eat just any protein. Key in on light proteins rather than the dense variety found in red meat. Opt for almonds, chicken, eggs, beans, turkey and fish. Such light proteins are an excellent source of amino acids and quite easy for the body to digest.
Many orthopedic surgeons prescribe antibiotics to patients to prevent infection. Antibiotics ameliorate the recovery, but they can also cause disharmony in the digestive system.
Mix in probiotic foods like yogurt, miso soup, kefir, sauerkraut, dark chocolate and pickles to ensure your digestive system functions properly. Kefir is especially helpful as even a small serving provides the body with upwards of a dozen species with more than 10 billion live cultures.
Your surgery will undoubtedly induce a lot of stress. Add in the fact that the drugs used during and after the procedure will heighten your oxidative load, and your body will desperately need an uptick in antioxidants.
Antioxidants eliminate or greatly decrease oxidative stress, which can cause additional health problems. Foods with antioxidants include pomegranates, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries.
Staying regular following surgery is often a challenge due to the use of pain medications and anesthetic agents. Eat plenty of prunes, raisins, apples, beans, bran flakes, flaxseed meal, oatmeal and other foods that are high in fiber.
Fiber is essential following surgery because it promotes a healthy digestive system. Prunes are especially helpful as they are loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber that improves stool.
Mix in orange-colored vegetables and fruits after your surgery. These foods contain beta-carotene, which helps the body convert vitamin A.
This vitamin is essential for the repair of the body's soft tissue, skin and mucous membranes. Example of orange-hued foods that are optimal following surgery include sweet potatoes, mango, cantaloupe, apricots and carrots.
Remember, eating balanced, nutritious foods is crucial to a safe and quick recovery. It is important to eat regular meals, as well as light snacks throughout your day, to keep your blood sugar balanced. Some medications may cause nausea; however, eating small, fibrous snacks will help calm your stomach and strengthen your body.
Ensure you recover from your surgery quickly and without complications by staying hydrated and consuming a nutrient-rich diet.
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