Simple steps to speed up post-op recovery
There’s no magic way to recover immediately after surgery however you can use the simple steps to speed up post-op recovery. In order to recover optimally, you need to obtain good nutrition which provides sufficient nutrients and calories and thus, speed up post-op recovery. Your body needs more nutrients to support its needs after surgery; therefore, it only makes sense to work on your diet first.
Your best bet would be to have foods rich in minerals and vitamins that will speed up healing, reduce your risk of infection, and provide you with maximum energy and strength while maintaining your weight. But before anything else you need to…
This includes even the most minor instructions that may seem unnecessary for you. For example, your doctor may advise you not lift objects over a certain weight for a specific amount of time after surgery or your doctor may tell you to refrain from consuming certain foods, or avoid driving for safety. There is a reason behind every instruction given by your doctor so make sure you listen carefully.
Furthermore, even if you feel good physically, you need to ensure that internal healing has taken place as well. Avoiding doctor’s instructions will result in further complications such as excessive bleeding, tissue tearing, infection etc.
You may feel nauseas or constipated post-surgery and this may have a negative impact on your appetite as well, causing you to eat less. However, it is important that you eat the right foods that promote healing.
Some foods and nutrients that may speed up recovery after surgery include:
Some healthy choices include whole grains and whole grain bread, fruits and vegetables. Make sure you purchase goods that are fresh, organic, whole and unrefined. Avoid white flour and other refined goods such as sugar, bottled juices etc., because they may actually slow down the healing process. Cereals are also a great source of fiber but go for high-fiber, low-sugar choices. You can even just stick to a simple oatmeal.
Healthy sources of lean protein include lean meats such as chicken breasts, turkey and pork, seafood and several vegetarian sources such as lentils, kidney beans, soy protein products such as tofu and tempeh, nuts and seeds and green leafy vegetables. Most doctors ask patients to refrain from consuming red meat because of its high saturated fat levels that may trigger constipation.
Dairy, however, while being a rich source of protein should be used in moderation because it can cause constipation as well in patients. If you are having difficulty eating, consider supplementing your diet with protein powders after getting your doctor’s approval. Consider having low fat dairy such as low-fat cheese or low-fat yogurt in moderation if dairy doesn’t get you constipated. Protein powders can be added to smoothies for a quick boost.
- Fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruit and vegetables consist of fiber and vital nutrients required for healing after surgery. Make an attempt to have whole fruits and vegetables as canned or frozen products may have a lower nutrient content. However, if fresh is not available, the latter options are good too.
Focus on produce that is not processed. For example, have fresh whole fruits instead of bottled fruit juices or have fresh vegetable soup instead of canned vegetable soup.
However, having more fruits and vegetables may cause gas. If the bloating and gas causes severe abdominal cramping and pressure, consider decreasing your intake or taking a gas reliever (e.g. Beano).
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