Best Diet after Surgery – 27 Research-Based Foods and Nutrients

A good nutrition mechanism that offers sufficient amounts of both calories and nutrients is very important after surgery as the body has increased requirements to help with recovery. Experts say that most of the people do not need to take supplements after surgery in case they can eat normal foods and have a well-balanced diet.

Best Diet After Surgery – Top 27 Best Research-Based Foods And Diet Tips To Apply At Home

The best diet is packed with minerals and vitamins that will lower the risk of infections, boost the process of healing, increase energy, and strength and help to keep weight and nutrient stores stable. Follow a healthy diet based on the following guidelines to meet your daily nutrient requirements.

In this article, we will reveal some best super foods and nutrients on a diet after surgery in details, so if you want to learn more about health facts and the best diet after surgery, you should spend time reading this entire article.

1. Protein

This is the very first one out of the research-based nutrients on a diet after surgery that we want to introduce in this article and want you and our other readers to know and make use after your surgery for good!

According to research about top best foods and nutrients for patients after surgery [1], protein-rich foods are on top. Amino acids from protein are involved with tissue regeneration and wound healing. Immediately after surgery, eating protein-rich foods can help with your healing. The best types of proteins are from lean food sources like fish, eggs, poultry, seafood, low-fat dairy products, soy products, lean meats, beans, nuts, and lentils.

Protein is not just for building muscles, it is also a vital nutrient in building bones. So, in case you suffer from a fracture, add protein-rich foods to your meals and snacks. The key to adding protein after surgery is to choose the right sources of protein. Instead of dense proteins like red meat, choose lighter proteins to help your body digest more easily. This is very important as your digestive system is still sluggish after your surgery. If you have difficulty in getting enough protein through diet after surgery, consider adding protein powder to your smoothies or drinks.

In fact, protein is a very important nutrient that you should add to your diet after surgery, so try it out!

Read more: 30 Healthy Foods High in Protein – the Best List to Choose

2. Vitamin A

diet after surgery foods

According to a research [2], Vitamin A is important after surgery due to its wound-healing substances. Vitamin A comes from oranges as well as dark green veggies like sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, broccoli, and spinach as well as cheese, eggs, milk, liver, cantaloupe, grapefruit, papaya, and mango. These foods are really great, and you can make use of them to make various delicious food dishes!

Actually, this is one of the research-based foods and nutrients on the best diet after surgery that you should know and then consider adding it to your diet as soon as possible, especially if you want to support your healthy recovery.

See also: 24 Foods that Increase Height Fast and Naturally

3. Vitamin C

According to a study [3], vitamin C is an essential post-surgery supplement, and you should not skip out it if you want to support your healthy recovery. This vitamin is needed to create a protein, collagen and it is also needed for healing surgical wounds. Foods that are rich in vitamin C are sweet bell peppers, citrus fruits, potatoes, guava, kale, broccoli, kiwi fruit, berries, melons, and tomatoes.

4. Vitamin D And Calcium

When it comes to best diet after surgery, you should not skip out the fact that vitamin D and calcium can be very important for healing. Vitamin D and calcium are vital nutrients linked with healthy bones. Therefore, if you suffer from a stress fracture, try to add plenty of both nutrients to your diet to strengthen your bones. The best food sources of both nutrients are low-fat dairy products. All types of milk are fortified with vitamin D can help you absorb calcium. Besides, yogurt is also a great source of calcium. However, it is not always fortified with vitamin D, so you should check the yogurt’s label to be sure that you are taking in vitamin D.

Get more: Best Natural Sources of Vitamin D – 28 Foods to Consume

5. Vitamin E And K

This is another one on the list of best diet after surgery that we want to include into this entire article and want all of our readers to know and consider adding it to your diet as soon as possible if you want to support your recovery. Vitamin E and K may be one of the most important nutrients in the post-surgery diet. Vitamin E found in nuts, vegetable oils, milk, beef liver and eggs will protect your body from free radicals. And vitamin K found in fish, green leafy veggies, vegetable oils, and liver will be good for blood clotting.

Check also: 33 Natural Sources of Collagen You Might have Never Thought of

6. Fiber

One of the best research-based foods and nutrients on a diet after surgery that you should not skip out must include fiber. A common problem after surgery is constipation. In order to avoid this uncomfortable complication after surgery, you should eat plenty of fiber-rich foods. Some foods that are high in fiber are prunes, beans, legumes, pears, apples, bran flakes and flaxseed. Oatmeal and whole grain bread are other good food sources of fiber. In order to prevent constipation, you should avoid some foods like dehydrated or dried foods, cheese and dairy products, processed foods, sweets and red meats.

Learn more: A List of 38 Best Foods High in Fiber

7. Zinc

While all nutrients are essential to healing, zinc is a superstar for its roles in wound healing. Zinc is a mineral found in seafood, dark meat poultry, beef, lamb, liver, nuts, beans, pumpkin seeds, oysters and dairy products. It is advised to take in zinc from diet than supplements as high-dosage zinc supplements can result in vomiting and nausea.

This is, in fact, one of the research-based nutrients on diet after surgery that you should know and make use, especially after you had surgery.

8. Iron

It is so common for your iron levels to decrease after surgery. So, it is important for you to add foods that contain iron to your diet to deal with this condition. However, be sure that you do not take an over-dosage of iron because it can be harmful to your health.

There are some other research-based foods and nutrients on the best diet after surgery in this entire article. Continue reading this article to discover them and then try to add them to your diet for good!

Keep reading: 29 Super Foods High in Folic Acid for Pregnant Women

9. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy from the brain and prevent muscles from being exhausted. Carbohydrates that are rich in fiber like fruits, whole grains, beans, vegetables, and legumes are helpful as they can help to prevent the risk of constipation, which is a common unwanted side effect linked with pain medications.

In fact, this is among the research-based foods and nutrients on a diet after surgery so that people should try to add carbohydrates to your diet during your recovery from the surgery.

10. Probiotics

best diet after surgery

For some surgeries, doctors prescribe antibiotics to their patients in order to prevent infection. This certainly improves the recovery from surgery, but it can cause an unwanted imbalance in your digestive system. In fact, antibiotics can kill off both of the good and bad organism, so the intestinal flora can be damaged along with the bacteria that may cause infection. Some probiotic foods include pickles, yogurt with active cultures, miso soup, sauerkraut and dark chocolate can help with digestion.

In fact, this is also among the recommended nutrients on a diet after surgery, so you should not skip out them when you want to improve your health after surgery.

See also: List of 19 Common Super Foods High in Magnesium

11. Beta-Carotene

When it comes to best diet after surgery; according to [4] for health, you should add beta-carotene into your diet regularly if you want to boost your recovery effectively. The antioxidant beta-carotene also plays a vital role in your recovery, so ensure that you add orange foods including pumpkins, sweet potatoes and carrot to your diet as soon as possible for good, especially if you want to support your recovery.

12. Dietary Fat

Dietary fat offers energy, and it is involved in absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and immune response. Experts recommend heart-healthy fats from vegetable oils, olive oil, nuts, avocado, and seeds. These healthy fats will help improve immune response and increase the level of energy after surgery. This is in fact also one of the best diet tips after surgery that we would like to introduce in this article, and you should never look down for good! Keep reading for more interesting diet tip, and the very next thing you learn will surprise you!

Read also: List Of 10 Foods High In Sodium To Avoid Consuming

13. Whole Grains

They are also one of the best research-based foods and nutrients on a diet after surgery that you should know and make use for good, especially those who have ever had surgery and are looking for the way to support their recovery. Whole grains are a good source of vitamins as well as minerals. Make sure to opt for whole grain bread as well as cereals if possible, rather than choose the refined “white” versions. Rice is a good way to include whole grains in your daily diet; however, a variety of rice is processed that the nutritional power is minimal. For fiber content and other nutrients, opt for brown rice or other types of rice that are not processed. Also, remember to avoid white rice.

You should consider adding whole grains to your diet in the morning and breakfast is an ideal time. Skip the eggs and bacon and opt for oatmeal or other whole grain cereals, fresh fruit, and whole wheat bread for the morning meal.

In case you have experienced surgery on the intestines, ensure that you are permitted to consume whole grains before you add them to your diet.

14. Dairy Products

Dairy products are a good source of protein, which is very important for healing during your recovery from surgery. Plenty of people reported that eating dairy products can result in constipation, an unwanted side effect occurring after surgery. Also, there is evidence that eating dairy products can cause increased secretions in the lungs. Therefore, if you are suffering from a chronic cough, you should avoid eating dairy products in the short periods of time.

In case you can consume dairy products without causing constipation, pay your attention to low-fat items, such as cottage cheese, skim milk and yogurt. Besides, cheese, either low-fat or not, should be consumed in moderation until you can know whether or not eating it can cause you to feel constipated.

See more: Top 56 Natural Sources Of Calcium In Food For Everyday Life

15. Fresh Vegetables

Fresh vegetables contain both fiber and nutrients, which are important for healing during the recovery from surgery. Although fresh foods are best, frozen or canned foods are also good. You can try to add foods that are not processed, including fresh broccoli and avoid processed items such as canned broccoli soup.

However, an unwanted side effect of consuming more vegetables than usual is gas. This condition can be embarrassing or annoying, and it should finish within 1-2 days. In case the gas becomes severe that you feel abdominal cramping or stomach pressure, you can decrease your consumption of fresh items or use a gas reliever including Gas-X or Beano.

16. Deeply-Colored Fruits

The stress of surgery and the drugs used during the recovery may create an increased free-radical production or oxidative load on the body. While the body uses these antioxidants to reduce these harmful molecules, the needs are surely higher during recovery from surgery. Increase your antioxidant consumption after surgery by consuming deeply-colored fruits including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, blackberries, and pomegranates. In fact, these fruits contain compounds called anthocyanidins that not only boost the power of vitamin C, but they also improve capillary integrity as well as stabilize the collagen matrix. In addition to this, fruits have a high content of water to help with hydration as well as antioxidants to boost up the healing.

17. Bell Peppers

nutrients diet after surgery

Bell peppers are a good source of vitamin C, offering 340mg for each medium bell pepper. Vitamin C is known as a water-soluble vitamin that may help you cross-link collagen. Collagen is a type of protein in the body and in case you have experienced an incision, this protein is important for wound healing. However, as stress after surgery can deplete the vitamin C stores, so getting more during the recovery after surgery is recommended.

In fact, red peppers are in brief one of the best research-based foods and nutrients on a diet after surgery so that people should not look down, but try to add them to your diet for good.

Get also: List of 10 Foods High in Uric Acid to Avoid

18. Mushrooms

Another one of the best foods on diet after surgery that you should know must include mushrooms. Mushrooms also help with a healthy immunity. A study found that there was a reduction in inflammatory proteins in patients who ate a 4 oz serving of mushrooms daily. Mushrooms are great grilled or stir-fried. Otherwise, try making easy mushroom soup. Prepare it ahead of time, and after surgery, you just need to reheat a bowl.

19. Cruciferous Vegetables

Having a proper immune system can make sure that the body can ward off infections during your recovery from surgery. Vegetables that have indoles that boost the immune system, including cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are some of your best choices. For great flavor and easy preparation, consider roasting these cruciferous vegetables. Otherwise, choose mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes for a wonderful post-surgery food that is nutritious and low-carb.

In fact, they are also a great one on the list of best diet after surgery that people should not look down, but learn and then try to add these foods to your diet as soon as possible.

Check also: 35 Foods To Increase Blood Platelets Count Instantly & Naturally

20. Nuts And Seeds

Some of the best foods on a diet after surgery that we want to mention in this entire article must include nuts and seeds. Squash, pumpkin and sesame seeds are good sources of zinc. As you know that zinc is important for a healthy immune system the body needs zinc to activate body cells that are involved in the immunity system. Also, zinc is essential to wound healing because this mineral is good for protein synthesis as well as cell growth.

They are actually also some of the best research-based foods and nutrients on diet after surgery that a lot of people in the world love and have been making to improve your immune system.

21. Pineapple And Papaya

Pineapple and papaya have protease enzymes that your body uses to dissolve and digest proteins. When it turns out, these enzymes including papain and bromelain also help to relieve inflammation and swelling. The drawback is that bromelain is focused on the pineapple’s stem and you do not eat that part. So, taking a supplement may be an easy choice.

Do you want to know other foods on diet after surgery? Continue reading this entire article and then try to add these research-based foods and nutrients to your diet for good.

Learn also: 55 Foods That Cause Acne Breakouts In Adults

22. Processed Foods

They are usually over-processed and precooked, removing almost all of the healthy substances, and have plenty of fat, salt as well as other unhealthy items added to them. Consuming lean red meat, poultry with the fat and skin removed and fish are some good options for you after surgery. Some examples of processed meat should be frozen fish sticks, chicken nuggets. Even the diet meals contain plenty of sodium added.

In fact, they are also among the best foods on a diet after surgery so that you should consider adding some good options of processed foods to your diet after surgery.

Keep reading: Top 31 Must-Know Foods To Never Reheat In A Microwave

23. Liquids

After surgery, you need to be careful to drink enough fluids in order to avoid dehydration and to know signs that you feel satisfied or hungry. For the first day during recovery or right after surgery, you will only be permitted to drink some clear liquids. Slowly sip and just drink 2-3 ounces at a time. Once you handle clear liquids, you can move on to other liquids, including low-fat or skim milk.

Some types of liquids you can drink during your recovery:

  • Unsweetened juice
  • Decaffeinated coffee or tea
  • Broth
  • Skim milk
  • Strained- cream soup
  • Sugar-free popsicles or gelatin

Liquids are very important for your body in the process of wound healing. It can also help deal with constipation and removing toxins from the body. Aim at drinking 6-8 glasses of liquids daily to keep your body hydrated and properly working.

24. Pureed Foods

best diet after surgery

Once you can tolerate liquids for several days, you can start eating pureed foods. You can only eat some types of foods that are smooth pastes or thick liquids, with no solid pieces of food. In order to puree your foods, opt for some foods that will be able to be blended well, including fish, lean ground meats, eggs, beans, soft fruits and cooked veggies, cottage cheese. You can blend these solid foods with a liquid, including skim milk, water, broth or juice without sugar added.

It is important for you that you do not drink and eat at the same time. You should wait about half an hour after eating to drink anything. Also, remember that your digestive system may be sensitive to dairy foods or spicy foods, so if you want to eat them, eat them slowly and only in small amounts.

See also: 40 Foods We Eat at Wrong Hours that Harm our Health

25. Soft Foods

Another out of the research-based foods and nutrients on the best diet after surgery that we want to mention in this entire article and want all of our readers to know and then make use is that soft foods can be helpful during your recovery.

After several weeks of pureed foods, you can start with soft foods in the form of tender, small and easy-to-chew pieces. During this stage of recovery, your diet can be ground or diced meats, soft fresh or canned fruit without skin or seeds as well as cooked veggies without skin.

26. Solid Foods

When it comes to best diet after surgery, you should not skip out solid foods. After about 2 months, you can gradually move on to eating solid foods. However, foods have still to be diced or chopped. Slowly eat your regular foods to see which foods you are able to tolerate. Also, you can find that you still have trouble eating spicy foods or foods that have crunchy textures.

At this stage, there are some foods that you should not eat as they can cause some unwanted gastrointestinal symptoms such as pain, nausea, and vomiting. They are popcorn, dried fruits, granola, carbonated drinks, fried foods, tough meats, bread, etc. Over time, you can try some of these foods with the help of your doctor.

Check also: List of 34 Best & Worst Foods For Rosacea

27. Add Calories To Your Diet

In case you have difficulty in taking in enough calories through diet, your recovery from surgery could be negatively affected. These following tips can help you add enough calories to your diet and you do not need to eat noticeably more. This way of eating is only recommended for people who cannot consume enough calories, as this is not suggested for those who are looking for an ideal nutritional plan and those who can eat well after surgery. When you can return to a healthy diet, it is important to reduce sugar and saturated fats while focusing on vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins.

  • Use real sugar instead of sugar substitute.
  • Cook with oil instead of cooking with cooking spray
  • Use heavy cream, not non-fat dairy cream
  • Use real butter instead of low-calorie butter sprays or spreads
  • Choose full-calorie items whenever possible when consuming prepared foods including frozen meals
  • Suck on candy or mints
  • Consume the highest- calorie options on your plate first
  • Bring a full-calorie beverage with you and drink it if possible
  • Add a dietary supplement to your diet
  • Have snacks between meals
  • Have a snack before going to bed
  • Choose vegetables that contain more calories, such as potatoes and avocados rather than lettuce.
  • To make sure that you take in enough vitamins and minerals, you should:
  • Eat and drink slowly. This is because eating or drinking too quickly can cause vomiting, nausea, dizziness, sweating, and even diarrhea. So, choose foods low in sugar and fat, wait about half an hour before or after a meal to drink water. Take more than 30 minutes to eat up your meals and about 30-60 minutes to drink up a cup of liquid.
  • Drink liquids between meals. Drinking liquids while eating can cause nausea, pain, and vomiting. Also, drinking liquid too much around your mealtime can make you feel full and prevent you from getting enough nutrients through diet.
  • Keep your meals small. You should start with 6 small meals instead of eating a big meal a day. Then, you move on to 4 meals a day and when following your regular diet, reduce to 3 meals a day. An ideal meal should include about ½ -1 cup of food. Just eat the recommended amounts and stop before feeling full.
  • Chew food thoroughly. Take small bites of your food and then chew them thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Avoid foods high in sugar and fat. After surgery, it may be hard for you to tolerate foods high in sugar and fat. So, avoid these foods, including fried foods, candy bars, and ice cream and opt for sugar-free options for dairy products and soft drinks.
  • Take recommended mineral and vitamin supplements. After surgery, your digestive system will not be able to absorb all nutrients from foods. So, you need to take some supplements or a multivitamin [5] supplement daily. Consult with your doctor about your condition.

Diet recommendations after surgery are various, depending on where your surgery is performed and your own health condition. A diet typically follows an approach to help you go back to eating solid foods. How quickly you move on to solid foods depends on the way your body heals, and it also depends on your change in eating patterns. However, it is common for you to start eating your regular foods about 12 weeks after surgery.

Get also: 13 Foods That Unclog Arteries & Prevent Heart Attacks Naturally

After reading this article about the best diet after surgery, we hope that you as well as our other readers will read another article that reveals some of the best anti-fungal foods –

Research-Based Anti-Fungal Foods For Candida And Yeast Infection. This is actually a good article that includes best nutrition tips for people to support their candida and yeast infection issues.

In summary, this is the list of research-based foods and nutrients on diet after surgery that you should know and then add them to your diet for good. Actually, these diet tips have been already shown to be good for your recovery from the surgery, so you should not skip out these tips. One more thing is that after you spend time reading this article about best tips after surgery, if you think that this article is very helpful and can also help other people who have ever performed a surgery, you should share this list with them and simultaneously stimulate them to add these foods to their diet as soon as possible. Finally, remember to leave your comments and feedbacks below if you know any of the other best diet after surgery apart from diet tips as AllRemedies mentioned in this entire article.

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