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10 Foods That Will Help You Heal After Surgery

10 Foods That Will Help You Heal After Surgery

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Your diet is essential in recovering after surgery

Our bodies need the right nutrients to us heal and get back to our fully functional selves.

Foods fuel our bodies and help us to function at our best. There are plenty of nutritious foods and superfoods that we should incorporate into our daily diets, but some foods have specific nutrients and vitamins that help our bodies to heal, particularly after surgery. These foods help our bodies to recuperate after daily functions and give our bodies the right nutrients to help us heal and get back to our fully functional selves.

Click here for 10 Foods That Will Help You Heal After Surgery slideshow.

We spoke with Dr. Selene Parekh, MD, MBA, and he helped us compile a list of the most healing foods. Parekh tells us that “Surgery places a lot of demands on your body. After surgery, your body must heal in order for you to return to your normal life. Your diet is essential in recovering after surgery. These foods can help you maintain a balanced, healthy diet optimized for recovery after surgery.”

From fresh vegetables to fruits, legumes, and lean proteins, the foods that you eat after surgery can help you heal and get back to normal. These foods are good sources of specific vitamins and nutrients that are essential to nurse you back to health. Check out this list of the top foods to eat when you are recovering. As always, you should be sure to check with you doctor before changing your diet and make sure that these are the right foods for your specific condition.

This story was originally published on March 27, 2014.

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.

These Are 10 Healing Foods To Speed Up Recovery After Surgery

Getting home from the hospital after a surgery may be a relief, but sometimes it could be accompanied by feelings of nausea or constipation.

Although you may not be hungry or want to eat, it is important to eat a healthy diet that would get you back in shape and help you fight fatigue.

Here are 10 foods that will help fight off infections, accelerate healing and enrich your nutrient stores.

Rich in vitamin C, berries are high in antioxidants, which are a powerhouse of nutrition. They help the body repair damages, rebuild collagen and soft tissue, thereby helping your incisions heal quicker.

You can benefit from grapes, strawberries, pomegranates, blueberries, raspberries and goji berries.

The vitamins and minerals you will find in vegetables are some of the most important nutrients in your healing diet.

Starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet corns are healthy sources of carbohydrates that help fight off fatigue.

The fibre content of vegetables helps reduce constipation which is a common side effect of pain medication and decreased mobility.

Your body will thank you for gorging on veggies like sweet bell peppers, carrots, cabbage and broccoli.

Fats (nuts, oils and fish)

After a surgery, healthy fat is essential for strengthening your immune system and decreasing your chance of infection.

Olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, fish, almond and cashew nuts are high in vitamin E which helps wounds heal faster and reduce the appearance of scars over time.

Dark leafy greens

You can never have enough of dark leafy greens post operation.

Pumpkin leaf (Ugwu to Nigerians), spinach and kale are just some of the numerous leafy greens that pack a punch with a healthy dose of vitamin A, C, E, and vitamin K which is essential for blood clotting.

By taking dark leafy greens, you will also be absorbing B-complex vitamins which help with energy levels.

Also rich in iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium, greens are definitely nature’s multivitamins.

What To Eat After Wisdom Tooth Extraction (Recipes)

Okay, so this might not be the most exciting food to eat unless you’re a third-grader during recess.

But hold on, don’t write the applesauce off just yet. Try the following homemade recipe and experience this snack like never before.

It should take you about 30 minutes in total to make this, or three minutes if you decide to go with canned applesauce instead. Yuck!

Step 1: Peel four apples, core them, and chop them into small pieces. For those who don’t know what coring an apple implies.

It’s removing the middle part that contains the seeds and stem. Do this with an apple corer or with a knife.

Step 2: Throw the apples in a saucepan along with a 3/4 cup of water, a 1/4 cup of sugar, and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.


Step 3: Turn your stove on to medium heat and place the saucepan over the heat until the apples become soft (15 to 20 minutes).

Allow the applesauce to cool off and mash them with a spoon, fork, or preferably a potato masher.

This recipe will make about three to four servings, but you can alter it to your taste and the size of your party.

Feel free to share with the ones you love, and then teach them how to make it so that you won’t have to the second time around.

Recovery from bruising is supported by folate, one of the B vitamins. In foods requiring supplementation, folic acid is a synthetic form of folate used. Since this nutrient is necessary for cell division and other processes, regular intake encourages your body to heal after getting a bruise. The folate RDA is set at 400 micrograms per day for individuals 14 and older. Individuals at risk from a folate deficiency are alcoholics, women who are pregnant or of childbearing age and those with malabsorption disorders. Choosing a diet with fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and folic acid-fortified foods can help meet your daily needs. Dine on soups with spinach and dried beans or peas, select oranges or bananas as snacks or consume fortified bread or pasta as part of a meal.

A diet rich in foods with vitamin B-12 can promote your body's ability to heal bruises. Supporting platelet production for normal blood clotting is one of this vitamin's roles. Deficiency for vitamin B-12 is common in the elderly, vegetarians, individuals with gastrointestinal disease or pernicious anemia, and those who have had bariatric surgery. The RDA for this nutrient is 2.4 micrograms for adults. This goal can be met by choosing foods supplemented or with natural vitamin B-12. Select main dishes with fish, chicken or eggs, choose fortified cereal at breakfast and add low-fat dairy to your diet to meet the recommended intake.

Prevent Disease With Phytoestrogens

After your surgery, you will be at greater risk for health conditions that occur more often in menopausal women. Authors of a review published in Pharamcognosy Research in 2011 looked at the existing scientific evidence and concluded that foods containing phytoestrogens — plant compounds with weak estrogenic effects — may help prevent conditions related to the loss of estrogen after menopause, including heart and other vascular diseases, breast cancer and osteoporosis. Foods rich in phytoestrogens include soy foods like tofu, edamame, soy milk and tempeh flaxseed and whole grains.

10 Foods That Will Help You Heal After Surgery - Recipes

If you are looking at a healthy recovery after having an orthopedic surgery like knee replacement or even a fracture, then along with ensuring plenty of rest and proper wound care you must also factor in good nutrition. An orthopedic surgery can place immense stress on the body as the body&rsquos metabolism is elevated when it is in the repair mode.

If you are looking at a healthy recovery after having an orthopedic surgery like knee replacement or even a fracture, then along with ensuring plenty of rest and proper wound care you must also factor in good nutrition. An orthopedic surgery can place immense stress on the body as the body&rsquos metabolism is elevated when it is in the repair mode. A well-balanced and nutritious diet becomes indispensable for proper tissue growth, repair and speedy recovery.

Mentioned below are the nutrients that act as building blocks during the post-operative period and aids a quick and healthy recovery. Most of these nutrients can be easily obtained from food that we regularly consume. Let&rsquos dive in to know more about these bone-healing foods that can help you recover faster.

1. Protein
Protein constitutes 55% of our bone volume and hence becomes a key ingredient of the bone-healing diet. Adding this important nutrient to the diet after an orthopedic surgery has shown to attenuate bone loss, reduce the probability of post-surgical infections and increase bone mass. On the other hand, protein deficiency leads to decreased bone building hormones, which in turn slows down the recovery.
Vegetarian Sources of Protein

In order to obtain the essential amino acids present in protein vegetarians are suggested to include the following food items in their diet:

&bull Soyabean and soy products
&bull Quinoa
&bull Chia seeds
&bull Spinach
&bull Beans
&bull Artichokes
&bull Peas
&bull Lentils

Non-Vegetarian Sources of Protein:

If you gravitate towards non-vegetarian sources of protein, following are your best options:

To support the healing process 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram body weight is recommended.

Calcium acts in synergy with protein for bone formation and therefore is an essential mineral post-surgery. Even our heart, muscles and nerves need calcium to function properly. The best sources of calcium include dairy products such as low-fat and no-fat milk, yogurt and cheese fortified foods for example seeds, tofu or rice milk. Dark leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale etc.
Studies suggest that 600-1,000 milligrams of calcium a day is a reasonable goal for bone health.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D works with Calcium to promote bone health as it helps our body absorb and utilize calcium. Sun is the best source of Vitamin D but our body&rsquos ability to make Vitamin D depends on time of year, time of day and where we live. A small amount of Vitamin D can also be obtained from food sources like fatty fish, salmon, tuna, egg, cheese or fortified milk.

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C boasts of antioxidant properties and hence is an integral part of our body&rsquos immune function, especially would healing. It can neutralize the effects of free radicals that promote disease. Vitamin C also helps in collagen synthesis, which is required for repairing tendons, ligaments and healing other surgical wounds. Adding adequate amount of this important nutrient in the diet can lead to faster healing post-surgery.

Citrus fruits like orange, strawberries, kiwi, and lemon and vegetables including broccoli, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts etc are a good source of Vitamin C.
The daily recommended allowance of Vitamin C during post-operative period is 500 mg as the body requires more of this vitamin for better healing.

Zinc along with Vitamin C and protein can substantially speed up the recovery after an orthopedic surgery. Deficiency of the same is associated with poor bone health.
Zinc has been shown to aid wound healing, unite bone fractures and prevent osteoporosis due to its role in collagen synthesis. This mineral is mostly found in animal foods. Oysters, meat, dark poultry etc are considered to be the best non-vegetarian sources of protein. On the other hand, fortified cereals, dairy, beans, nuts etc also provide moderate amount of zinc.

Omega 3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and their role in bone formation. DHA and EPA found in fatty acids have shown to aid bone formation and prevent bone loss. They also boast of anti-inflammatory properties that that protects against the disease causing agents of the bone.

Col-water fatty fish like salmon or tuna are good sources of Omega 3. Other vegetarian sources include tofu, walnuts, canola and flax seeds etc.

Pain medications that are prescribed after the surgery can lead to digestive problems like constipation. As such fiber-rich foods along with drinking plenty of water can have a laxative affect that can help with constipation. Fruits and juices are considered to be most effective in this case.
Adding the aforementioned foods associated with bone healthy nutrients in your diet can really help you recover quickly from surgery. But make sure you consult your doctor on the appropriate proportion of each nutrient in the diet.

Sandra Winslow is a passionate health writer who shares easily digestible info through her clear and effective writing skills. She strives to empower people by creating awareness among people to take control of their lives so that they can bring about better health outcomes. She also works closely with many NGO&rsquos and news organizations that promote authentic information on recent health reports and medical advancements.

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"Yogurt and cottage cheese are nutrient-rich, and if you've had dental surgery, cold foods often feel better than warm ones on the throat," Upton says. "Yogurt also has the benefit of providing probiotics that can help bolster your immune system, so it may help you recover faster."

If your treatment includes antibiotics, those probiotics will also help your gut microbiome balance back out again.

Top 10 Post-Surgery Foods

Do you have an upcoming surgery? Are you thinking of a post-surgery diet to follow while recuperating after your surgery? Eating the right foods can help you recover more quickly.

They can help in speeding up the healing process, minimizing the bruising, inflammation, and swelling that often come with a surgery and even reducing your stomach from being upset and constipation caused by antibiotics and other medications. So what are the best foods to eat after a surgical procedure? Here is a look at the top ten best post-surgery foods.

Top 10 Post-Surgery Foods

Here are the ten best post-surgery foods you should eat after a surgery to promote healing and speed up your recovery period:

  1. Almonds: These nuts are rich in vitamin E. This nutrient is believed to be effective in healing wounds and building scar tissue.
  2. Beans: Beans are packed with iron, which plays a vital role in creating new blood cells. You need new blood cells to help you bounce back after getting a surgical procedure done.
  3. Lean meats and Poultry: Lean meats and poultry are loaded with protein. Muscle tissue is moved, damaged or manipulated after surgery and your body will try to repair this damage. It will need a high amount of protein to do this.
  4. Citrus fruits: As you know, citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which is known to help in soft tissue and collagen repair. It has also been shown that vitamin C can help in reducing the chance of your nerves getting over-sensitized.
  5. Water: You need to make sure that you maintain hydration of your body. This will help in lowering feelings of light-headedness, fatigue, and nausea after surgery.
  6. Mushrooms: Mushrooms contain a lot of vitamin D, a nutrient essential for post-operative care. It promotes bone healing which makes it mushrooms an important food to add to your diet after surgery.
  7. Seafood: For energy and healing after getting an operation, zinc is one of the most vital nutrients. Seafood contains enough zinc to ensure that you get your daily recommended allowance.
  8. Sweet potatoes: Found in sweet potatoes, vitamin A plays an essential role in ensuring healthy cell growth and immune system. Both of these are essential after surgery as they help in the healing process and fighting off any possible infections.
  9. Whole grains: After surgery, you need a lot of dietary fiber. One of the best sources of fiber is whole grains. This nutrient will keep your bowels moving and prevent constipation. Many patients tend to suffer discomfort resulting from constipation due to post-surgery medications.
  10. Cottage cheese and yogurt: Your bowels can go through a lot due to anesthetics, painkillers, and antibiotics. Due to their richness in probiotics and calcium, cottage cheese and yogurt can help in regulating your gastrointestinal system.

Get Top Quality Medical Treatment for any Issue

Whether you need surgery or medical treatment for a health issue, you can always count on the team of illustrious and caring medical professionals at Desert West Surgery. We provide quality care in a warm and welcoming environment with state-of-the-art technology. Get in touch with for high-quality care from compassionate professionals.

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Diverticulitis can cause a lot of painful symptoms. While medical interventions can certainly be helpful, many patients find relief with just a few simple changes in their eating habits. Here&rsquos what to do if you&rsquove been diagnosed with diverticulitis.

If a colonoscopy is in your future, don&rsquot worry: It&rsquos a lot simpler than you probably think. Here&rsquos what to expect before, during, and after your first colonoscopy at Desert West Surgery.

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As you get older, you are at an elevated risk for a common gastrointestinal disorder called diverticulitis. Learn all about it and find out how it&rsquos treated.

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Treat diverticulitis naturally and avoid surgery and antibiotics by following this regimen.

Nature's medicine is the fastest way to ensure your digestive tract gets proper cleansing and can rebuild itself with new walls. By following a liquid diet as much as possible, with the occasional boiled or roasted vegetable and raw whole foods such as avocado and cucumber, you will get a powerful dose of the nutrients and vitamins the body and intestines needs. Liquid foods give the bowels time to recover and heal which is crucial with diverticulitis.

Live on the following list until the diverticulitis is completely healed. It could take 3-12 months – but it will be worth it. If you fully cleanse the intestines it is possible to completely heal diverticulitis and restore the intestine tract, and never suffer from it again. Many people just live with it, without fully healing it because they aren’t willing to cleanse and change their diet. If you are willing to go deeper within yourself and change your diet you can completely heal.

Firstly, if you have diverticulitis consider yourself on a liquid diet from here on until your intestines are healed. If you can have a majority liquid diet, it will accelerate healing and provide relief. Liquids like juices, smoothies and herbals tea provide us with high amounts of nutrition, and the body actually gets more out of it because nutrition from liquids are much easier for the digestive system to absorb than solid foods, especially when one has diverticulitis. Only eat solid foods when you absolutely must, when you are really craving them.

  1. Start the day with Lemon Water
  2. Green juice (Recipe in my book)
  3. Beet Juice (Recipe in my book)
  4. Smoothies (ideally cucumber, celery, lettuce, cilantro, lemon, ginger, green apple – it’s basically a salad in a smoothie)
  5. Ginger tea (at night time before bed)
  6. Aloe Juice which stimulates cellular health (do not drink aloe juice with sugar or preservatives. Check out this aloe 1 product it’s the only aloe in USA with absolutely no preservatives. Aloe will fast track healing results and create a lot of soothing in your intestines).
  7. Soups
  8. Bone broth
  9. Veggie broth

When you must have solid foods EAT THESE:

  1. Cherries
  2. Watermelon (be careful not to swallow any seeds)
  3. Potatoes (organic not GMO), roasted or boiled
  4. Sweet potatoes, roasted or boiled
  5. Pumpkin, roasted or boiled
  6. Carrot, roasted or boiled
  7. Garlic, roasted
  8. Onion, roasted
  9. Cucumber without the skin
  10. Avocado
  11. Quinoa
  12. Eggs, boiled or poached

Incorporate these supplements daily:

  1. Activated charcoal
  2. Bentonite clay (checkout Redmond Clay)
  3. Colloidal silver is very effective when treating diverticulitis or any other infection. Colloidal silver, known as nature`s antibiotic, effectively kills bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, even at times when antibiotics fail. Additionally, colloidal silver reduces inflammation and repairs injured tissue.
  4. Slippery Elm

Ideal DAILY DIET for diverticulitis:

  • Lemon water to start the day after rising
  • Drink colloidal silver and aloe together 45 minutes before food
  • Juice breakfast (eat eggs if still hungry)
  • Green smoothie for lunch (you could also do cacao/chocolate smoothies with cherries and berries for a dessert type tasty smoothie)
  • Dinner a soup with vegetable or bone broth, roasted root vegetables
  • Light ginger tea before bed (not too potent)
  • If you must have sweets, make your own chocolate brownies, cookie dough etc using almond flour and maple syrup or honey. Recipes in my books.

Do NOT eat:
(As these can cause instant inflammation and cause the diverticulitis to worsen.)

  1. No gluten
  2. No dairy. Dairy, which contains proteins like casein and whey that can irritate and inflame your gut, is another common culprit.
  3. No refined sugars (white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar and corn syrup). If you can only source sugars from fruit that would be ideal. If you have to choose a sweetener, go for honey, maple syrup or dates. But fruit is the best option.
  4. No meat
  5. No nuts
  6. No seeds
  7. No corn

Other Practices:

  1. Bowel Rest. We are programmed to eat so much food, we don’t have to eat if we aren’t hungry, and the body will show us if it wants to rest on the eating. Drink a liquid meal instead.
  2. Louise Hay’s affirmation for “Bowel Problems” is ‘I freely and easily release the old and joyously welcome the new.’
  3. Low fiber diet. Check out my book for an abundance of recipes to support your new lifestyle!
  4. Breathing into the gut, place hands on gut and do deep breathing. Visualize healing.
  5. Gut chakra focus and work.
  6. Visualize. See your digestive tract as healthy and beautiful. Print out a picture of a healthy digestive graphic from the internet and stick it somewhere you see every day to create those powerful visualizations for creating the digestive tract you want and deserve.
  7. Anti-inflammatory diet for the rest of your life.
  8. Practice mindfulness and meditations, diverticulitis is a dis-ease and the more you are at “ease” in your body the better. Bruce Lipton writes about how when we are joyful, happy and peaceful, it influences the trillions of cells we have, which boosts our immune system and creates healing in the body. Stress weakens the immune system, and this is where disease thrives.
  9. Oxygen, checkout an oxygen chamber. I wrote a Huff Post piece on the oxygen chamber if you want to learn more.


Diverticulitis is a digestive disease inflammation or infection in one or more small pouches in the digestive tract.

Interesting fact: There are more than 200,000 cases reported per year in the United States and is most common for people between from 40-60 years onwards. In 2003 in Europe, it resulted in approximately 13,000 deaths. Costs associated with diverticular disease are around $2.4 billion a year in the United States as of 2013.

Possible causes for diverticulitis:

  • Nutrition deprivation / poor diet
  • Eating too much meat
  • Consuming dairy
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Family history

The good news is, it can be treated and healed with diet. If it’s not taken care of it can lead to serious issues including surgery or cancer. People with diverticulitis can experience relief within days to weeks by following the protocol above. However, the patient will need to ensure a healthy anti-inflammatory diet for the rest of their life.

Even if you have already treated diverticulitis with antibiotics or surgery, it is still important that you follow the above protocol to ensure no new flare ups.

What to Eat Before and After Surgery to Help You Heal

A: It is possible to tweak your diet to enhance recovery from surgery. Certain amino acids seem to help wounds heal faster, so before—and especially after—surgery, make sure your meals and snacks feature fish, chicken, eggs (especially the whites), brown rice, walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Some studies suggest that vitamin C and zinc can also help you mend drinking a glass of orange juice and eating the daily recommended amount of fruit and produce should provide all the C you need, while a fortified breakfast cereal is an easy way to get zinc. If you take a multivitamin, choose one that delivers B12 and iron, both of which aid bone marrow in forming new blood cells. Finally, consider supplements of one amino acid in particular: glutamine. A Harvard Medical School review of research on glutamine indicates that people who got the amino acid intravenously after surgery spent, on average, four fewer days in the hospital. One note: The dosage people took varied, so talk to your doctor about an amount that makes sense for you.

David L. Katz, MD, is director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and president of the nonprofit Turn the Tide Foundation.


  1. Rayman

    I am also worried about this question.

  2. Gardashura

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  3. Shakazuru

    I am final, I am sorry, it at all does not approach me. Thanks for the help.

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