Your body needs nourishment when it’s in a state of healing, and properly fueling your body will give you the energy you need to get back to your normal routine more quickly. In fact, studies have shown that a body’s requirements for certain nutrients can increase by up to five times during recovery after surgery.
Eating healthy, nutritious foods after surgery can help to promote faster healing and minimize the swelling, bruising and inflammation that often follow a surgical procedure. And certain foods can minimize digestive upset caused by antibiotics and prevent constipation caused by pain medications.
So here are five dietary recommendations that can help you heal from the inside out:
High-fiber foods like whole grain breads, fruit, vegetables, beans, and certain fiber-rich cereals can help minimize digestive issues and reduce the risk of constipation, a relatively common side effect of pain medications. You can also try legumes, oatmeal and flaxseed meal for healthy fiber options.
Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is critical in healing tissue. And after surgery, your body’s demands for protein will be much higher, especially with incisions to heal – but you aren’t limited to red meat. Excellent lean protein sources include eggs, chicken, pork, fish, turkey, beans and legumes. Vegetarians and vegans can seek protein through almonds, tofu, tempeh and seitan.
Vitamin A promotes epithelial and bone formation, and boosts general immune function. For high vitamin concentrations, try leafy greens such as kale and spinach, and other vitamin A-rich sources such as yams, carrots, squash and bell peppers. And since vitamin A is fat soluble, consider preparing your vegetables with a serving of extra virgin olive oil.
Vitamin C promotes collagen regeneration, necessary for restoring structural proteins in the skin after facial surgery. In addition to boosting collagen formation, Vitamin C promotes immune function by acting as a tissue antioxidant which blocks the harmful effects of free radicals in your system. Vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits, kiwi, mango, broccoli and potatoes.
Proper hydration is critical in daily nutrition – post-operative or not – but infinitely more so when recovering from surgery. Water flushes impurities – including anesthetics – out of your system, stabilizes your metabolism, reduces joint pain, and helps restore your energy.
The goal of healthy post-surgery nutrition is to promote healing, decrease the likelihood of infection through a well-supported immune system, and reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. These five recommendations will not only help you achieve optimal results from your surgery by healing surgical wounds, but they will also serve to support your immune system to help prevent infection, inflammation and scarring.
Should you have any further questions or concerns regarding your nutrition following a facelift or other facial surgical procedure, give the experienced professionals at Youthful Reflections a call today.