As we age, our likelihood of having surgery increases. In fact, 53% of all surgeries each year are performed on adults over age 65, and at least half of all people over age 65 will have surgery at some point. While surgery can help alleviate medical conditions and prolong life, surgery recovery becomes more challenging as we age. One way to help support a strong recovery is by eating healthy foods.
5 Foods to Eat for Surgery Recovery
1. Fiber-Rich Foods
Constipation after surgery is often a concern. Straining can damage incisions and lead to re-hospitalization, and being constipated can increase pain. Provided that your doctor has given you permission to introduce whole grains back into your diet, eating fiber-rich foods made with brown rice, quinoa, steel-cut oats, or whole wheat can help you get the fiber you need. Other fiber-filled options include fruits and veggies.
2. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Packed with nutrients and fiber, fruits and vegetables are an excellent choice for post-surgery meals. Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, for instance, are high in vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting. Berries are another good choice, as they contain high levels of antioxidants. Surgical procedures can cause an immune response that stresses your cells and depletes your stores of antioxidants, so eating antioxidant-rich foods can help reduce this damage and support faster healing.
Some of the aspects of surgery, including anesthesia and antibiotics, can disrupt your body’s natural balance of good bacteria, which can increase your risk of infection or complications after the operation. Eating foods that contain probiotics, like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, or kimchi, can help restore that balance and fight off infection.
Eggs are often served to surgical patients as a first meal after their procedures. Not only are they easy to digest, but they’re also packed with nutrients that support your health and recovery. One of the most important nutrients found in eggs is protein, which helps with healing. Protein is vital for collagen production, tissue production, and skin healing, all of which are important after surgery. Six grams of protein are packed into each egg; in addition, eggs are also high in other nutrients, including calcium, B vitamins, and iron, which aid healing.
Drinking plenty of water after surgery is essential for staying hydrated and ensuring all of the vital nutrients and oxygen reach your surgical site and help you heal. Ideally, you should drink 64 to 80 ounces or more of water per day, even after you’ve recovered.
For help during surgery recovery, including assistance with healthy meals, turn to CareResource Hawaii. This Honolulu-based home health care provider serves clients all over Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, and Molokai. They’ve earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau® for their personalized care. Call (808) 599-4999 to schedule services, or visit their website to learn more.