The 5 Best Healing Foods to Eat After Surgery

Mar 9, 2023

ProActive Physical Therapy

by ProActive Physical Therapy

Stocking up on the right healing foods to eat after surgery can be beneficial in helping your body recover quicker. For example, if you’re planning an upcoming surgery, learn more about foods that help heal faster and minimize swelling, bruising, and inflammation. Before surgery, plan out some balanced meals with these ideas and prep them ahead, or at least pull together a grocery list for your caretaker.

1. Dark, Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens are vital to helping your body get the nutrition it needs—and are one of the most suggested healing foods after surgery. Try adding greens to your plate as a salad or even sneak them into your morning smoothie—however you do it—you’ll get a dose of vitamins A, C, E, and K.

Some options for leafy greens:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Mustard greens
  • Swiss chard

2. Protein

Another top healing food to eat after surgery is lean protein. Following surgery, your body requires a high amount of protein and iron, as your muscles have been potentially damaged, moved, or manipulated throughout the surgery. Protein will help repair those muscles.

Some protein options are:

  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Legumes
  • Nuts

Related Content >> Nutrition Plays a Role in Athletic Performance

3. Whole Grains

Complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, can provide rich nutrients, supporting your body’s immune system. They also provide fiber which can prevent constipation while recovering from surgery.

Example whole-grain options:

  • Wild Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Steel Cut Oats

Group of wholegrain food shot.

4. Fresh Fruit

Need a little sweetness in your diet? Fresh fruit is a top-healing food after surgery—especially brightly colored fruit, which typically has Vitamin A and C, fiber, and antioxidants. Enjoy fresh fruit as an afternoon snack or a smoothie to reap the post-surgical benefits.

Example fruits are:

  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Berries

5. Healthy Fats

Especially after completing surgery, healthy fat can help absorb vitamins and is essential for strengthening your immune system and your chance for an infection.

Healthy fats to consider:

  • Avocados
  • Coconut Oil
  • Nuts/Seeds

Proper nutrition is the main component of healing after surgery. If you’re seeking healing foods after surgery, check out our Pinterest board full of meal and snack ideas. Along with proper nutrition, it’s also essential to stay hydrated, so ensure your caretaker monitors your water intake. If you have any questions on nutrition, hydration, or scheduling physical therapy after your surgery, contact us today!

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