Does Nutrition Affect How You Heal From Surgery?

The diet you follow after plastic surgery can affect how well you recuperate. Eating a balanced diet of nutritious foods reduces the risk of complications and accelerates your surgical wound’s healing. By taking the time to shop for nutritious foods and plan balanced meals, you are improving the odds of a speedy and smooth recovery.

Take a moment to learn what Dr. Abhay Gupta, a leading San Diego plastic surgeon, recommends eating after plastic surgery.

What to Eat After Surgery

Focus on whole foods: When you are planning your meals after plastic surgery, focus on eating “whole” foods — in other words, foods that are not processed. Processed foods normally have less nutritional value and higher amounts of sugar, salt, fat and chemical additives than whole foods.

An example of a whole food versus a processed food is a baked potato versus a French fry, or a chicken breast versus a chicken nugget.

Protein-rich foods: Speaking of chicken, protein is key after plastic surgery, because it helps regenerate tissue and speed up wound healing. Poultry and pork are excellent sources of lean protein. If you don’t like or eat meat, you can try other protein-rich foods like nuts, beans, tofu or tempeh.

High-fiber foods: Fiber is important because it helps prevent constipation, which is a common complication after surgery. It’s recommended you consume high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and certain cereals.

Fresh produce: Not only are fresh fruits and vegetables good sources of fiber, they also contain lots of vitamins and other nutrients. For instance, vitamin C, which is important for your skin’s collagen regeneration, is found in citrus fruits, mango, kiwi and broccoli. And Vitamin A, which is important for immune function, is found in spinach, kale and other leafy greens. If you cannot get fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen or canned options are fine.

Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is crucial after surgery. It helps prevent constipation, combats fatigue and flushes impurities from your system.

What to Do If You Aren’t Hungry

Some people don’t have much of an appetite after a surgical procedure and end up skipping meals. If this is true for you, you still want to ensure you are eating the calories your body needs to heal properly. Consider foods that are nutritious and high in calories like smoothies made of fruit and protein powder or salads with avocado slices and cheese on top.

The team at Gupta Plastic Surgery is always here to answer any questions you have during your plastic surgery recovery. To talk to a member of our staff, please call or email us today.

Fun Fact of the Month: Only 26 percent of Americans eat “the most important meal of the day” (breakfast) every day, according to food writer Sophie Egan, who penned “Devoured: From Chicken Wings to Kale Smoothies — How What We Eat Defines Who We Are.”

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