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Eat Better, Feel Better – Post-Op Diet

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What to Eat After Surgery?

You have the big role in making your results last long by following a healthy diet and staying well-hydrated after getting any type of plastic surgery.

Eating healthy foods will help you minimize swelling and inflammation, promote faster wound healing, eliminate toxins, improves digestion and good blood circulation which supports your body’s natural healing mechanisms, thus resulting to best aesthetic results.

The following are some of the recommendations that we have listed for you:

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

The number one in the list are fruits and vegetables which contain:

Fiber

Eating fiber promotes good digestion, thus preventing constipation. Constipation is a common complaint after surgery due to the pain medications, anesthetic agents, alterations to diet, dehydration, stress and reduced physical activity after surgery.  Good natural sources of fibers can mostly be found in lentils, avocados, black beans, artichokes, peas, flax seeds, raspberries and broccoli.

Vitamin A

Adequate Vitamin A is needed for the repair and maintenance of soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin. It also boosts general immune function. For high vitamin A concentrations, try leafy greens such as kale and spinach. Other viable sources include yams, carrots, squash, and bell peppers.

Vitamin C

Collagen regeneration is required to restore structural proteins in the skin, a vital element of recovery after facial surgery. In addition to boosting collagen formation, Vitamin C promotes immune function, and acts as a tissue antioxidant, blocking the harmful effects of free radicals in your system. Vitamin C rich foods include citrus fruits, kiwi, mango, broccoli, and potatoes.

Drink Plenty of Water

There are a lot of reasons why patients are encourage to drink plenty of water and these are:

Adequate water consumption flushes impurities (including surgery drugs) out of your system.
Hydration is a large factor in preventing loss of elasticity in your skin, and preventing the deepening of fine lines and wrinkles.
It decreases edema by getting rid of sodium when you pee. It is the salt (Sodium that helps retain water in the body).
Water softens bowels and keeps you from being constipated.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Many research studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to reduce inflammation, so much so that other pain killers and drug may not be needed. Omega 3 also improves the skin’s lipid barrier, and actually help extend the lifespan of cells—improving the overall texture and tone of the skin. High in Omega 3 fatty acids can mostly be found in fish such as salmon, arctic char, sardines, anchovies, black cod, mackerel and even oysters.

While Omega-6 fats are the unhealthy fast that normally be found in corn, safflower, sunflower, peanut and soybean oils. Also avoid trans fats, as experts confirmed that trans fats are truly unhealthy. They are found in pastries, cakes, margarine among other foods.

Lean Protein

Protein is not just an essential nutrient, but the largest component in the body after water. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are essential in building and repairing various parts of the body. They also travel around the body as hormones, red blood cells and enzymes. Here is a list of high quality lean proteins:

Animal Proteins

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Low-Fat Dairy

Plant Proteins

  • Soybeans (also tofu)
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Seeds

Whole Grains Instead of Refined Grains

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and are an important part of your recovery diet. Fatigue is common following any surgical procedure, but eating the right kinds of carbs can help restore your energy levels. Whole grains are an excellent source of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals as well as fiber.

Be sure to choose whole grain breads and cereals whenever possible, rather than the refined “white” versions. Rice is a great way to add whole grains to your diet, but many types of rice are so processed that the nutritional value is minimal. Brown rice and bulgur wheat are good examples. While eliminate the unhealthy “white” carbs such as refined flours, sugars, white rice and foods high on glycemic index.

Low Sodium

A low sodium diet will help reduce swelling and inflammation during recovery. Foods that you need to avoid which contain high sodium are:

  • Processed Foods
  • Table salt
  • Fast food and restaurant food
  • Cured and packaged meats
  • Certain condiments
  • Frozen dinners

Probiotics

One of the healthy dietary changes that one should do after surgery is to introduce probiotics into your system. Probiotics can be obtained by eating cultured and fermented foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and aged cheese. There are also other food that are fortified with probiotics, like chocolates, fruit juices and cereals. You can also take probiotics in the form of a dietary supplement. Probiotics are said to be:

  • The best way to avoid gastro-intestinal upset if take with antibiotics.
  • An aid to break down food, which may be very useful since the efficiency of digestion is decreased after such operation.
  • Positively healthy by stabilizing the intestinal barrier, stimulating epithelial growth, revitalizing mucus secretion and motility, and enhancing overall immunity
  • Another way of reducing post-surgical infections.

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