The Importance of Nutrition Pre & Post-Op

Imagine you are preparing for a marathon. You can not start training the day of, right? You have to start training months in advance to maximize your performance in the race. The same concept applies when talking about nutrition when preparing for surgery. In order to minimize symptoms prior to surgery, reduce risk of complication after surgery, and perform at your highest level, it is vital to fill your diet with foods that are packed with vitamins and nutrients. 

Pre-Op Nutrition

  • Eat plenty of protein
    • Protein gives the body the ability to regenerate tissue and heal wounds.
    • 60-100 grams per day are optimal 
    • Ex: chicken breasts, beef steak, eggs, milk,       black beans, almonds, walnuts, peanut butter. 
  • Vitamin D & Calcium 
    • Bone strength and repair 
    • Must have Vitamin D in order to support and reap the benefits of Calcium. 
    • Ex: Salmon/trout, dark greens, soybeans, mushrooms, Hard-boiled eggs, yogurt. 
  • Vitamin C & Iron 
    • Vitamin C aids in rebuilding collagen (repairing tissue)  
    • Vitamin C enhances the absorption of Iron  
    • Iron increases red blood levels, improves immune system, increases energy levels.
    • Ex: Citrus fruits, red fruits and vegetables, green vegetables, red meat, almonds, and walnuts.

Post-Op Nutrition

Patients tend to have a suppressed appetite following surgery due to pain medication. However, our bodies need the calories to heal. If you have lost your appetite following surgery, try eating smaller meals throughout the day. Be sure to continue to include foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients (pre-op nutrition foods). In addition, include foods that are high in fiber and probiotics/probiotic supplements to help fight bacteria and improve your gut health (ex: yogurts, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains). Lastly, 6-8 ounces of water are recommended to improve healing and avoid constipation. 


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