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The Role of Nutrition Before and After Surgery

The Role of Nutrition Before and After Surgery
The Role of Nutrition Before and After Surgery

Nutrition plays a vital role in the body’s ability to heal. If you are facing an upcoming surgery, it is important to take your health seriously before and after surgery. Nutrition directly affects how your body will handle the stress of surgery and the healing process.

Eat plenty of protein:
Protein is a vital macronutrient that we need to consume daily. It is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscles, bones, skin, and tissue. Protein is responsible for collagen synthesis which helps in scar tissue formation. It can be found in foods such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes. The amount of protein you should consume daily is directly related to your muscle mass; however, the general recommendation is between 60-100 grams per day.

Consume whole grains:
Whole grains contain B vitamins which are crucial for supporting your immune system and the healing process. They contain fiber which contributes to regular bowel movements. Whole grains include brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, spelt, etc.

Increase fruits and vegetables:
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that are crucial for muscle and bone health. They are low in fat, sugar, and salt, and are a great source of fiber. They are high in antioxidants and are considered to be anti-inflammatory foods. Calcium and vitamins B, C, and D are vital to the healing process. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, sweet potatoes, peppers, carrots, berries, citrus fruits, melons, etc.

Drink plenty of water:
Staying well-hydrated is vital to the healing process. Water is responsible for moving oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. It flushes the body of waste and helps in cell repair. You should aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.

Reduce refined sugars and processed foods:
These types of foods lack nutrients and minerals and can directly affect your body’s ability to heal and remain healthy. You don’t have to eliminate them altogether, but consuming more nutrient-dense foods will be more beneficial to you. These foods include white bread, cakes, cookies, chips, etc. Consider limiting caffeine and alcohol as well. Alcohol is a toxin, which the body works hard at eliminating quickly. Anything that hinders the body’s ability to heal should be limited.

Begin consuming a nutrient-rich diet, full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, protein, and water several weeks before surgery. Doing so will give you the best chance of having a successful surgery and a quick recovery.

At North Central Surgical Center, our mission is to treat each and every one of our patients and their families as if they were our own family members. Each patient, each family, each and every time.

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