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What to Eat During Your Recovery After Surgery

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Updated June 30, 2014

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What to Eat After Surgery
apples in a row

Fresh Fruit For Good Nutrition

Image: © American Images Inc/Getty Images

If you have had surgery, the food you eat can make a great impact on your recovery and on how quickly your wound heals. Eating the right foods can prevent complications, such as constipation, and provide the necessary building blocks your skin needs to heal quickly.

One of the best things you can do to improve your nutritional status when you are recovering from surgery, is to focus on whole foods. That means to choose foods that are “whole” or unprocessed. For example, an orange would be a whole food. Orange juice, though, would be a more processed version. A baked potato would be a whole food, while a French fry would be more processed and less healthy, having been fried. Aim to obtain most of your nutrition from whole foods, which is actually a healthy way to eat every day, not just the weeks following surgery.

Processed foods tend to have much higher amounts of fat, sugar, salt and chemical additives, but far less fiber and vitamins than their whole food counterparts. One easy way to stick to more nutritious, less processed foods is to focus on the outside aisles of the grocery store. Most grocery stores are set up with unprocessed foods on the outermost areas of the store in the produce, butcher/fish, dairy and bread areas. By doing the majority of your shopping in those areas, you will naturally choose healthier foods.

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