Foods that promote healing after surgery in a heart-shaped bowl with a stethoscope.

Foods That Promote Healing After Surgery


Surgery is a difficult topic for many senior citizens to discuss with family members, their doctors, or themselves. Realizing that surgery is needed is a scary thought process and worrying about the recovery process can be stressful for many seniors. The post surgery recovery process can be extremely difficult as you or a loved one is healing. Of course, rest is needed for a speedy recovery after a surgical procedure. But did you know that there are foods that you can eat to encourage your healing process?  What are some of the natural elements in foods that can boost healing after surgery? 

  1. Antioxidants
  2. Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants may help reduce the risk of many diseases. Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against any atom, molecule, or ion which may cause serious diseases, such as, certain cancer, or heart disease. So, what does antioxidant food look like? Here are a few foods rich in antioxidants: 

    1. Fruits: Oranges, Strawberries, Kiwi, Mango, and Apricots
    2. Dark Green Vegetables: Spinach, Broccoli, and Kale
    3. Nuts: Walnuts, Pecans, Chestnuts, Pistachios, and Peanuts

  3. Calcium
  4. Bones are not the only things that benefit from calcium-rich foods. Your heart, muscles, and nerves also need calcium to function properly. Foods that are enriched with calcium are: 

    1. Dairy: Cheese, Yogurt, and Milk
    2. Meats: Sardines, Eggs, and Tofu
    3. Nuts: Almonds, Roasted Peanuts, and Soya Bean Drink
    4. Fruits: Dried Figs, Dried Apricot, and Raisins
    5. Vegetables Cooked: Broccoli, Spinach, and Green Peas

  5. Carbohydrates
  6. Carbohydrates give you energy! There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates can be found in high sugar-based foods, such as desserts, and anything containing white sugar. Complex carbohydrates are the healthier choice and your body benefits most from the complex carbohydrates due to these being digested slower than simplex carbohydrates and they release energy more steadily. Eating foods that are rich in carbohydrates help your brain, central nervous system, heart muscles, and kidneys. Foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates are:

    1. Grains: Brown Rice, Whole Wheat Bread, and Oats
    2. Fruit: Raspberries, Plantains, and Bananas
    3. Vegetables: Green Peas, Pumpkin, Carrots, and Broccoli

  7. Fiber
  8. Fiber promotes a healthy gut and helps regulate the movement in your intestines. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest as it cannot be broken down into energy use. It is important to eat fiber enriched foods to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and constipation. Foods that are rich in fiber are: 

    1. Grains: Whole-wheat Spaghetti, Whole-wheat Bread, Barley, and Rye Bread
    2. Fruits: Raspberries, Oranges, Pear (with skin), Apples (with skin), and Dried Figs
    3. Vegetables: Green Peas, Turnip Greens, Artichoke, Brussel Sprouts, Corn, and Carrots
    4. Nuts: Pecans, Pistachios, and Almonds

  9. Iron
  10. Iron is a very important mineral that is needed as it helps transport oxygen throughout your body, and it is used to make some hormones. Oxygen is used within the cells in our body, these cells travel to every organ in our body and help it function properly. These foods are rich in iron: 

    1. Meats: Chicken, Liver, Veal, and Pork
    2. Seafood: Shrimp, Oysters, Clams, and Fish (Tuna, Cod, and Sardines)
    3. Nuts: Hazelnuts, Cashews, Almonds, and Peanuts
    4. Vegetables: Broccoli, Asparagus, Kale, Brussel Sprouts, and Spinach
    5. Fruits: Dates, Prunes, Figs, Apricots, and Apples

  11. Magnesium
  12. Magnesium is an important mineral that helps activate certain enzymes that are crucial to the repair of injured tissues, regulating blood pressure, and supporting your immune system. Foods that are rich in magnesium are: 

    1. Beans: Lima Beans, Black Beans, and Natto
    2. Nuts: Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, and Pumpkin Seeds
    3. Seafood: Oysters, Trout, Seaweed, Mussels, and Clams
    4. Vegetables: Avocado, Beet Greens, Swiss Chard, Okra, and Spinach

  13. Potassium
  14. Potassium contributes to many different things when it comes to your health. It helps regulate fluid balance, reduce blood pressure, protect against a stroke and kidney stones while being an important part of your bone and digestive health. Eating foods high in potassium will benefit you in many ways. Foods that are high in potassium are: 

    1. Fruits: Bananas, Cantaloupe, Kiwi, Mango, Honeydew, Peaches, Papaya, and Pomegranate
    2. Vegetables: Artichokes, Avocados, Beets, Mushrooms, Okra, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, and Tomatoes
    3. Meats: Pork, Beef, and Chicken

  15. Protein
  16. Eating foods that are rich in protein will help with muscle development, improve your immune system, help with bone metabolism, and carry oxygen throughout your body. Eating foods high in protein has many benefits, aside from a protein shake, what food can you eat that is high in protein?  

    1. Meats: Beef, Chicken, Turkey, and Eggs
    2. Dairy: Cottage Cheese, Ricotta Cheese, and Yogurt
    3. Nuts: Pine Nuts, Peanuts, Cashews, and Almonds
    4. Fish: Cod, Halibut, Salmon, Tilapia, and Shrimp

  17. Water
  18. Drinking water is not just for quenching your thirst. Water is a natural way to flush out impurities, improve circulation and blood flow in your body.  Water will also aid in the transport of cell-repairing nutrients to any part of the body that needs to recover. Not a huge fan of water? No worries! There are many things that you can do to take water from ordinary to extraordinary! You can add fruits, herbs, and vegetables to give you added nutrients, and taste. 

    1. Fruits: Cantaloupe, Kiwi, Mango, Honeydew, Peaches, Papaya, Apricots, Apples, Raspberries, Oranges, Pears, Blueberries, Pomegranate, Lemon, and Lime
    2. Herbs: Thyme, Mint, Basil, and Rosemary
    3. Vegetables: Cucumber, and Ginger Root

    Post-surgery is all about recovering, resting, and watching what you eat as well as avoiding certain foods that could hinder your recovery process. Be sure to stay away from fried foods, sweets, alcohol, cheese, and highly processed foods. Please consult with your physician to ensure that you are following the post-surgery meal plan that is right for you. 

      At Culpepper Place of Olive Branch, we believe in promoting a healthy lifestyle for the residents of our Community. Please contact Culpepper Place of Olive Branch today to find out more!

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