5 Important Nutrients Post Surgery
Let’s face it. No one wants surgery. Going under the knife can be scary, not to mention risky.
But sometimes you can’t avoid it. And thankfully, you can reduce discomfort and healing time. The best place to start? Including these five nutrients in your diet to shorten your recovery time and feel better faster…
1. Vitamin C: You probably already know vitamin C is a necessary antioxidant. It’s important in healing because it helps you make connective tissue, or collagen. Vitamin C is also a good immune booster and helps fight infections and bacteria. It even wards off staph infections—a common and serious complication of hospital stays. Citrus fruits, sweet peppers, and Brussels sprouts are good sources of vitamin C.
2. Vitamin A: Not only is vitamin A good for eyesight, it also fixes wounds. And although you don’t want chronic inflammation, you need a temporary inflammation response to heal tissues. It’s how your body brings blood and nutrients to the damaged area that needs patching up. Vitamin A encourages inflammation. To get your vitamin A, eat sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and carrots.
3. Zinc: Zinc reduces healing time. It also makes some of the enzymes your body needs to repair injuries. Zinc helps decrease wound size, makes protein, and boosts your immune system to fight off infections. Deficiencies are pretty common so make sure you’re taking it before and after your surgery. You’ll find the highest doses of zinc in seafood, beef, spinach, and pumpkin.
4. Bromelain: This plant enzyme in pineapple helps with swelling and repairs tissue damage. Bromelain is like NSAIDs without the liver damage and other scary side effects. It reduces bruising and tenderness. Surgery patients who take bromelain need less pain medication than those not taking the enzyme.
5. Honey: We don’t usually recommend sugars. Honey is unique though. It can remove damaged tissues, speed up the healing process, and reduce scarring. It even prevents infections. It’s important that you get the right kind. Leave the “Grade A” stuff on the grocery store shelf. It’s practically high fructose corn syrup. The most powerful honey you can buy is manuka honey from New Zealand. Manuka honey is so effective at killing bacteria it’s medicinal grade. We recommend eating it over a topical application.
Honey should be used sparingly. But the first four nutrients should be a regular part of your diet anyway. If you’re already including them, you’ll have an advantage if an emergency surgery situation occurs.
But before you do anything, consult with your doctor. You may need to stop taking certain supplements as much as 1-2 weeks before surgery. And some may interact with medications.