Nutrition after surgery: how to fuel your recovery

Every year, thousands of Canadians undergo surgery. And the process, including the effects of anesthesia, can take a toll on your body in many ways says registered dietitian Lori Halton. Some of the general side effects of surgery are constipation, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. To combat constipation, get plenty of fluids and reach for fibre rich foods, like fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Halton says adding protein to every meal and snack with things like meat, eggs and beans, will help heal wounds, build energy and keep you immune system strong. For nausea and vomiting, Halton recommends bland foods and small frequent meals instead of three big ones. Peppermint and ginger in forms of candies and teas may also help alleviate symptoms. Depending on what type of surgery you’ve had, your doctor may recommend easing back to eating progressively, starting with clear fluids and moving back towards your regular diet over time. People who don’t have an appetite or their appetite has been reduced for a while, a dietitian may suggest a nutritional supplement such as Boost or Ensure that would have the protein and calories that would help alleviate fatigue and help the body with healing and give you energy. Eating well can also contribute to the healing process after surgery. Choose whole grains, lean meat and fish such as salmon for omega threes and oils, and avocado. Choosing healthy whole foods, and less sugar, alcohol and processed foods is key says Halton. But if you’re really craving some comfort foods, a pot of chicken soup is also a safe bet. With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.

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8 thoughts on “Nutrition after surgery: how to fuel your recovery

  1. Yeah, that stuff's gross. I used to work in an elder care facility and tried it once. If I was really old, I'd request raw organic smoothies and whey protein shakes.

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