06/07/2016 01:51 EDT | Updated 06/08/2017 05:12 EDT

5 Nutrition Keys To Follow After Surgery

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If you have gone through any form of surgery, have it upcoming or know someone who does getting informed on how to heal and nourish yourself after will be a huge step in helping the recovery process.

To allow your body to heal efficiently and quickly you want to make nutrition a priority as I found myself having to do not long ago.

What Happened To Me

It was completely out of the blue while being possibly at my fittest and healthiest. A rare birth defect had caused part of my large intestine to essentially start dying due to a buildup of scar tissue. If not treated it can lead to a loss of blood flow through the intestines causing them to shut down followed by the other major organs. Pain wise this felt like someone had taken a javelin and speared me right through the midsection.

I had to be rushed into surgery and before I knew it I was waking up in an operating room unable to walk or do much else for myself. The healing process would not be easy but having my background in fitness and nutrition I wanted to tackle this head on.

Making Post-Surgery Nutrition A Priority

If you've been through any major surgery you know the first few days after are no picnic. I had a laparotomy so my abdomen had been cut right through and sitting up, let alone walking, was almost impossible. I was hooked up to Iv's, catheters and oxygen for the first few days and my only source of nourishment was salted cardboard, aka hospital food.

I couldn't wait to get out so I could have real control over my diet and I focused on these 5 things to help the healing process

1.Bone Broth

The first few days you'll be lacking in appetite and you know you need to start healing. Enter in bone broth. Broth can be in soups and stews as it has some amazing healing properties. Bone broth is full of minerals such as:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Silicon
  • Sulphur
  • Trace minerals

Since it is full of minerals and gelatin extraction from the simmering bones broth can help with:

  • Healing the lining of the gut
  • Inhibit infection
  • Reduce joint pain and inflammation
  • Promote strong healthy bones

These are some pretty good things when you're looking to heal.

2. Focus On Adequate Protein Consumption

Protein does a lot of things including helping to make hormones and enzymes along with immune function but we're all aware how it is important in tissue recovery. Muscle repair and recovery is most people's main use of protein but rebuilding and repairing all tissue is of key importance for those looking to heal from surgery.

Some recomendations share that protein intake should be around 1.5 grams per kg from uncomplicated surgery and 2 grams per kg for major surgery.

3. Probiotic Rich Foods To Combat Antibiotics

You're probably very conscious about the damage antibiotics can do to the gut but at some point during medical issues infections can happen and antibiotics are administered. This was my case and I made sure to introduce a lot of gut healing probiotic foods to help rebuild my "good gut bugs" as best as possible. Besides using a probiotic supplement your best food choices will be:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir
  • Kimchee
  • Miso soup
  • Pickles

4. Eliminate Inflammatory Foods

This one is pretty simple when you're trying to heal don't kick your body when it's already down by exposing it to foods that will cause even more inflammation. This is when you want to eliminate, or drastically reduce, your intake of refined sugar and carbohydrates. You are missing out on NOTHING by not consuming them, you will help the healing process and you might just feel even better without them.

5. Keep Your Water Intake High

Water is pretty amazing stuff, it helps regulate body temperature, aids in digestion and absorption and helps with circulation among many other things. In the case of healing, it is also involved in flushing toxins out of the body. After a surgery, a lot of foreign stuff has been introduced to your body including anesthesia and pain killers. These things can be floating around in you for awhile so this is a good time to bump up your water intake and keep yourself as cleansed as possible.

Find the purest form of water you can and look to drink half your body weight in ounces of it each day.

Wrapping It Up

You can see that these are not only great tips for someone trying to heal from a major, or minor, surgery but ideally tips that all of us can follow no matter what stage our health is in.

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