What To Eat After Surgery

What To Eat After Surgery

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In this article we will explain you what to eat after surgery. As we all know, eating healthy is important to keep our body moving everyday and to gain immunity, but when it comes to post surgery time, it’s important more then ever. Through this post we will guide you what you should eat, what kind of foods and nutrients and which food to avoid.

If you are considering surgery, you may have scheduled it, or you already had it, it’s important to know more about diet so you can speed up recovery.

If you need some informations about orthopedic surgeries, visit our Orthopedic Surgery Category where you can find a lot of useful informations.

Most Important Foods To Eat After Surgery

Eating the right foods after surgery is neccesary in order to provide your body with the energy and nutritions it needs to speed up recovery, increase strength and energy and fight against infections. Also, you will find those foods very delicious so don’t worry about the taste.


berries after surgery

Berries are full of antioxidans which help body to repair damage made by your injury and surgical operation.
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Blackberries
  • Pomegranates
  • Blueberries

Instead of antioxidans, berries are great source of Vitamin C which is helping your wound to heal quicker.


eat after surgery vegetables

As always, vegetables are a “must eat” when it comes to diet after surgery. They are full of vitamins and minerals.
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel sprouts

Whenever you can, add these to your meal. Also, if you are able, prefer sweet potatos more then potatos. Vegetables are going to give your body carbohydrates, Vitamins A and C and fiber.

Dark Leafy Greens

dark leafy greens

To give your body great source of vitamins A, C, E and K it’s important to eat leafy greens. It may not be as delicious as fruits but remember that your body needs those vitamins to heal.
  • Spinach (remember Popay)
  • Kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Mustard greens
  • Romaine lettuce

Dark Leafy Greens are full of fiber, calcium, magnesium and iron.


eggs healthy food surgery

One medium egg (boiled) contains: 84 calories, 8.3g protein, 5.7g fat, 1.6g sat fat.

The best thing with eggs is that you can add them to almost any meal, also, eggs are very easy to prepare and serve. It’s a 5-10 minute work. Eggs are also full with calcium, zinc, iron, riboflavin, folic acid, B xomplex vitamins, vitamins A, E and K.


healthy fats

Healthy fats help your body to absorb all the vitamins you are getting from fruit and vegetables. Fat will strengthen your immune system and reduce chance of infection after surgery.
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

For instance, you can eat seeds while you are resting and watching a movie with your family and friends. Trust me, you won’t be able to stop once you start eating them.


healthy meat

Your body needs proteins in order to heal, proteins will recovery your muscles since they contain amino-acids which are crucial for repairing muscle damage made by surgery.
  • Seafood
  • Poltry


brightly colored fruits

Brightly colored fruits are very important because they contain vitamin A, C, carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants. So, who does not like fruits? Making a fruit salad is a great way to get all the vitamins you need in one meal.
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Lemon
  • Peaches
  • Grapefruit
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Melon


Probiotics are healthy bacteria that will help your body to digest food and improve your mental balance.

  • Yoghurt
  • Kefir

Since you were probably using some pain medicine, don’t forget to intake probiotics because they will help balancing your system again. Pain medicine is not healthy for our body.

Why Do I Need So Many Nutrients?

You need so many nutrients because your body has been weakened and needs to heal. Also, speak with your doctor so he can help you make your diet plan. Even when your recovery period finishes, try to implement most of these in your daily eating. Here we will write you things you need to know about every kind of nutrient your body needs:

  • Antioxidants – helping body to repair and protect
  • Carbohydrates – providing body and brain with energy
  • Calcium – strengthening your teeths and bones, also calcium is found in blood, lymph and body fluids, where it is essential for cell membrane permeability, blood clotting, nerve-mediated transmission, muscle contraction, and the like.
  • Fiber – The fibers help regulate the level of blood sugar and protect the blood vessels.
  • Iron – Iron is a key element of hemoglobin, a protein that transmits oxygen to the blood, and without enough iron does not create new red blood cells.
  • Magnesium – magnesium can relieve sore muscles and promote better sleep quality.
  • Potassium – it is necessary for normal functioning of the cardiovascular system and kidneys, transmission of nerve impulses, bone and teeth strength, muscle work, water balance, carbohydrate and protein metabolism
  • Protein – The main source of substance for building muscle, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs, including the heart and brain.
  • Vitamins A,B,C and K – they will help your body build up new bones, tissue, skin, create red blood cells, keep brain healthy, repairing tendons, healing incision and repairs inside the body and clotting.

What Not To Eat After Surgery?

foods to avoid after surgery

While some foods help your body recover after orthopedic surgery, their positive effects can be canceled out by other foods. Make sure to avoid caffeine, alcohol, excessive sugar, and salt as they can all slow bone healing by depleting your body of nutrients.

Also, avoid foods that causes constipation. Constipation can increase your pain level and can place additional stress on your incision, so it is important to avoid whenever possible. Try to avoid those foods: Fast food, Pizzas, Red Meat, Proccessed Food, Sweets, Cheese, Milk.

Unless advised otherwise by your physician, try to get your nutrients from food rather than supplements because food helps the body absorb them better.

Importance Of Water After Surgery

importance of water

Human body is 60% made of water. Water is the most important because all the cells and organs need water to work properly. There is no universally agreed quantity you should drink daily, but drink at least 1l of water everyday. After the surgery, as we said before, your body is weakened and needs a lot of things to repair. Let water be your first choice instead of soda and other beverages.

Benefits of water:

  • lubricates the joints
  • forms saliva and mucus
  • delivers oxygen throughout the body
  • boosts skin health and beauty
  • cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues
  • regulates body temperature
  • The digestive system depends on it
  • flushes body waste
  • helps maintain blood pressure
  • makes minerals and nutrients accessible
  • prevents kidney damage

Making Shakes Is Healthy

shakes after surgery

Fruit and Vegetable shakes can help your recovery from surgery very much. Also, it is really easy and quick to make them. You just need a good blender and few kinds of fruits and vegetables and here you are: having a great shake/smoothie which will improve your body health. Smoothies are well know for healing after surgery.

When you will be making your smoothie, try to implement fruits and vegetables that we mentioned before. If you don’t have idea how to make a smoothie, click below and find some great healthy smoothie recipes.

Super Healthy Smoothie Recipes

It is important for you to have a quality blender that will dissipate the food to make it easier for your body to digest it.

Feel Free To Share, Like and Comment Our Post. Just underneath you have social share icons so others can see these healthy foods also. If you have any questions about what to eat after surgery or anything else about recovering from surgeries, feel free to ask us on comment or reach us at e-mail: petar@recoveryfromsurgery.com



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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Alisterbrede

    Hi, yes I think it is an excellent idea to provide sensible dietary tips for those recovering from surgical procedures. Hospital food is not always the best and most Doctors spend very little time studying nutrition during their training. Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine succinctly stated “Let Food Be Thy Medicine”, and I have made this a cornerstone in my long career as a health care professional. It’s really important to embrace a healthy eating program after an operation which in and of itself is super stressful.  You want lots of anti-oxidants because these lessen inflammation of which there will be a lot post surgery. This will as you so rightly state speed up the healing process. Fruit and vegetables are an excellent source of anti-oxidants. If you could choose organic produce so much the better. Conventionally grown fruit and vegetables are liberally sprayed with pesticides and artificial fertilisers which are toxic when eaten. This means it’s essential to wash and soak produce carefully but that is not always enough. Organically grown foods are always the best. I know they are more expensive but can you put a price of health? I would disagree though on supplements. I think post surgery is an optimum time to boost nutritional needs with vitamins and minerals in pill form. Thank you for your excellent advice. I shall certainly return to see more in the future. Oh, I am so glad you advocate smoothies. They are so much better than juices as they contain fibre which is essential for good bowel health.  Dr. Alister

    1. Petar Dz.

      Thank you for your comment Dr. Alister,

      I think we all know that hospital food is pretty bad actually. Food was always one of the most important things when it comes to medicine I think. My girlfriend have problems with Thyroid and she went to a private doctor, doctor gave her some pills, but mostly, she had to make changes in her diet.. And results are much better now.. So, food is really important. I can understand that you disagree with me, but what I wanted to say is that it’s better to intake some nutrients with food rather than with pills. However, it’s hard, almost impossible to intake all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.. So yes, taking some supplements is not a bad option. I just wanted to direct people in the way of healthy eating, not of taking supplements.

      Thank you again, 



  2. Robert J Warneck

    Thank you for these great tips of foods to eat after surgery.  They also sound like a great daily diet to have all the time.  Is red meat something that should be avoided all together?  Is there a time when it is okay to eat red meat again?  Filet is my weakness, but I only have them about every two months or so.  My favorite nuts pistachios and once I start I can’t stop, so I know what you mean.  Do you have any suggestions on what recipes are best for smoothies?  Which is better for you, fruit or veggie smoothies?

    Thank you again for this detailed and informative article.


    1. Petar Dz.

      Hi mr. Robert thanks for your comment,

      You don’t have to avoid red meat at all, we just wrote what is the best, however, maybe reduce intake of red meat for a while, but you don’t need to avoid it since a read meat has it’s healthy nutrients also.. For me personally, fruit smoothies are more delicious.. so, for the best experience it would be great to mix smoothie from fruit/vegetables combination.. For instance, you could try THIS ONE

      If you need anything else, feel free to reach us and we will be pleased to answer you 🙂



  3. Wayne

    HI, Petar.  Thanks for sharing special this information.  I can relate to eating properly after surgery because I had quadruple heart surgery 3 years ago and this is the same advice that I received while taking a post heart surgery program a couple of weeks after I had it.

    My wife and I got married 24 years ago and since then I have been eating way better than before we met.  The way I was eating before probably contributed to the heart attack I had which was minor.  However, there were serious problems so they kept me in and I got the surgery faster.

    I ramble.   Healthy eating in my early years could, and probably would have helped me avoid these issues.

    Post surgery nutrition was very important while in the hospital.  I was encouraged to eat as much of the protein as possible as this would help in the healing process.  What they didn’t tell me was that the food was going to taste different and My appetite might not be that great.  Both were true.

    Constipation was also a factor.  It was a couple of days before anything moved in spite of the fact that I was drinking enough water (and eating my veggies). I think it may have been the painkillers they were giving me that caused the problem.

    As I said earlier, my wife and I eat very healthily and we incorporate many of the foods you mention here, Smoothies are amazing as well.  I have them at least 3-4 mornings a week with an added scoop of veggie protein.

    Thanks again for this info.  Healthy living is essential for a speedy recovery from surgery.  I’m glad I had a program to go to to learn about this and a wife who knows and wants to eat healthy as well.


    1. Petar Dz.

      Hi Mr. Wayne, 

      thank you for such a honest comment. Yes diet is much more important than people usually think. Also, as you said, when we are young, we think that we can eat whatever we want, but, situation is not like that. Everything that we do when we are young, affect our lives.. will that be positive or negative, it’s up to us. 

      Thank you again and wish You luck with your health 🙂 Keep going healthy way.



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