When recovering from an operation, and even before surgery, it is important to build-up your resistance so as to limit your chances of falling prey to any post-operative viruses or indeed having a slow recovery in general. So here is our guide to what you should be eating to facilitate both a pre-and post-operative optimum health strategy:
- Vitamin C - an important immune booster, it improves our resistance to infection. Can be found in plentiful supply in citrus fruits, red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, and green leafy vegetables.
- Zinc - found in shellfish, wheatgerm, nuts and seeds
- Iron - Where anaemia is a problem or a lot of blood has been lost, boosting levels of iron is important to aid post-operative recovery. Found naturally in liver, red meat, beans, chickpeas, spinach and eggs.
- Vitamin E - a skin vitamin also implicated in keeping the heart healthy, so would be advisable after any heart surgery. Found in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and wholegrains.
- Betacarotene - found in red and orange fruits and vegetables, dark green vegetables.
- Probiotics - after an operation, the state of your bowels is normally disrupted - especially if you then have to take antibiotics. Ensure correct bacterial function, by taking probiotics such as Acidophilous found in "live" natural yoghurt, which quickly restores bowel ecology.
- Selenium - this is a powerful antioxidant nutrient found naturally in nuts especially Brazil Nuts. Just 4 nuts a day provides the RDA of 200mcg
- Bromelain - this is a stomach enzyme that aids natural healing. It is found naturally in Pineapples, but can also be taken in natural form as a Bromelain supplement
- Arnica - an important herb for healing post-operative wounds and reducing swelling and bruising. It should be taken daily for a week prior to an operation and two weeks post-operation
- Echinacea - the immune boosting herb, this naturally improves the body's resistance to infection. Echinacea encourages the growth of white blood cells, which are instrumental in fighting-off bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
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