Post-Surgery Dietary Indications

Healing adequately after surgery requires an uplifted state of mind, moderate exercise to regain
movement as quickly as possible, and, to make the process not only faster, but much better as well, a
balanced diet that not only contains a variety of nutrients, but that also stresses certain vitamins and
minerals that aid in the recovery process and are usually depleted during surgery.

There are three nutrients that should guide you in choosing your post-surgery meals: vitamin C, vitamin
A, and Zinc.

Vitamin C

Found in concentrated amounts in red and green bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, and in most fruits,
such as oranges, pineapples, berries, melon and papaya, vitamin C is used in the body to heal wounds
and form collagen that builds bones, cartilage and other soft tissues. Its levels lessen considerably
during surgery, as it is responsible for the immunity response in the body, and its consumption should
be stressed until the body’s levels are completely restored. It will improve your immunity, and will aid
in the prompt regeneration of the collagen necessary to heal the skin where the surgery took place. Its
recommended serving is of a daily serving of the vitamin C containing food.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is closely associated to the health of skin and the generation of new cells, and therefore is an
important nutrient after surgery, so as to heal areas of muscle and lining around organs that have been
affected during surgery. Vitamin A is found in leafy greens such as kale and spinach, in carrots, sweet
potatoes, broccoli and bell peppers, and its recommended serving is of half a serving of the vitamin A
containing food a day.


Zinc is a mineral that can speed healing time and boost immune function after surgery. Patients who are
deficient in zinc at the time of surgery can take up to double the amount of time to heal, so therefore
it is wise to consume foods containing Zinc before and after the surgery to speed the recovery process.
Zinc is found largely in beans, nuts and legumes.

All of these nutrients are best taken in their natural state, in the form of fruits, vegetables, legumes,
nuts and seeds. A diet promoting these foods will inevitably lead to a much faster recovery, and a good
layout to great health.

In brief, certain foods contain vitamins and minerals that are especially beneficial towards repairing
tissue and promoting cellular growth, while a balanced diet containing a variety of fruits and vegetables
can lessen the chances of developing an infection while healing. The vitamins that should be important
in guiding your choices should be vitamin C, vitamin A, and Zinc.


Fox, Rachel 2010, Foods that help the body heal after surgery, Livestrong, viewed 8 April 2013, <http://

Webber, Leah 2011, How to heal after surgery with vitamins & minerals, Livestrong, viewed 8 April 2013,

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