After surgery you can expect to experience swelling, bruising, inflammation, constipation and even nausea. Antibiotics can cause digestive upset and pain medication can cause constipation. Eating specific foods can help reduce this discomfort. You might not feel like eating, but it’s critical for proper healing and recovery to continue feeding your body with nutrients. Also, fueling your body properly can provide you with energy to help get you back to your regular routine more quickly.

1. Lean Protein

Protein is essential to wound healing, so try to get plenty of foods like eggs, fish, turkey, beans and legumes. If eating a lean protein is challenging for you, you could consider a high-quality whey protein drink instead. It can offer a more desirable taste and convenient way to boost your protein intake. Whey protein can be mixed with water, almond, rice, coconut or cashew milk or incorporated into a smoothie.

2. Vitamin C

In order to make connective tissue in the body, it requires a great deal of vitamin C. Vitamin C has also been shown in studies to speed the healing process of surgical wounds. Stress can negatively impact your vitamin C levels in your body so getting extra vitamin C can help you maintain your levels for optimal healing. Great food sources include: guava, citrus fruit, kiwifruit, bell peppers, kale, and broccoli.

3. Antioxidants

Your body can experience a high degree of stress preparing for surgery, undergoing the procedure/s and during post-surgery. During these processes along with the drugs used during the surgery can increase free-radical production. Your body can use antioxidants to help reduce or remove these harmful molecules. Fruits that are high in antioxidants include: blueberries, raspberries, cherries, blackberries, pomegranates and strawberries.

4. Probiotics and Fiber

Help your digestive tract keep moving along and boost your immune system with incorporating probiotics and fiber into your diet. Food is typically the best source to get your nutrients from, but you may need to look for supplementation to help. Don’t forget to drink ample water with your fiber intake.

Fruits with high fiber include: raspberries, prunes, apples (you need to eat the peel), bananas and strawberries.

Vegetables with high fiber include: artichokes, carrots, beets, broccoli and sweet potatoes.

Whole grains and cereals with high fiber include: bran flakes, oatmeal and flaxseed meal.

Yogurt can be a good source as a probiotic but it’s hard to get the recommended amount from yogurt alone. Typically, supplementation is recommended and discuss this with your medical or dental professional on the brands they would recommend, strains and dosage.

5. Wheat Germ Oil

To help with the healing process of incisions received during surgery you can use wheat germ oil. To apply: carefully puncture the wheat germ oil capsule and squeeze the oil directly to the scar area.

6. Natural, Organic, Free Range, No Hormones Added

Look for these labels when purchasing your lean proteins, yogurt, grains, fruits and vegetables.


Always consult your doctor about your nutrition needs.


10 Best Healing Foods to Eat After Surgery. Yvette La-Garde
Five Steps to Speed Recovery from Surgery. Dr. David Williams
The Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin C. Daisy Whitbread, MScN