What’s The Best Nutrition Before and After Surgery? | Advanced Orthopaedic Specialists | Fayetteville, AR | Rogers, AR
Advanced Orthopaedic Specialists

November 18, 2019

| Natalie Jobe, APRN

What’s The Best Nutrition Before and After Surgery?

A healthy and well-balanced diet is essential not only for everyday living but also in preparing and recovery from surgery. Having a well-balanced diet before and after surgery helps you to have a speedier recovery and decreases your chances of infection and wound healing difficulties. Some essential nutrients to have in your pre and post-surgical diets include; fiber, protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals and proper hydration.


A common complaint post-surgery is constipation. This is caused by immobility and pain medication. To help alleviate this issue it is important to consume high-fiber foods before and after surgery. Foods high in fiber include fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and oatmeal. Avoid processed foods, cheese, and dairy products. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water post-operatively will help alleviate this as well.


Protein is essential for energy to help you recover and heal from your surgery. Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, pork and seafood are all excellent protein sources post-surgery. These protein sources have amino acids that are vital for adequate wound healing and tissue regeneration.


Post-surgery many patients experience fatigue from the procedure. This can be counteracted with helping carbohydrates to boost your energy. Good sources of healthy carbohydrates are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes. Avoid processed bread and sweets.


Healthy fats can improve your body’s immune response and speed up healing and decrease your risk of infection. Healthy fats are found in olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential to a healthy and quick recovery after surgery. Vitamin A and C are important for wound healing. You can find these in oranges, berries, potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, melons, kale, spinach, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Vitamin D is essential for bone health and can be found in milk, fish, eggs, and fortified cereals. Zinc and Iron are both important for wound healing and energy post-surgery. Zinc can be found in meat, seafood, dairy, and beans. Iron is found in meat and poultry, apricots, beans, eggs, and whole grains.


Staying hydrated after surgery is important for your recovery as well. You can stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day after surgery. Adequate hydration helps prevent constipation and helps aid in the absorption of medications and vitamins/minerals needed for recovery.

If you have an operation planned with us at Advanced Orthopaedic Specialists, you can always call with questions. We’re available to answer any of your pre- and post-op questions. We also offer surgery protocols here on our website.