We all have unfortunate accidents from time to time! (I’ve had my fair share!) We have all needed to seek medical assistance to stitch thins back together again at times.

Our body’s are miraculous self-healing machines but there are times when we need medical intervention. We need a surgeon rather than a nutritionist or a green smoothie!

The body is designed to heal and it will do so more efficiently and effectively given the right food, hydration levels and environment.

If your surgery is planned then the following tips will help you prepare for surgery:

Good nutrition will help get your body ready for surgery, heal better after surgery, and fight infection. Eating enough protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will all help speed your recovery. Eat foods that will help your body heal. Good choices could include:

Protein Rich Foods:
  • 80-120g fish or poultry per serve (especially those rich in Omega 3 like salmon, mackerel, sardines etc), 30g nuts per serve and 100g red meat per serve. Try a little goat/sheep cheese/yoghurt (40g is enough per serve) as an interim way to increase protein if it works for you. Proteins are the body’s building blocks so they are super important to support the body’s natural repair work.
Antioxidants rich foods
  • Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables will help your body get rid of waste products and medication residues. Think mostly leafy green veggies (packed with vitamins, C, K and magnesium) with some white, orange, yellow and red ones if you can tolerate them. Fruits – 2 or 3 pieces a day with berries being a good choice followed by old-fashioned apple varieties (lower in sugars) and melons.
Healthy fats
  • Fats are essential for the body to operate effectively! They give your body energy, support cell growth, help keep cholesterol and blood pressure under control, protect your vital organs and helps your body absorb fat soluble nutrients from your food. Unprocessed coconut oil and grass-fed ghee are the best cooking oils as they have low smoke points.  Flaxseed oil or olive oil are great oils to use over salads etc but never heat them or you’ll destroy them. If you focus on cutting out fats from your diet you can be depriving your body of what it needs most! Remove bad fats in fast, processed and baked foods like pizzas, cookies etc and avoid dairy fats, really fatty meats and hydrogenated vegetable oils that can raise your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Keep the good fats found in healthy oils, oil fish, nuts and seeds in. You need the good fats to raise the HDL (good cholesterol) so that it can pick up excess LDL in the blood and move it to the liver to be broken down and excreted. 
Don’t skip meals or try dieting
  • Don’t skip meals or try dieting in the lead-up to surgery.  Lack of food will slow down the body’s healing mechanism as it tries to protect itself from impending starvation due to lack of nutrients – that’s how the body perceives dieting!
Good Hydration
  • Drink at least 2 litres of filtered water a day to stay well hydrated. Water will help your body flush out any existing toxins before surgery. Increase the amount slightly in the 3 days leading up to surgery. 
Additional Dietary Tips
  • Avoid sugars and artificial sweeteners as they increase infection risks – some studies say they double the risks!
  • Choose whole nutrient rich foods that are full of nature’s goodness – avoid boxed foods or anything with a nutritional label! 
Keep a Positive Outlook
  • Use Mind Power techniques to visualise the procedure being a huge success with optimal outcomes for you. Affirm over and over that your body is a miraculous self-healing mechanism. Whatever you feed your subconscious mind with over and over again will become reality for you. Think only positive thoughts about the surgery to improve your chances of a successful outcome and a faster recovery.
Be well rested
  • Get plenty of quality sleep before you go in for surgery as a well rested body means a well-rested nervous system that can help speed up recovery.
Avoid Stress
  • Avoid stress where possible as a depleted adrenal system will slow recovery. Not always easy to do but possible with pre-planning and determination to succeed. We are often our worst enemies when it comes to creating stress so plan to enlist helpers, pay for things to be done and whatever it takes to avoid arriving on the surgery ward worn out! 

Nutrition post-surgery: 

Increase fibre and water consumption
  • Increase fibre and water consumption to help maintain hydration levels and normal bowel movements. Think water rich fruits and vegetables and fibrous green veggies to keep things moving. Any medications with codeine will tend to constipate people so avoid them if possible as straining to pass motions will be painful with abdominal surgery.
Vitamin C
  • Get plenty of vitamin C from citrus fruits, red capsicums, berries, and green veggies as Vitamin C will help heal wounds.
Healthy Fats
  • Keep up the healthy fat intake as they provide the ultimate healing environment for cells as they reduce inflammation and help with cellular repairing and rebuilding. Healthy fats in the diet help wounds heal without scarring as the fat creates regenerated skin rather than scar tissue.
Good Quality Protein
  • Protein is vital for repairing and healing after surgery as our body uses protein as its building blocks. Increase your quantities for 3 months post surgery. Red meat, poultry, fish and spinach provide iron which is necessary for making new blood cells which is needed for healing wounds.
Try Eating Smaller Meals
  • Eat smaller meals more often if you’re not that hungry but keep meals balanced with protein, healthy fats, fibre and always think fresh, organic, unprocessed and local wherever possible as these will provide more nutrients without nasty chemicals.
Keep Up the Positive Outlook
  • Continue Mind Power techniques to support the body’s innate healing mechanisms and practice gratitude that you are improving each day. Use Mind Power as a pain-relief tool instead of taking pain-killers (unless you feel they are absolutely essential) and visualise the pain evaporating as your body deals with it. Your body can produce effective pain killers so encourage it to create its own. Affirm over and over that ‘My body has the blueprint to be healthy and well.’
Plenty of Sleep
  • Get plenty of sleep  – being well rested also boosts the body’s ability to recover from surgery so keep working on increasing the quantity and quality of your sleep.
Vitamin E
  • As the wound heals a little vitamin E oil gently rubbed onto the skin can help keep skin supple and flexible.
Additional Supplements
  • If you feel your body needs any nutritional boosts you can look into taking micronutrients. Zinc, vitamins C and E, and B12 are super important in the wound healing process. Always be sure to check with your medical provider before taking anything as some vitamins and supplements can react adversely with any medications that you may be on. Always buy the best quality supplements that you can afford if you are going to take them as this lowers the risk of taking unwanted ‘fillers’ etc that can contain all kinds of things you wouldn’t normally touch, and always only take the recommended daily dosage. Collagen helps stimulate internal collagen production to support tissue repair. Glutamine supports the immune system and promotes new tissue growth.

Happy Healing for a speedy recovery and remember that a well nourished balanced body can help you prevent planned surgery.