Best Post-surgery Foods To Eat

Patients who have scheduled a plastic surgery procedure with Beauty Brokers often ask if there are any particular dietary restrictions associated with their procedure. Although there are no specific recommendations either before or after a cosmetic surgery, there are some foods that contribute to your sense of well-being during recovery and that can increase your comfort and speed healing!

Eat Lean Protein

Collagen, which is the most abundant protein in your body, plays an important role in knitting tissues back together. The typical recommended protein intake for a healthy adult is around 1/2 to 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight but, after any kind of surgery, the demands for protein are temporarily higher. Aim to get 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound, divided throughout the day’s meals and snacks.
Getting extra protein isn’t limited to red meat. Other lean protein sources include eggs, fish, turkey, and beans. Whey protein is a convenient way to boost your protein intake and is can easily be mixed with water (or dairy milk, juices, soy, almond, rice or cashew milk) or mixed into a smoothie.

Fermented Dairy

Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed after surgery to prevent infection. While antibiotics kill bad bacteria, they also kill the beneficial bacteria that line your digestive tract. This “good” bacteria helps digest your food and manufacture vitamins. If you are on antibiotics, you can help your digestive tract by consuming fermented dairy products like kefir and yogurt. When choosing, read labels carefully, as the sugar content and calories are higher with flavored products.


Pain medicines, anesthetics, changes to diet, dehydration, stress and reduced physical activity after surgery can work against your normal bowel habits. In addition to drinking plenty of water, eating more fiber will help keep things moving along. Prunes are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as beans, fruits, bran flakes, oatmeal and flaxseed.

Deeply Colored Fruits

The stress of surgery along with the drugs used during the procedure can generate an increased oxidative load on the body, known as free-radical production. Boost your antioxidant intake post surgery by focusing on fresh, colorful fruits like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, and pomegranates. These fruits contain anthocyanidins, which are compounds that not only enhance the effects of vitamin C, but improve capillary integrity and stabilize the collagen matrix.

Orange Fruits & Veggies

Sweet potatoes are a superb source of beta carotene or pro-vitamin A which the body converts into vitamin A as needed. Vitamin A is needed for the repair and maintenance of soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin so significantly boosting your intake (up to 10,000 IUs of vitamin A and another 15,000 IUs of beta-carotene) around the time of surgery makes sense. Unlike its distant cousin, sweet potatoes aren’t as starchy and provide almost 4 grams of fiber per serving. Just clean and slice a sweet potato into 1” half moons. Toss with a bit of olive oil, season with pepper and salt and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Other excellent sources of beta carotene include carrots, dark leafy greens like kale, cantaloupe, mango and dried apricots.

Bell Peppers & Citrus Fruit

Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing 340 mg per medium pepper. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that helps cross-link collagen, which is the most abundant protein in the body. If you’ve had an incision, this is crucial to proper wound healing. Because stress depletes vitamin C stores, getting extra after surgery is recommended. Other excellent sources of vitamin C include guava, kale, citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, and broccoli.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Having a powerful immune system helps your body to ward off infection after surgery. Vegetables that contain indoles (phytonutrients that boost immune health), include Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. If you have negative childhood memories of these veggies, try roasting Brussels sprouts or cauliflower and use mashed cauliflower in place of potatoes for a perfect post-surgery food that is both low carb and nutritious.

Fungi – Mushrooms

Mushrooms also support a healthy immune system. A recent study showed reductions in inflammatory proteins in participants that consumed a 4 oz serving of Shiitake mushrooms every day. Other immune boosting mushrooms include Maitakes and Reishi. Mushrooms are delicious stir fried or grilled, as well as in soups.

Nuts & Seeds

Pumpkin, squash and sesame seeds are an excellent source of zinc, which is necessary for proper immune system function. Your body requires zinc to develop and activate cells involved in immunity. Zinc is also important to wound healing.

Pineapple & Papaya

Pineapple and papaya contain protease enzymes that the body uses to break down and digest proteins. These enzymes also reduce swelling and inflammation.
Next time you head out to the grocery store, be sure to put these foods on your grocery list so that you can heal as quickly as possible after cosmetic plastic surgery here in Albuquerque. If you stock up in advance and prepare your meals and snacks ahead of time, you can enjoy them during recovery.

To your health and beauty,

Frida Rivera