How diet can aid recovery

Post in collaboration with HCA.

If you generally pay attention to eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise, you will already be aware how much even a few days of over-indulgence can impact on how you feel.  Worse still, that sluggish feeling can set off a cycle of just not feeling like getting back on track.

If you are recovering from illness or surgery, it can be even more difficult to stay away from unhealthy snacks. However, what you eat not only has a significant impact on how quickly your wound heals, but can also have an effect on the quality of any scar tissue, how well you can fight off infection, and ultimately, how quickly you get back on your feet and back to normal.  You are what you eat has never been more true than when it applies to getting well. I craved fruit and vegetables after having my c-section!

Wounds of any kind – even small scratches – creates stress hormones as your body diverts extra resources to making new tissue at the site. Your metabolism speeds up, and some of the nutrients from what you eat go into the healing process. The most important element from your balanced diet for wound recovery is protein, so you might want to add a little extra meat to your diet when undergoing post-surgical recovery. If you are a vegetarian, good substitutions are nut butters, beans and pulses, and low-fat dairy protein, especially as dairy fats are also useful to speed up the healing process.  Although you won’t necessarily need extra carbohydrates in your diet at this time, it’s important not to limit them too far, as your body will then take energy from that valuable protein, and you won’t heal as quickly.

You might also want to take on an extra multivitamin – Vitamin C isn’t just useful when you have a cold. It helps with making collagen in the skin, which in turn will increase the strength of new tissue as you heal. Stock up on leafy green vegetables as well for extra Vitamin A; crucial for fighting off infection.

 

Kale - how diet can aid recovery

 

When undergoing major surgery, it’s a good idea to discuss diet and nutrition with your specialist beforehand. There may be adjustments you can make prior to any treatment which will improve your immediate outlook, and your doctor will also be able to suggest a diet and rehabilitation exercise regime which will give you a head start on getting back to normal.

Sometimes, that ‘getting back to normal’ is an immediate priority, and you may have elected to have private surgery. Your specialist at The Wilmslow Hospital will be pleased to discuss all aspects of your treatment and your recovery with you, including any changes to your diet or physical activity that you might need to adopt to achieve the best outcome.

As well as appealing to the senses, food is also important fuel, so start planning your meals to sit alongside your recovery plan now.

Post written in collaboration with HCA

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