01 Feb Recovering From Surgery
2 years ago Ben my husband had operation on both his hips and pelvis, so he was bed ridden for some time and getting him back up on his feet was my top priority. So knowing that food builds the cells that we live in and that food has the power to slow down and speed up the recovery process, making sure he was eating a diet that enhanced that recovery was the key. I really didn’t fancy waiting on him hand and foot for too long.
Now going through surgery and having any sort of medical treatment comes with its share of anesthesia, pain killers and antibiotics. All of these things affect the gut bacteria and the integrity of your gut lining, which is the corner stone of our digestion and ultimately the power behind what our body is able to absorb and assimilate nutrients, therefore what is the building blocks of your body and energy systems. So without good gut health the food you are consuming may not be absorbed as well as you would hope no matter how good it is. This is then going to affect how quickly you recover.
Thank goodness however for those painkillers and operations in our time of need, but once you are out the other side of that medication and or at the same time you can start the process of reducing inflammation and healing and sealing the gut lining and then restoring your healthy gut flora (bacteria) as these guys have been wiped out from the medication and need time and effort to be built up again.
One dose of antibiotics can take up to 2 years to replenish gut flora, so the sooner you start the better. It is a healthy digestive system and good quality gut flora that helps you absorb your calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc etc from your food and help that recovery happen sooner.
Often with these medications and lying in bed comes digestive issues such as constipation, indigestion, gas, bloating which are all signs and indications that your focus should be on digestive health and restoring gut bacteria while reducing inflammation. You see what keeps you “regular” is our bacteria moving the good fibre through and breaking down and assimilating the food you supply it with. When that good bacteria has been wiped out from medication that “army” of good bacteria are missing which can affect our digestive health and regularity. So getting good quality probiotics in along with fermented foods is going to help with repopulating the gut and restoring that army of good bacteria which will then help with any digestive stress while recovering and improve the speed in which you heal.
When we are healing it is our bones that often get talked about, and with that comes the calcium debate. Now calcium is incredibly important for strong bones and joints, but the truth is diary isn’t the only place calcium comes from and bone healing is so much more than this. One glass of milked topped up with sugar isn’t the best option for healing. In fact it could be doing the opposite. Instead a glass of bone broth that helps heal the gut, reduce inflammation and that is loaded with collagen, gelatin and glucosamine all essential for bone health, along with being packed with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc could be a better option. Then when it comes to diary if you can tolerate it, great! Consume some good quality products and if its in the form of yogurt with good live probiotics even better. But yogurt thats flavoured, packaged and so highly processed isn’t the same thing.
So to help with your healing process and to get you back on your feet sooner, here is my suggestions when it comes to foods to include into your diet.
Some key things to include into your diet
- Eat foods to promote gut healing – lots of bone broths, soups made with home made stocks. Supplements to help with gut healing are L-Glutemine, gelatin and collagen which you can add to smoothies and drinks.
- Fermented foods to increase good bacteria back up – yogurt (coconut for those who can’t tolerate dairy), kimchee, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir.
- Eat foods rich in bone nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin C, boron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, folate, silica and calcium. These include things like kale, spinach, celery, peppers, carrots, beets, wild salmon, shrimp, sardines, quinoa, chickpeas, almonds, raspberries, chia seeds and coconut water.
- Add in foods high in essential fatty acids : chia seeds, flax seeds, avocado, salmon
- Add in food high in antioxidants – berries, cacao, fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Add in foods to help reduce inflammation – Ginger and tumeric
- Avoid pro-inflammatory foods – foods you are intolerant to. Main culprits are usually gluten and dairy then of course avoid processed sugar which feed bad bacteria are inflammatory and also oxidative. So definitely ditch the cereal, packaged and processed foods and stick to whole real food choices.
If in doubt and it all seems to much to change, start by simply including broths into your day and 1 green smoothie loaded with fresh whole real food. Then along side that try adding into your regular meals 3 fermented foods. Be it yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchee or a lovely glass of kombucha. Then once this is habit and routine slowly build in the extra layers and if you wish add in the supplements for extra support.
Healing Bone Building Menu
Breakfast: Bone broth/soup. Grate fresh ginger and tumeric in for added flavour and help reduce inflammation. Along with that you can have something like boiled eggs with kimchi/sauerkraut and take some probiotics.
Snack: Glass of kombucha and homemade cacao truffles.
Lunch: chicken and quinoa salad with some kimchi on the side
Snack: Green smoothie – kale, apple, banana, celery, cucumber and avocado add in collagen powder
Dinner: Raw salad with fresh vegetables and sauerkraut and salmon. Take some probiotics again with this meal.
Snack: Fresh berries with some coconut yogurt and chia seeds.
Great drink throughout the day is water with a pinch of 1/8 teaspoon himalayan rock salt (72 minerals in it to help with healing), 1/8 teaspoon L-glutemine (aids in gut healing) and fresh lemon juice (loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants).
Snacks are only there as optional ideas to inspire you. The key is to also only eat when you are hungry, stop when you are fueled. Give the body time when its not digesting food to actually heal. If you thrive of 3 meals per day, use the meal ideas and ignore the snacks. Listen to your body and simply provide it with real whole nourishing food that is nutrient rich.
Supplements that I suggest to help the healing.
- Probiotics – Garden of life primal defense is fantastic
- L-Glutemine – add to your water each day for added healing along with fresh lemon for extra vitamin C.
- Collagen – dissolves in cold water has no taste and so a great protein source for smoothies and incredible for bone healing
- Gelatin – same as collagen, just has a taste with it. I add to broths for extra nutrients and support
- Bentonite clay – helps with detoxification and also digestive issues. Check out post here on this
Supplements are a great addition to enhance the healing process but you can do a lot with whole real food also. So keep it natural, keep it real and heal the gut and restore good gut bacteria asap.