Nutrition is an incredibly important aspect of your recovery after foot surgery. Studies have shown that proper nutrition can directly affect the healing process of any surgical procedure. Regardless of the type of foot surgery you have undergone, follow these guidelines to ensure a smooth and quick recovery
- Increase protein: Protein is essential when it comes to healing. Protein is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of muscles, bones, and tissue. Protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds. Protein is not stored in the body so you must eat it daily.
- Eat fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables contain fiber and vital nutrients, such as Vitamin A, C, and D, calcium, iron, and zinc. It is important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to be sure you’re getting all the various nutrients. Eat starchy vegetables, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and melons. Don’t forget to include berries, which are anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, which is key for regular bowel movements.
- Eat complex carbohydrates: Your body is working hard at healing after the stress of surgery. Complex carbohydrates are slow burning so they provide the long-lasting energy your body needs to heal. Some great options are oatmeal, sweet potatoes, quinoa, whole grain rice, beans, and legumes. Avoid over-processed carbohydrates like cookies, cakes, white bread, and white pasta.
- Anti-inflammatory fats: Foods such as fatty fish, organic coconut oil, nuts, and seeds contain healthy fats that help reduce inflammation in the body. Fatty foods are a great source of energy and are very satiating.
- Drink water: Aim to drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day. Water will flush toxins out of your system and will even speed up the process of eliminating the anesthesia. It will also help keep your bowel movements regular.
It is crucial to eat a balanced diet during your recovery from foot surgery. The foods you eat directly affect the healing of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and tissues. Increasing your nutrition will not only lead to a quicker recovery, but you will feel great as well!
Dr. Daniel Dean is a fellowship trained foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon. He treats all musculoskeletal pathologies of the foot and ankle in adolescent and adult patients. He has specialized training in total ankle arthroplasty, sports injuries, flatfoot, complex fractures, and minimally invasive techniques in bunion correction.