Does diet affect recovery after surgery?

This article will examine the important question of whether diet influences recovery after surgery. This is a question I am asked a lot as a nutritionist and dietician. This is a topic of great importance that will have a significant impact on regaining health after surgery. In this session, we'll explore the role of diet during surgical recovery. This will be backed up by research and scientific studies . You can expect to learn how your diet may aid or hinder the recovery process, and which foods are best for you. Let's get started!

After Surgery, Diet is Important

The research has shown time and again that the diet is crucial to recovery following surgery. Nutrition is important for boosting your immune system, for maintaining muscle mass and healing wounds. In a study in the journal Nutrition , specific nutrients such as protein, vitamin A, C and E and trace elements like zinc and copper were highlighted for their importance in improving recovery after surgery.

It's also important to remember that while an appropriate diet can help speed recovery, a bad one can have the opposite effect. Excessive sugar consumption can slow healing and suppress immunity, whereas excessive salt consumption can cause fluid retention and increase blood pressure.

How to Start a Post-Surgical Recover Diet

Consult your doctor or registered dietitian first before you make any changes to your diet. You can get personalized advice from them based on medical history and your needs. A review published in the American Journal of Surgery recommends a high-protein post-surgery diet, along with adequate water intake and fiber.

Some Foods that Aid in Surgical Recovery

Other Tips on a Post-Surgical Diet

You should also not rush through your recovery. It is better to eat small meals more frequently than large ones. Processed foods are high in sugar and sodium. Don't forget that physical activity plays a vital role in recovery, as it prevents muscle loss and improves circulation.


Diet plays an important role in the recovery after surgery. Unhealthy diets, such as those high in sugar, grains and unhealthy fats, can slow down the recovery process. Consult a medical professional prior to making any dietary adjustments after surgery. Recovery takes patience and time, but the right nutrition can speed up your recovery.