The recovery for tummy tuck surgery is one of the longest and most extensive, and no matter how good you may feel in the days following your procedure, you still need adequate time to heal inside. Fortunately, there are ways to help speed your recovery along so that you can feel comfortable being up on your feet and back to normal.
One of these ways is through your diet. A proper post-surgery diet will not only ensure that you are keeping your weight in check, thus maintaining the quality of your tummy tuck results, but it will also aid in your recovery.
What Should You Be Eating?
Focus on Protein
Protein is essential to your recovery process. You want to ensure that you are not only getting the daily recommended amount, but exceeding that number during the initial days and weeks. Protein builds and repairs tissues, muscles, and skin, all of which are damaged during your tummy tuck surgery. High protein foods include lean meats like fish and poultry, beans, eggs, yogurt, and cheese.
You want to make sure that any food you eat is easy to digest and therefore comfortable for your abdomen. If you lack protein, protein shakes are a great way to get extra grams, just be sure to read all the nutrition facts so that you choose one that is low in sugar and carbohydrates.
Get Your Vitamins
Getting your vitamins is vital during your tummy tuck recovery as they fight infection and help reduce inflammation and promote cell regeneration. While vitamins can be taken through supplements, there is no healthier way to get your vitamins than through your food.
Vitamins A and C, found in dairy, eggs, leafy greens, citrus, and tomatoes, fight infection and propel the speed of your recovery. Zinc, found in foods like meats, grains, and nuts, helps you produce new cells that will aid in recovery. Vitamins like Bromelain and Arnica, found in avocados and bananas, help with post-operative bruising and swelling.
Dehydration is one of the most dangerous events during your tummy tuck recovery. This will not only stall your recovery but can put you at risk for future complications. You want to be sure that you are taking in at least 64 ounces of water throughout the day.
What Should You Avoid?
Foods That Cause Bloating
Bloating and gas are two things that can derail your recovery and simply make you uncomfortable. Foods that are high in salt, or carbonated beverages like soda or sparkling water, lead to unnecessary bloating.
Constipation is common after surgery; it is important to make sure that the foods you are putting into your body will decrease this chance, not fuel it.
You also want to make sure that you stay away from many comfort foods that are high in sugar. These foods may sound and taste good initially, but they will do nothing to move your recovery along.
Alcohol is something that should be avoided initially and moderated long term. Alcohol consumption thins your blood, which makes it harder for your body to heal. Also, alcohol may react negatively with any pain medication you are on. If you still have medication in your system, avoid any amount of alcohol as you do not know how your body will handle it.