A balanced diet is not only important for everyday living, but it is vital when preparing to undergo surgery. Ensuring that you get the right type and amount of food before your procedure can make a difference when it comes to avoiding complications and having a speedy recovery.

Impact of Proper Nutrition Post-Surgery

Malnutrition has shown to affect the outcome of surgery. Those who are malnourished are at a higher risk of postoperative complications and it is a common reason of re-admission among post-surgical patients. While malnutrition  can affect people of all ages, elderly patients are considered to be the most vulnerable.

Surgery is like a sport and we are the athletes; if we don’t prepare for it, we won’t do well. A balanced diet is part of that preparation. It is very important to eat nutritious food before and after the surgery. Below is a list of some food groups to include in your diet for the best recovery after surgery:

  • Antioxidants
    Free radicals are often released during a surgery. Antioxidants can help rid the body of free radicals. They come from vitamins and minerals in the food that you eat. It is smart to increase your intake of foods rich in antioxidants weeks before your surgery. Tomatoes, carrots, berries, apples, peanuts, and broccoli are examples of foods to add to your diet that are rich in antioxidants.
  • Probiotics
    The antibiotics administered before, during, or after surgery do not just kill pathogenic bacteria but also that are beneficial in the gut. Foods rich in probiotics can help preserve the gut’s integrity and prevent “leaky gut.” Some examples of foods rich in probiotics include yogurt, naturally fermented beverages, vegetables, and apple cider vinegar.
  • Protein
    Protein plays a fundamental role in wound-healing. Getting a sufficient amount of protein can help speed up your recovery. Cheese, almond, soy milk, chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs are a few good sources of protein to include in your daily meals.
  • Hydration
    Ensuring good hydration is also important – especially if you’re scheduled for surgery. Researchers have found that when patients are well-hydrated, they report less pain, complications and nausea after surgery. Drinking water is especially wonderful because it is caffeine and calorie free!


Because surgery requires a lot of preparation, it’s important to talk to your physician  about things, such as a proper diet, before you undergo a procedure.

Premier Surgical in Knoxville has a large group of skilled surgeons who can help you in making the necessary preparations for your upcoming surgery.  For more information about specific surgical specialties, visit Premier’s Surgical Specialties webpage.