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Article: Anti-Inflammatory Diet Before Surgery: Importance and Benefits

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Before Surgery: Importance and Benefits

Anti-inflammatory diet before surgery

If you have surgery coming up, eating an anti-inflammatory diet can help you better prepare for the surgery and help you have a successful outcome.

Surgical procedures can be a trigger for inflammation and cause unwanted side effects and consequences. A proper diet rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, and micronutrients can combat surgical inflammation and help you optimize your recovery.

Keep reading to learn about the many benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet and some examples of anti-inflammatory foods you can add to your nutrition habits before your next surgery!

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out my article on the best foods to eat after surgery.

What is Inflammation?

Before we start talking about the anti-inflammatory diet, I want to actually go over the definition of inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s natural immune response. Whether your body is going through an infection or an injury, your body sends immune cells to help it heal and recover.

Inflammation can look like swelling, redness, and sometimes pain in the body… and I want you to know that is completely normal! Inflammation becomes an issue when it lasts longer than it should.

Chronic, long-lasting inflammation can lead to other chronic conditions such as:

  • Post Lipo Fibrosis
  • Poor surgery recovery
  • Slow incision healing

There are many options that you can use to reduce inflammation, but one of the best ways is to use what you can find at the grocery store… anti-inflammatory foods!

Why do you want to reduce inflammation before surgery?

Going through surgery puts your body under a great deal of stress. Surgery has been known to cause both local and systemic inflammation. Local inflammation is inflammation that is centered around one spot, while systemic inflammation is widespread inflammation throughout your body.

When you undergo surgery, you are likely breaching physical barriers and exposing internal organs to environmental exposures. There is also a chance that tissue gets injured, which may result in inflammation.

Because you have an increased risk of inflammation after surgery is finished, preparing your body before you go in is key. You can reduce this risk by eating an anti-inflammatory diet and reducing inflammation in other ways through lifestyle interventions before surgery.

Overall Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Now that you know a little bit more about inflammation and how it relates to surgery, let’s talk about an anti-inflammatory diet and its many benefits.

When you think of the words “anti-inflammatory diet” I want you to think of it as not your typical structured diet plan, but a method of adding more nutrients to your current eating habits that can help set you up for success before and after your surgery.

The benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet

  • Improves immune system
  • Promotes gut health
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Provides antioxidants to reduce stress in the body

The anti-inflammatory diet has many benefits that can help you stay healthy and promote healing. I encourage you to add more anti-inflammatory foods to your everyday nutrition habits, even after surgery to improve your health.

Examples of Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Eat Before Surgery

Now that you have read about the benefits that an anti-inflammatory diet can have not only for your surgical procedures but also for your health in general… Let's go over some examples of anti-inflammatory foods you can eat before (and after) your surgery!

Your body is already going to be going through the stress of surgery which means you will more than likely experience some inflammation post-surgery.

However, there are certain foods that you can eat before your surgery to better prepare your body for the inflammation and stress it is about to go through.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods You Should Eat to Prepare for Surgery

  • Berries, especially Blackberries and Raspberries
  • Fatty Fish, such as Tuna, Herring, and Salmon
  • Avocado or Olive Oil
  • Bell Peppers

You can optimize your post-surgical healing by eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Including additional ingredients such as turmeric and ginger will help your body further fight and prevent inflammation.

Action Tip #1: Add these items to your next grocery list. Find 1-2 recipes online that include fatty fish. a great salmon and berry salad recipe can be found here.

Inflammatory Foods You Should Limit Before Surgery

Another way to prevent inflammation in your body before surgery is to limit inflammatory foods. While these foods are okay in moderate amounts, they may not be serving your body best before you undergo surgery.

Inflammatory foods to watch out for:

  • Sweet drinks such as soda or sugar-filled coffees
  • Fried Foods
  • Highly Processed Meats (Sausage, Bacon, Deli Meat, Hot Dogs)
  • Foods with Trans Fats (Commercially Baked Goods - Cakes, Cookies, etc.)
  • Alcohol

Action Tip #2: Adding foods such as berries to your diet can lower your chance of excessive swelling and poor recovery after plastic surgery.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Surgery: Final Thoughts

  • There is an abundance of foods you can choose from to help you better prepare for your next surgery.
  • Choosing from the list of anti-inflammatory foods can help you reduce symptoms of inflammation that are caused by surgery such as fibrosis or severe swelling.
  • A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats will help prevent and fight inflammation from surgery.

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