Nutrition for Better Healing

Good nutrition has clearly demonstrated beneficial effects on the immune system and healing process. Better nutrition can also help your incisions heal. Your diet and nutritional supplements will provide the raw materials your immune system needs to protect you against infection. These same nutritional elements are what you will use to repair your gum tissue, bone, skin, nerves, blood vessels, muscle, and bone.

Nutritional tips for better healing:

  • Calorie needs: 15 to 20 calories per pound of body weight.
  • Drink six to eight cups of water per day to avoid dehydration.
  • Drink ginger ale or ginger tea which provide relief from nausea and vomiting.
  • Soups provide great nutrition and help restore water balance to keep blood pressure under control.
  • Yogurt is a huge source of calcium and boosts the body’s ability to build bone. Sometimes women who take antibiotics get yeast infections. Eating a cup of yogurt everyday helps prevent yeast infections.
  • A diet high in protein and carbohydrates is best.
  • Oatmeal is a source of beta-glucans which reduce the risk of infection after surgical procedures and boost immunity.
  • Beans contain a wide variety of healthy nutrients including calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, folate, and alpha-linolenic acid. These nutrients work together on several key areas of the body to promote total health.
  • Fish is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that benefit your general health.
  • Eat soft pasta, soft rice, Jello, soft-boiled eggs, mashed potatoes, ice cream, and smoothies. Smoothies are easy to make, and are full of healthy vitamins and nutrients.
  • If bowel habits become irregular, take a mild laxative such as Milk of Magnesia. Papaya and lentils can also help to prevent constipation.
  • Protein helps with healing, tissue repair, and re-growth. It is found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese.
  • Carbohydrates provide energy for healing and preventing protein and muscle breakdown. Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, breads, cereals, rice, pasta, and grains.
  • Lipids (fats) helps with absorption of some vitamins, enhance immune response, and increase energy. They are found in oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, salad dressings, or butter.
  • Calcium helps to build and maintain bones and muscle contraction. It is found in milk, cheese, yogurt, soy products, turnip and mustard greens, broccoli, and almonds. Recommended daily dose is 1500 mg.
  • Iron helps formation of hemoglobin and increases its oxygen carrying capacity. It is best when taken with Vitamin C rich foods. It is found in liver, lean red meat, poultry, fish, beans, dark leafy greens, and dried fruits. Recommended daily dose is 15 mg.
  • Zinc is important in wound healing and is a component of many enzymes. It is commonly found in meat, liver, eggs, and seafood. Recommended daily dose is 15 mg.
  • Vitamin A helps wound healing, as well as maintenance of skin. It is found in carrots, sweet potatoes, dark yellow or green leafy vegetables (i.e. spinach and broccoli), milk, cheese, liver, and egg yolk. The recommended daily dose is 5000 IU.
  • Vitamin D helps in bone healing and calcium absorption. It is found in fortified milk, butter, fortified cereals, liver, fatty fish (salmon), and egg yolks. The recommended daily dose is 400-800 IU.
  • Vitamin E has antioxidant and disease-fighting properties. It is found in vegetable oils, beef liver, milk, eggs, butter, green leafy vegetables, and fortified cereals. The daily recommended dose is 30 IU.
  • Vitamin K helps wound healing response and blood clotting. It is found in green leafy vegetables, fatty fish, liver, and vegetable oils. The daily recommended dose is 65 ug.
  • Vitamin C helps the body with building connective tissue and is an essential nutrient for healing. It is found in citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, greens, raw cabbage, and melon. The daily recommended dose is 60 mg.

(mg=miligram; IU=international unit)

Smoothie Recipes For A Healthy Soft Diet:

Banana Fruit Smoothie
1 cup orange juice
2 cups plain yogurt
4 small bananas
Honey to taste

Mango Pineapple Smoothie
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup orange juice
1/2 frozen banana (chunks)
1 cup pineapple sherbet
1 1/2 cups frozen mango slices

Easy Blueberry Smoothie
1 cup frozen blueberries
8 oz fat free yogurt
Milk to thin

Papaya Smoothie
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup peeled, seeded and chopped ripe papaya
Honey to taste
1/2 cup ice

  • Place ingredients in a blender on high speed for 30 seconds
  • Add ice as needed and blend until smooth