Recovery after joint replacement surgery, of course, involves physical therapy; but what role does nutrition play in the process? As it turns out, nutrition is plays a key role in a speedy recovery. Implementing some easy nutrition tips may make you feel more comfortable as you recuperate.
After surgery your body needs rest and you may not feel like eating. Try to eat smaller meals more frequently so that you are giving your body what it needs to heal.
Be sure that you are drinking plenty of water; many symptoms like fatigue, lightheadedness and nausea may be a result of dehydration.
Get plenty of fiber, if available, fresh fruits and vegetables will stimulate bowel function which can be slowed after surgery. Good sources of fiber include: oat bran, wheat bran, bran cereal chewy fiber bars, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, apples, prunes, peaches, dried figs, walnuts, and beans – black, navy, white. Tip: If you are visiting a patient recovering in a hospital or rehab community baskets of these items make a nice gift. Be sure to check with the patient’s doctor, nurse or healthcare provider to be sure the items you brought are permissible and in accordance with the patient’s dietary plan.
Be sure to get plenty of protein, sources include boneless, skinless chicken and turkey breasts, lean ground beef, pork chops, tilapia, halibut, dried lentils, legumes, beans, skim milk, soy milk, Greek yogurt. Protein is responsible for building white blood cells; these blood cells help your immune system to function properly. The healthier your immune system, the better able you are to recover.
Eat foods rich in iron (many of the same sources of protein will accomplish this goal); eating foods rich in iron can help reduce anemia which may result during blood loss from surgery.
Following these tips will help you to speed your recovery and are good rules to follow well after you have returned home to maintain a healthy lifestyle. For more information about nutrition, visit www.nutrition.gov. or www.todaysdietitian.com.