10 Healthy Foods that Can Help Seniors Heal Following Surgery

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Surgical procedures can cause varying levels of trauma to the body, requiring time for healing. However, older adults can speed the healing process by eating foods that are rich in essential nutrients. Here are some of the most nutritious foods to help seniors recover after surgery.

1.Lean Meats

Seniors who weigh around 150 pounds should consume up to five ounces of protein each day. Healthy protein options include eggs, fish, poultry, lean red meat, beans, and legumes. 

Caring for a senior loved one who’s recovering from surgery can be a difficult task. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

2. Yogurt

Physicians often prescribe antibiotics following surgery to prevent infection. However, antibiotics commonly interfere with the healthy natural bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract. The probiotics in yogurt can make up for losses in natural bacteria. 

3. Fibrous Foods 

Anesthesia, pain medications, reduced physical activity, and stress can all lead to constipation. However, eating foods high in fiber can prevent constipation and boost digestive health. Prunes have soluble and insoluble fiber, which work together to soften stools. Other options include fresh fruits, vegetables, and oatmeal. 

4. Dark-Colored Fruits 

Dark-colored fruits are high in antioxidants, which prevent free radicals from interfering with cellular repair. The fruits also have anthocyanidins, which boost the effectiveness of vitamin C.

5. Sweet Potatoes

One sweet potato provides 120 percent of the daily recommended intake of beta-carotene along with half of the daily vitamin C and E needs. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is essential for soft tissue repair. 

6. Red Bell Peppers 

One cup of chopped red bell pepper provides up to 190 milligrams of vitamin C, which is much more than what citrus fruits provide. The vegetable is also a good source of vitamin A. The nutrients found in bell peppers create collagen and prevent blood clots.

7. Mushrooms

Maitake, reishi, and shiitake mushrooms boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Mushrooms are also a good source of vitamin D, which recuperating seniors may lack because they’re unable to get direct sun exposure. 

Seniors often need help preparing meals and managing other daily tasks while they recover from surgery. In Oshkosh, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

8. Oysters

Oysters contain high levels of zinc, which is needed for immune system function. Zinc is also necessary for wound healing, as it plays a role in protein synthesis and cell growth. Other foods rich in zinc include beef, lamb, and liver.

9. Avocados

Avocados are a good source of healthy fats that absorb vitamins and strengthen the immune system. Healthy fats also provide enduring energy while supplying vitamin E, which is needed for healing wounds and minimizing the appearance of scars. Other sources of nutritious fats include olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds. 

10. Water 

As the human body is 55 to 65 percent water, staying hydrated is essential. Water levels are often depleted after surgery. Fluid is needed for cell replication and growth, organ and muscle function, and joint lubrication.

Older adults who need help maintaining their health while recuperating from surgery should consider professional in-home care. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Oshkosh, WI, live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (920) 216-6276 today.

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