Your post-surgery diet plays a significant role in the ease of your tummy tuck recovery as well as how fast you recover.
Tummy tuck surgery puts stress on your body, and a nutritious diet will help repair and restore your cells.
Unfortunately, while a nutritious diet can help you, an unhealthy diet can lengthen your recovery and disrupt the quality of your results.
While vitamins and supplements can provide many of the nutrients you need, you should always try to get your nutrients from your food when possible.
Nutrients are absorbed through food easier than they are through vitamins.
Sticking to a healthy diet after your surgery will also put you on the right path to maintaining your tummy tuck results.
What Food Should You Choose?
Your diet will be limited to clear liquids on the night of your surgery.
After your procedure, focus on broths, decaffeinated tea and coffee, and water. This will start to stimulate your stomach and ease it back into full use.
You can then progress to more solid foods, adding items back in slowly to ensure that your body can tolerate them.
At this point, you will be able to build your diet around the nutrients you need to recover.
Protein is an essential element in your post-tummy tuck diet. Protein helps protect and strengthen your immune system, allowing your body to fight infection and forcing your muscles and tissues to develop new cells.
Protein synthesizes collagen, creates antibodies, and repairs damage. Tummy tuck patients should strive to take in 60 grams of protein each day.
Foods high in protein include poultry, fish, meat, nuts, yogurt, soy, dairy, eggs.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that repairs damage and strengthens the connective tissue in your skin and muscles.
This vitamin is essential to a healing body as it fights infection, stimulates the production of collagen (which is necessary for tissue strength and flexibility), and aids in wound healing.
Foods high in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, berries, tomatoes, leafy greens, kiwis, and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin A increases collagen to strengthen the healing incision while fighting infection.
Foods high in vitamin A include eggs, dairy, and cod liver oil.
Vitamin D ensures that you absorb the calcium and other nutrients from the food you eat so you can be sure that you are maximizing their potential.
Foods high in vitamin D include orange juice, cheese, fatty fish like salmon or tuna, egg yolks, and almond milk.
Zinc is an essential element in building new cells that will aid in the tummy tuck recovery process. This nutrient supports the skin and mucosal membranes.
Foods that contain zinc include shellfish, meat, seeds, nuts, legumes, eggs, dairy, and grains.
Bromelain is often thought to reduce swelling and inflammation after surgery. While there is no definitive proof of this, there is also no danger in incorporating bromelain into your diet.
Bromelain is a nutrient found in pineapple.
Dehydration is common and can be severe after tummy tuck surgery. By drinking adequate amounts of water, you are not only keeping yourself from the adverse side effects of dehydration but may also help decrease swelling and prevent constipation.
Patients should drink as much water as needed to feel content; however, they should not overdo it. Drinking too much water may lead to swelling and water weight. Most patients find that five to eight glasses a day is enough to keep their body hydrated.
Constipation is another complication that patients experience after tummy tuck surgery. This uncomfortable situation places unnecessary strain on the abdomen and can lengthen recovery if it is severe enough. Fiber helps to prevent constipation by speeding digestion and keeping stool soft.
Plant-based fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, and beans.
What Foods Should Avoid?
Just as whole foods help your recovery by repairing the damage, building cells, and reducing inflammation, processed foods harm your body by slowing the healing process.
Foods with high levels of sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol should be avoided because they deplete the body of its needed nutrients.
Have More Questions?
For more information about tummy tuck surgery or how you can recover from tummy tuck surgery, contact PREMIERE Center for Cosmetic Surgery by calling (813) 400-1465 or by filling out our online contact form.