We’ve all heard it from our earliest days --the food advice that comes in various formats, but essentially boils down to something like “Eat your vegetables!”
It turns out that Mom was right about making sure you got all the nutrients you needed as a kid, but not just for the reasons you remember. Yes, eating your spinach and broccoli gave you some of the vitamins you needed to grow and thrive. And drinking milk fortified with vitamin D was important to build strong bones.
But there are two important things we all need to take away from Mom’s advice now that we’re adults:
- It’s still important to eat a balanced diet. Even fully-grown adults have to feed their bodies with good health in mind. We still need vitamins and minerals to keep the human machine well-tuned.
- Good nutrition is essential for healing, especially after surgery.
The food-healing connection
Monmouth County foot surgeons Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, and Dr. Joseph Saka of Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center have extensive experience in treating all types of podiatric ailments through surgery, including bunions, neuromas, fractures, and running or other sports injuries. We want to make sure that all our surgical patients know that what they eat post-surgery matters.
What you eat after foot surgery can either promote or hinder the healing process. Our podiatrists recommend a diet rich in
- Protein - contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of tissue and therefore play a large role in helping repair traumatized muscles and their surrounding soft tissues.
- Calcium and vitamin D - wounds are slower to heal when these nutrients are scarce.
If you’re caring for a loved one post-surgery, make sure they’re getting plenty of these healing nutrients. This can be especially difficult for seniors on a fixed income, so watch out for anyone who may not be in the habit of eating enough protein, for example. We also recommend abstention from smoking, since the chemicals in cigarettes slow down healing. Finally, make sure you’re getting the rest your body craves in order to get back in shape.