Juicing is a great way to boost healing after surgery. Reduced appetite, a dry mouth, trouble swallowing, a shrunken (or reduced) stomach are common after surgery. As a result you are likely to eat less.
At the same time your body needs make new tissue and blood vessels while fighting off infection.
Even if you were living a pretty healthy life beforehand it is very likely your nutritional status has deteriorated after the procedure.
Since surgery is such a radical interference with your body it depletes large parts of your vitamin and mineral supplies as well as antioxidants.
Also the use of anesthetic drugs, antibiotics, or other medications deplete nutrients.
That’s why healthy vegetable and fruit juices make a great way to ingest the well-needed nutrients. After all, your body is recovering and needs all the help it can get.
Fresh juices are a highly concentrated form of nutrients that will help you restore and nourish and restore your body after the blow that the surgery has dealt you.
The health benefits of juicing after surgery
Home made juices pack huge amounts of nutrients into a easily digestable drink. By juicing vegetables or fruits, nutrients are more readily available to your body and in much larger quantities than if you would eat them whole.
Juicing extracts water and nutrients from produce and discards the difficult digestible fibers. A very potent surgery healing booster is wheat grass juice.
It’s very common that after surgery your digestive system has become sensitive having more difficulty with breaking down fiber.
As always, moderation is key. It is best to combine juices with a regular, healthy diet.
The perks of adding fiber to your post-surgery juice
Right after the operation juicing will probably the way to go. After a while, when your stomach is less sensitive you may want to switch to blending. Blending raw vegetables and fruit is often prefered because the fiber is retained.
- This is especially important when you juice fruit. Fruit juice without fibers spikes blood glucose levels which is not only bad for your liver, it may also cause energy dips later on as well as mood swings, memory problems and more.
- Dietary fiber relieves constipation. Constipation is very common after surgery. Many pain medications, anesthesia, inactivity, and stress can all contribute to constipation.
- By blending you are able to retain more elements of the foods the protein, fat, and other nutrients.
- Especially water-soluble fiber promotes bile secretion. Foods rich in water-soluble fiber are apples, pears, oat bran, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and legumes.
Which foods to include in your after surgery juice / smoothie?
Tip: take it easy with the fruits
Juicing fruit isn’t recommended. The absence of fibers basically makes you are drinking a unhealthy glass of sugars. —
in general, for the main reason that if you do so, you’re going to be drinking straight up fructose-obviously not 100% fructose, but you’re drinking a high glycemic drink which is not going to be buffered by protein or fat or in this case, fibre.
A protein intake booster
- Foods that contain proteolytic enzymes are pineapple and papaya. Do keep in mind that bromelain, as is the enzyme called in pineapple, may cause problems if combined with drugs that thin the blood.
- An additional benefit of taking bromelain after surgery is that they are known to reduce pain and inflammation.
Once in the blood, bromelain appears to reduce inflammation, “thin” the blood, and affect the immune system. 1 These influences may be responsible for some of bromelain’s therapeutic effects.
The anaesthetic in combination with other drugs are an assault on the liver. The liver, our body’s primary filter, cleans our blood as well as aids digestion and metabolism among other things. If your pre-surgery situation wasn’t optimal it could be that your liver isn’t fully able to detoxify itself.
- Bitter leafy greens are a great way to jumpstart your potentially toxic liver. The are rich in chlorophyll which seem to aid liver detoxification.
- Milk thistle is a liver function improving herb. It is known to protect the liver from toxins and reducing inflammation. According to the Mayo Clinic there is good scientific evidence that “milk thistle slightly improved liver function and decreased the number of deaths in people with liver disease”. The herb increases glutathione, a natural antioxidant,
levels in the liver.
- Just like bitter foods also sour flavored foods such as citrus fruits, sauerkraut, pickles are known to activate cleansing properties in the liver. Be cautious with citrus though and especially with grapefruit since it can trigger overdoses in many prescription drugs.
- Beetroot and carrot juice will also detox the liver. Beta carotene converts to vitamin A in your body and will improve wound tensile strength, thus preventing possible tearing.
- Certain herbs and spices will help you detox and recover from anesthesia. Especially the antioxidants cinnamon and turmeric are known to be beneficial.
- In addition, you should eat foods that are rich in sulfur, such as onions, garlic, and egg yolks. Sulfuric foods help the liver clear toxins.
Free radical neutralizers
During and after surgery free radicals are roaming rampantly in your body. Caused by the trauma as well as the chemicals in anaesthetics and other drugs. Restoring the free radical and antioxidant balance depends upon your vitamin A, C and E, beta carotene, zinc, manganese and copper levels.
- Foods that help reducing the amount of free radicals after the operation include apricots, beetroot, carrots, broccoli, pawpaw, and yellow, green, and red peppers.
Good to know about juicing after surgery
- Combining fruits with vegetables is not recommended because of different types of digestive enzymes that interfere which each other.
- Before undergoing surgery. Avoid alcohol, sugary foods, and saturated fats.
- Drink sufficient water. This one is really important.
- Do not eat heavily after surgery. Any surgery.
- Last but certainly not least, try to get as much rest after surgery as possible. Juicing is beneficial but it should not be at the expense of your rest.
Which juicers are the best?
Centrifugal juicers are the most affordable juicers operate on high speeds. This way they produce heat and friction which alters enzymes and molecular structure in the vegetables and fruit.
Cold press juicers are better than centrifugal juicers because they ‘chew’ (masticate) produce. The juicing process is more gentle which results in less nutrient damage and more juice.
Triturating juicers are even better because these ‘press’ produce, thus retaining even more nutrients.