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Wait, foods can help you heal? Not always discussed at the knee doctor or at hospital discharge, but your diet after surgery can make a huge difference in how well you heal. Have you thought about what to eat after knee replacement surgery? Continue reading and find out exactly what foods to eat to help boost healing from the inside out.
What To Eat After Knee Replacement Surgery
Water and electrolytes
Start pumping the water as soon as you get back to your room post-surgery. Water helps push the anesthesia meds out of your system, which, trust me, the side effects from anesthesia are doozies! In addition, water helps relieve constipation and helps the absorption of medications. Once you return home make sure to continue drinking extra water, as well.
Make sure that at least one or two glasses a day are electrolyte-filled. After the surgery and all the additional water you are consuming, your electrolyte balance can get out of wack. So what did I do to get them back in order? I love the Propel powder packs. Zero sugar, great flavor, and you can add more water to dilute the taste. Pedialyte is another great electrolyte drink I would use.
Iron-Rich foods and proteins
There is not a lot of blood loss in a knee replacement surgery, but it doesn’t hurt to consume iron-rich foods for a few days after surgery. Dark leafy greens and red meat are excellent sources of iron. That brings us into proteins!
Lean proteins are power-packed with amino acids that help regenerate tissue. There is a lot of tissue damage caused by knee replacement surgery, so eating proteins to help restore them is essential. My preferred lean proteins are turkey and chicken. With these, you can make many easy meals. Pork is another excellent option. Not a fan of meat or what some other choices? Nuts, hummus, and tofu are great plant-based options.
With surgery comes inflammation. Of course, you can use medications and will likely use meds per doctors’ orders to combat it, but why not help with food! Remember those dark leafy greens from above? They have a dual purpose. Dark leafy greens are a great anti-inflammatory food. The next duel purpose food is the nuts from up in the proteins. Other great foods for inflammation are fatty fish, tomatoes, and certain fruits like oranges, blueberries, and strawberries.
Make sure you’re getting those essential vitamins.
My surgeon before my knee replacement surgery gave me instructions for specific vitamins to take after the surgery was complete. They included a multivitamin, vitamin D, and calcium. I stocked up on these vitamins before surgery and even took them a few weeks leading up to the big surgery day. I was given them during my short hospital stay as well.
Sometimes doctors will add an iron supplement or B12 to help with your iron levels if they are low. This is determined by blood work pre and post-surgery. If you know you have had iron level problems in the past, I would let the doctor know and ask what can be done before surgery to help.
There are other vitamins that can help post knee surgery with a focus on the immune system. Anytime you’re in the hospital and especially after surgery, your body’s defense against infections can be lowered. Zinc and Vitamin C are great supplements to help boost your immune system back up.
Have any other foods that you used after surgery not listed here? Comment below and let us know!
Until next time happy healing, Take care!
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician.
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