17 Oct 2023 The Role of Nutrition in Body Contouring: Foods to Eat and Avoid
Body contouring involves more than just a surgery – nutrition plays a pivotal role in body contouring, facilitating a healthy life. A balanced, nutrient-rich diet aids tissue repair, recovery, and overall well-being. Here are some foods and nutrients that can support your post-surgery recovery, and foods you should avoid to preserve your body contouring results.
Foods for Optimal Recovery
As you prepare for and recover from body contouring, it is recommended that you include the following food groups in your diet:
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and hydration, and are important for healing and maintaining a healthy immune system. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables before and after body contouring. More information regarding which fruits and vegetables provide specific nutrients can be found throughout the sections below.
Consuming protein is important for tissue repair and recovery after a body contouring procedure. Protein provides the building blocks your body needs to heal and regenerate. High-protein foods include lean meats, nuts, beans, legumes, eggs, grains, and seeds.
Choose whole-grain bread (including whole-wheat, barley, or dark rye), quinoa, oats, vegetables, and brown rice. These carbohydrates steadily release energy, keeping you energised throughout the day.
Fibre aids digestion, ensuring your body absorbs nutrients efficiently and reducing constipation (a common side effect of pain medication and reduced mobility). Foods that are good sources of fibre include chia seeds, beans, hummus, oranges, berries, mangoes, bananas, apples, and darker vegetables (including green capsicum, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, corn, and avocados).
Include sources of healthy fats like olive oil, flaxseeds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and fatty fish in your diet. These fats are important for normal cell function and the absorption of nutrients.
Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins, keep your skin hydrated, and support overall bodily functions. You should aim to drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day.
ESSENTIAL VITAMINS AND MINERALS
After your body contouring procedure, it is crucial to integrate foods rich in the following vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin A: Carrots, spinach, kale, oranges, milk, eggs, cheese, and sweet potatoes promote skin health, boost the immune system, and increase inflammatory response in wounds.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps to rebuild collagen and soft tissue, healing your incision site faster. Foods rich in vitamin C include berries, tomatoes, oranges, potatoes, kiwi, capsicums, and berries.
Vitamin K: Found in fish, leafy greens, and vegetable oils, vitamin K supports bone health and helps prevent excessive bruising.
Iron: Consume spinach, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, lentils, quinoa, potatoes, eggs, wholemeal bread, dried fruits, nuts, and red meat to prevent anaemia and support overall recovery.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in salmon and flaxseed oil, omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties, aiding in the healing process and supporting skin health.
Foods to Limit or Avoid
The following foods can interfere with your healing journey and affect the longevity of results. It is recommended that you limit or avoid these food products.
These often contain high levels of sodium and unhealthy fats, hindering the body’s natural healing processes and potentially leading to weight gain.
Alcohol can dehydrate the body, impair the immune system, affect the transportation of nutrients around the body, and ultimately interfere with the healing process.
Sugary Foods and Drinks
Excessive sugar consumption can lead to inflammation and may slow down the recovery process. Intake can also lead to weight gain, which may negatively impact body contouring results.
Found in fatty meats, full-fat dairy, and processed snacks, saturated fats can impede cardiovascular health and overall well-being.
Fried foods are high in unhealthy fats and calories, contributing to weight gain and potentially reversing the effects of body contouring.
Overall, by embracing a diet rich in essential nutrients, you can support your body’s natural healing process. Remember, body contouring is only one step in your journey; stay mindful of what you consume, and let your nutrition bring lasting and body contouring results.
Please note, this is general advice only and we strongly recommend patients discuss this is detail with a medical professional where their own personal medical history can be taken into account before making any changes to diet.
DR ANDRE SAFVAT (MED1155201)
Registered Medical Practitioner, Specialist Plastic Surgeon (specialist registration in Surgery – Plastic Surgery.