Healing from surgery or other injuries encompasses a full body recovery and requires time and effort on the part of the patient. One factor that affects healing time is inflammation. Changing your diet in order to reduce the negative effects of inflammation on your healing, especially post-operative, can be a great adjunct to your medical and rehabilitation care.
There are 3 main types of inflammation: acute, chronic, and systemic.
Acute inflammation caused by an injury or surgery can cause redness, warmth, and swelling. Typically, this type of inflammation is treated with R.I.C.E. or “Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.” The right amount of inflammation is good for the body. It helps to reduce the risk of infection and promote healing. However, too much inflammation or long-term inflammation can cause harm to the body. With chronic and systemic inflammation, your body is no longer able to manage the amount and location of inflammation and it can begin to harm healthy tissues!
Chronic and Systemic inflammation cannot be treated from the outside with R.I.C.E. or topical agents. They must be treated from the inside out. Sometimes, it will require medical and pharmaceutical intervention- which is an area to discuss with your physician. However, changing your diet is always a helpful part of any treatment plan to address the negative effects of inflammation on the body. Not only will you see benefits post-operatively, but you can reduce your risk of various diseases including cardiovascular issues and cancer by reducing your systemic inflammation.
Check out this list of top anti-inflammatory foods from Dr. Axe:
- Green, Leafy Vegetables
- Bok Choy
- Bone Broth
- Coconut Oil
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
Adding these foods into your diet will help to fight any inflammation already present. Also, consider reducing foods that aggravate and cause inflammation in your diet. This will mean reducing processed (packaged foods), chemically enhanced foods, large quantities of meat or dairy, and sugars.
Commit to your health and you’ll be healing up in no time!
Author: Dr. Jillian Stecklein, Physical Therapist with MyCatholicDoctor
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