16 July 2009

Diet preparations before surgery

Experts recommend a vegan diet pre- and post surgery, saying that because it's loaded with antioxidants, it helps the body respond to the stresses of surgery and recovery.

Preparing for surgery? Then you may want to take note of the following "operating instructions".

What the experts say
What we eat is fundamental to our health. Dr Neal Barnard, co-author of the book Foods That Fight Pain: Revolutionary New Strategies for Maximum Pain Relief recommends a vegan diet pre- and post surgery, saying that because "it's loaded with antioxidants, it helps the body respond to the stresses of surgery and recovery".

Eating at least three servings of vegetables and fruit (each) a day, especially broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes and carrots, facilitates the body's recovery process. The fibre in whole grains helps to keep the blood from clotting, and because anesthesia is essentially the paralysis of the body, there's often the associated risk of a blood clot moving into the heart or lungs.

Take a multivitamin
Taking vitamins and minerals also aids in the body's ability to cope with recovery, and in The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book, by Shari Lieberman, a high-dosage multivitamin is recommended to be taken 4 - 6 times a day.

Many people nowadays turn to acupuncture, an ancient Asian technique, to help reduce stress before surgery. Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, a natural painkiller, and whereas pharmaceutical painkillers tend to tax the body, acupuncture not only reduces the amount of painkiller needed, but also helps the body to "detox" more quickly.

"Herbal Defense", recommends four tablespoons a day of turmeric, mixed into a paste with water, honey and molasses, to be taken orally several times a day.

Homeopathy, considered a healing art, works off the principle that it doesn't cure, but rather stimulates the body to heal itself. It is based on miniscule doses of plants, minerals and even sometimes animal products, that activate the body's own healing capabilities, and can profoundly speed up healing for a surgery patient.

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