Your body’s digestive system is at the epicenter of it all. Everything that comes in, goes out, passes through, and interacts with your internal processes involves your digestive system. Due to its location and vital role in your everyday life, when this system is not running in tip-top shape, it can throw your whole body off-center.
Oftentimes to fix a problem within your digestive system or even to prevent one, surgery is the only option. Before and after surgery are crucial times to ensure you are able to recover fully and come out better than before. With that, the diet you feed your body around this time can determine how well your body recuperates.
A bland diet is your best bet for a safe and seamless recovery process. But what does a bland diet consist of? What tips and tricks can you follow to help your body smoothly bounce back? Let’s dive in.
Prep Before the Surgery
Depending on the severity of your procedure, you may not be able to do much on your own afterward. Cooking meals and preparing your food how you’re accustomed to may quickly become a larger task than you can handle so planning for these situations before your surgery maybe your best option. Freezing meals, pre-cutting and storing, creating individual packets, and simplifying your meals as much as possible can make it easier to handle when you’re not in your best state. Making it so that all you have to do is open a container, warm up a bowl, or sip on a drink will allow you to focus more on your healing than on your duties. You can also control what goes into your diet by prepping specific foods beforehand.
What to Eat
A bland diet is made up of mostly soft, easy-to-digest, gentle-on-the stomach type of food that will not cause too much of a disturbance in your intestinal tract. Foods that are satisfying yet not indulgent. Soft foods include bread, crackers, pasta, cream of wheat, hot cereals, mashed potatoes, eggs, tofu, creamy peanut butter, creamy soups, and other blended, boiled, and reduced down foods in their most tender form. This allows for your body to easily pass it through your digestive tract without it placing any additional strain. Fresh fruit and juices can cause your stomach to work too much on digestion. This is why the bland diet OK’s produce as long as it’s been processed. Pre-made dr smoothies refreshers and pressed juices can be a great way to get the necessary nutrients without additional stress on the body.
What to Avoid
The foods to avoid may be the trickiest part of your recovery. Although we all love our fried, cheesy, sugary or raw, dried, and dairy foods, these may pose a threat to your ailing insides. Junk food, highly processed, and indulgent items are difficult for your gut to process. Oils and excess fats do little to nourish the body and at times can be rejected because the body is simply not made for them. Raw vegetables and dried fruits can be tough on your digestion because the fibrous state of the food demands more effort to be broken down and if your surgery has hindered your ability to do that, these items can cause more harm than good. Spicy, carbonated, and highly seasoned options can also cause an upset.
A bland diet is much more than just food options. Knowing when and how to eat it can make all the difference. Small meals, thoroughly chewed, and slowly swallowed can help your body gently get back into the process of digesting normally again. Avoiding smoking, drinking, stress, and caffeine can create a restful environment for healing and restoration to occur. Sleeping propped up in a pillow can ease your digestion as well as eating earlier in the night rather than later. If possible, light walking or even just occasional steps around the home provide movement to rejuvenate a recovering body.
A bland diet can be a major component in your healing process after surgery. Sticking to it can ensure a smoother recovery and a more healthful future.