Eating a plant-based diet can give your body the nutrients it needs and also help reduce your risk of developing many chronic diseases. So it naturally follows that if you’re having surgery, eating a plant-based diet can help you recover better.
At Ali Hendi, MD, in Chevy Chase, Maryland, our skin cancer specialists recommend plant-based nutrition plans for enhanced healing after skin cancer surgery and other procedures. Read on to learn more about this type of diet and how it may be able to help you.
Benefits of a plant-based diet
When you eat mostly plants, you reap the benefits of the rich amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they contain. A diet based on plants, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, can enhance your immune function and help lower your levels of inflammation. As a result, you can reduce your risk of developing many medical conditions, such as:
- Breast, colon, and prostate cancers
- Heart disease
- Metabolic syndrome
- Poor cognitive function
- Skin damage
Furthermore, research shows that overweight individuals who switch to a plant-based diet have significantly fewer markers of inflammation within four weeks. Thanks to all of these attributes, good nutrition can help your body heal from surgery. In particular, our team has found that plant-based eating may help reduce bruising and swelling following surgery.
Getting started with a plant-based diet
Getting proper support and guidance can help ease the process of transitioning to a plant-based diet. This is especially important if your current diet is rich with animal products or heavily processed foods. Leading up to your procedure, our team can work with you to develop a dietary plan that suits your needs and lifestyle.
Helpful tips for adopting a plant-based diet include:
- Adding vegetables to rice and pasta dishes
- Adapting your favorite meat-based recipes
- Building meals around salads
- Eating fresh veggies with hummus or dip for snacks
- Experimenting with non-dairy milk and cheeses
- Filling half of your meal plates with vegetables
- Focusing on healthy fat sources, such as nuts, seeds, and avocado
- Gradually eat more plant-based meals
- Having fruit for dessert
- Stocking your kitchen with tasty plant-based foods
To learn more about how eating a plant-based diet can help you recover from surgery better, book an appointment online or over the phone with Ali Hendi, MD, today.