Nutrition after surgery: What you need to know for a speedy recovery
Chicory root, also known as inulin, actually does cause gastrointestinal problems with some people, according to Warner. But, she adds, some processed foods touting high fiber use soluble corn fiber or oat fiber instead. Its better than not getting fiber, she concludes. But the problem is that if youre just relying on these added fibers for your fiber content, its not ideal because our bodies really need a whole diversity of different types of fiber. In other words, your diet might contain your requisite 25 or 38 grams of fiber based on those nutrition labels, but if it all comes from one homogenous source then you arent giving your body what it needs. Michael Pollen wrote about these recently, explaining how fiber is indigestible to us but it feeds our gut microbes, and they break it down into short-chain fatty acids. This feeds our gut lining, called the epithelium.
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Are Nutrition Labels More or Less Pointless?
Since surgical trauma causes an increase in the bodys metabolic rate, vitamin C levels can drop. So, consuming up to 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C for up to one week after surgery can help expedite tissue repair. A combination of food, juice and supplements can be used to attain this level. Prune juice or stewed prunes are an excellent addition to the diet, since prunes are high in vitamin C and can help relieve constipation that is a common side effect of drug therapy. Vitamins A and D are also critical after surgery. Vitamin A supports collagen strength and is necessary for bone development, and studies have shown that vitamin D has been linked to shorter recovery times.
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A few important takeaways from Richardsons article for those of us who are never going to be able to keep our palmitic and stearic acids straight: Not all calories are created equal. Yes, as Richardson points out, you can get 100 calories from, say, a banana or a bunch of potato chips, but that doesnt mean theyre equally nutritious or equally filling. Not all fiber is created equal, either. You want to look for a range of fibers, preferably from whole vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains . Supplementing your fiber intake with things like Fiber One bars is better than getting too little fiber, but its still not providing the diversity of fiber thats best for your body. Check to see where those vitamins and minerals are coming from. Food manufacturers will often fortify their products with added vitamins and minerals (yes, breakfast cereals are famous for this).
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