Some people are fortunate to heal better and more quickly than others. You can, however, put the odds in your favor to lessen bruising and improve healing by following a plan that will give your body the important nutrients it needs to recover quickly.

This diet and supplementation plan is helpful for surgeries, both major and minor. I first started using this plan years ago when my children had their wisdom teeth removed. I encourage you to always check with your doctor regarding supplements, and to be proactive about eating to support your health. Food can be your partner not only in healing post surgery, but by creating a wellness micro-climate, helping to prevent lifestyle diseases and keep you healthy.

This plan can be modified into a 2 week format for minor procedures.

30 Days Before Surgery

Ensure Proper Protein Intake

Food Sources: Proteins are essential for new blood cell and collagen production. Protein is also vital for a well-functioning central nervous and immune system. A proper pre-surgery diet will include low-fat fish, eggs, clean organic meats, and vegetable protea -— such as organic seeds, nuts, chia seeds, lentils, and quinoa.

Supplements: MAP Amino Acids are an excellent source of essential amino acids that have a very low net nitrogen output. This means you get the building blocks of protein without the inflammation associated with digesting protein. I suggest taking 6 daily the month before your procedure.

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptide Powder is another way to ensure proper protein and synthesis. Follow instructions on container.

Minimize Free-Radicals With Increased Antioxidants

Food Sources: The presence of free-radicals increases in response to surgical stress. You can minimize free-radicals and increase post-surgery healing by eating antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables at least 5 times a day. Pick organic fruits low in sugar like kiwi, cherries, melon, berries and citrus. Eat organic dark leafy greens, carrots, broccoli and legumes. Beans are a rich source of phytochemicals, protein and antioxidants, and lentils are one of the best sources of zinc.


Free-radicals are known to interfere with healing and cause tissue damage and inflammation. Whole food compounded supplements provide food based nutrients that are easily assimilated by the body.

  • Zinc: 20-50mg daily. Zinc is mineral that can enhance wound healing and maintains the structural integrity of dermal tissue and mucosal membranes.
  • Vitamin C: 200mg daily. Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen and speeds wound healing.
  • Bromelain: 500-1,500mg daily. Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory enzyme extracted from pineapple that reduces inflammation, pain and edema in the body.
  • Arnica Montana: 60-200c daily. Arnica Montana is a natural remedy commonly used for bruising, swelling and inflammation.
  • Probiotics: 10 beneficial strains of bacteria and 10 billion CFU. Probiotics improve gut health and nutrient absorption, ward off infection and boost the immune system.
  • Hydrate: 1.5-2 liters of filtered water daily. Water is considered an essential nutrient yet most people are not properly hydrated. Hydration facilitates proper circulation and detoxification of the body.

Eliminate 14 Days Before Surgery

What you eliminate from your diet pre-surgery is as important as what you should be adding.

Salt, refined sugars and carbohydrates, genetically modified foods, and all artificial ingredients should be reduced or eliminated from your diet. All of these create inflammation in the body and suppress immune function and healing.

Green tea, ginger, flax seed, cayenne, ginkgo, eggplant, garlic, tomatoes and potatoes may increase bruising or interfere with anesthesia and should be avoided. Omega 3’s, vitamin’s A, B, E, D and K and certain herbal supplements can also inhibit immune system functions, healing and blood clotting.

Alcohol, caffeine and MSG also create inflammation and should be eliminated.

I suggest ONLY taking the supplements I have listed the month before any procedure unless otherwise advised by your doctor.

Post Surgery

Surgery stress compromises the digestive system.

5 times the amount of nutrients are needed post-surgery to help prevent infection and promote healing. Proper nutrition will support your immune system, prevent infection, reduce swelling, pain and inflammation.

3 Days Post Surgery

Add foods high in beneficial monounsaturated fats such as avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and fatty fish, like salmon.

7 Days Post Surgery

Avoid spicy foods, foods containing artificial ingredients of any kind, refined carbohydrates and sugars, salt, caffeine, alcohol and GMO’s for at least 7 days post-surgery

14 days Post Surgery

Continue the pre-surgery eating plan and supplements.

Preparing for a successful outcome from surgery is a great way to eliminate things in your diet that create stress and inflammation in your body. I recommend using this as a starting point for improving your health by adopting a largely plant based organic diet, free from artificial ingredients and foods that upset the natural balance of your body.

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Disclosure: All of the products linked above are my recommendations. This is not a sponsored post by any brand but I may receive a commission on sales if you choose to purchase them.

I am a passionate advocate for food as medicine, life navigator and culinary coach. This is my space for sharing what excites, inspires and motivates me to live my best life. It began as a recipe blog for nourishing, simple, weekday meals and has become something much bigger… a guide to resilient wellness. I am excited to share my knowledge of how daily habits can cumulatively help you to live like you mean it and age like you want to.