Photo credit: Carolina Odman @ Flickr (Creative Commons)
Breast augmentation, like many other types of surgery, requires significant downtime. If you’ve chosen this operation, you probably want to do all that you can to recover as fast and easily as possible. Most doctors will say that diet and exercise are the biggest factors that determine a healthy lifestyle. Though exercise is out of the question, at least for the first couple of weeks, you can still consume certain foods to help your body ease into the healing process from day one. We’ve compiled a list of foods that have been scientifically proven to support women’s health, with breast health being the major benefit.
If you’re familiar with Indian cuisine or have an affinity for curry dishes, then you might know that turmeric is the spice which gives curry it’s bright yellow-orange hue. It’s been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and for medicinal purposes. Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great dietary addition for those who’ve undergone surgery. However, the active compound in turmeric known as curcumin, isn’t highly concentrated enough to give you the desired anti-inflammatory affects by just using it to season your food, since it contains just 3% by weight. So, if you’re looking for a stronger affect, taking a turmeric supplement should do the trick. Also, because curcumin isn’t easily absorbed in the blood stream, taking black pepper with it is the best way to ensure maximum efficacy.
You’ve probably heard all the buzz about green tea and its many, many health properties. One of the main ones is the ability to reduce inflammation. That’s right. Like turmeric, green tea helps the body fight inflammation and free radicals, reducing the risk of cancer and several other diseases. EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is a powerful compound that is believed to be the reason behind green tea’s potent medicinal properties. Though green tea does contain caffeine, the amount is much less than coffee and creates a different kind of “buzz”. Many people who drink green tea report having more stable, long-lasting energy as well as increased productivity. The small amount of caffeine coupled with the amino acid L-theanine work in tandem to improve overall brain function. Additionally, green tea can help with weight loss and weight control by helping the body to burn fat, if consumed regularly. Finally, the antioxidants in green tea have been shown to lower the risk of breast cancer in women by about 20-30%. All the more reason to drink up!
Like green tea, pomegranate is a rich source of antioxidants and has been consumed for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. In fact, pomegranate juice contains three times more antioxidants than red wine and green tea. These antioxidants help reduce inflammation and protect the body’s cells from damage by removing free radicals. Additionally, pomegranate is an excellent source of vitamin C which supports immune system health. In fact, just one pomegranate has more than 40% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C. Finally, pomegranate can help lower systolic blood pressure and contains antiviral properties through its immune-system-supporting nutrients like vitamin E, which can help prevent illness and ward off troublesome infections.
Beets are a root vegetable and an important element of several dishes around the world. They’re loaded with vitamins and minerals that are an essential part of any diet. One of the main benefits of beets is that they’ve got a ton of nutrients coupled with a very low calorie count. 100 grams of cooked beetroot yields just 44 calories, 1.7 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber as well as vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, manganese, and folate. They’ve got a blood-pressure-lowering effect due to the concentration of nitrates. Like the others on this list, they have been shown to decrease inflammation in the kidneys and reduce some of the pain associated with osteoarthritis. Beetroot has also been shown to reduce the growth of tumor cells in certain live animals and in humans, reduce the growth of breast cancer cells.
Though carbs have gotten a pretty bad rap over the past few years due to the popularity of keto and other low carb diets, they remain one of the three macros necessary for daily consumption in order to avoid certain health problems related to malnutrition. Though the percentages of each macro, particularly carbs, remains up for debate, it’s still pretty important to choose your carbs wisely. Firstly, whole grains are rich in fiber which aids in digestive health and can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Also, have you ever noticed the difference in feeling between eating a slice of white bread versus whole wheat bread? Which one made you feel fuller? If you answered “whole wheat”, that’s because the high fiber content helps you to get that feeling of fullness without consuming as many calories. If you’re not a big bread eater, don’t worry. There are plenty of other healthy sources of whole grains including: popcorn, millet, buckwheat, sorghum barley, wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, wheat berry, bulgur, and freekeh. Any food products made from these are basically whole grain such as breakfast cereals, pasta, and bread. Two of the most important benefits of whole grains for breast augmentation recovery patients are their ability to support healthy digestion and reduce chronic inflammation. Certain types of grains contain a fiber that acts like a prebiotic, supporting overall gut health which is vital during long periods of physical inactivity. In one study, women who ate more whole grains were the least likely to die from inflammation related to chronic conditions.
In conclusion, foods high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals are the most beneficial to women in the post-recovery stage. The nutrients work together to help your body get back up to tip top shape. If you follow a carefully planned diet, you’ll be back in the swing of things in no time.