What Do I Eat Before and After My Surgery?



Salicylate is a chemical found in many foods and it is also the chemical that is in aspirin. We all know aspirin is a blood thinner and that we should not take it before or after surgery but foods that contain salicylates should be avoided as well. Below is a list of foods to avoid and some that are OK:


  • Avoid: beer, birch beer, root beer, carbonated drinks, distilled drinks, tea, wine.
  • OK: cereal drinks, coffee, fruit juices (made from fruit on the OK list below), milk (any kind)


❖Breads and Starches:

  • Avoid: potatoes
  • OK: breads and cereals, popcorn, pasta, peas, rice, rolls, croissants, bagels

Breads And Starches

❖Desserts and Sweets:

  • Avoid: mint or wintergreen products, pies and cakes made with fruits
  • OK: homemade cakes and cookies made without the avoided fruits (listed below)

Desserts And Sweets


  • Avoid: almonds, peanuts, avocados, mayonnaise, olives, olive oil, salad dressings
  • OK: butter, margarine, cashews, pecans, vegetable oils

Cashew Nuts


  • Avoid: apples, apple cider, apricots, berries (most of them), cherries, currants, dates, grapes, raisins, melon (all kinds), pineapple, oranges, nectarines, peaches, plums, prunes, pomegranates
  • OK: bananas, blueberries, cranberries, grapefruit, lemons, mangos, papayas, pears, rhubarb, strawberries, tangerines



  • Avoid: canned mushrooms, cucumbers, green peppers, radishes, tabasco peppers, tomatoes
  • OK: asparagus, carrots, fresh mushrooms, green beans, wax beans, greens, lettuce, spinach, squash



  • Avoid: cloves, pickles, mint
  • OK: chocolate (yay!), cocoa, salt, pepper, some spices, sugar, syrup, vinegar


What Vitamins Should You Utilize Prior to Surgery


  • Vitamin E –since Vitamin E is associated with increased bleeding, it and surgery almost never mix well. Your surgeon will most likely recommend you stop taking any Vitamin E supplements you are currently taking although the Vitamin E in your multi-vitamin is probably acceptable. Do not confuse this with using Vitamin E topical lotions or gels as these are used post-operative to help scars heal.
  • Many herbal supplements can have the same effect as Vitamin E in that they can cause bleeding or other complications. Talk to your doctor but the usual recommendations are to avoid Gingko Biloba, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginger, Gond Quai, Ephedra, Feverfew, St. John’s Wort, and Omega 3 fatty acids. Again, talk to your surgeon or patient representative for a comprehensive list and more detail.





  • Vitamin A –taken in too large of a dose, this can cause several maladies you’d rather not deal with right now. Be sure to get a recommendation from your surgeon or patient representative for this. Vitamin A is important to the healing process as it plays an important role in collagen production and formation as well as aiding in protection against bacterial and viral infections.
  • Vitamin C –you’ll want to take this prior to your surgery as the surgery itself will deplete your body’s vitamin C stores. Taking it before and after the surgery significantly speed your healing time. Also, Vitamin C is a is an essential element in collagen production which is important for healing wounds of any type.
  • Bromelain –used to reduce swelling. Bromelains an enzyme found in pineapple juice and the pineapple stem. When used as medicine, it fights pain, reduces swelling and has even been shown to contain chemicals that interfere with the growth of tumor cells. Your surgeon or patient counsellor may recommend a steady dose of Bromelain prior to your surgery.
•Arnica Montana –used to soothe aches, reduce inflammations and promote healing. Arnica is available as an ointment or gel and is made from the Arnica Montana plant found in the mountainous regions of Europe and southern Russia. Arnica is topical only and should not be ingested as the plant is poisonous.