Adding more fruits and veggies to your diet after cosmetic surgery may help the healing process, according to a new study from Brazil. Researchers asked 60 women (age 25-60) undergoing cosmetic abdominal surgery to eat six servings each of fruits and vegetables a day during the first month after surgery.
The researchers wanted to see if the additional intake of fruits and vegetables would result in a reduction of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation and infection. According to the researchers, “fruits and vegetables are attractive tools for the combat of inflammation because of their rich endowment of anti-inflammatory vitamins.”
Participants started the diet on the third day after surgery and continued it for four weeks afterward; interviews were held the second and third week to rule out changes in dietary habits and to reinforce compliance with the diet.
The supplemented participants had more substantial fruit (5.2 vs. 3.9 servings, approximately) and vegetable (5.9 vs. 3.4 servings) consumption compared to the control group.
Results showed that C-reactive protein diminished in both groups, but a “more expressive decrease could be demonstrated for the high fruit and vegetable participants.”
The authors wrote that increasing servings of fruits and vegetables after surgery can be a feasible strategy to reduce C-reactive protein in adults. They also recommended future studies that focus on additional inflammatory markers, different disease contexts and longer periods of supplementation and follow-up.
The full study is available through Pubmed.gov.