Question: I’m having an operation soon, and my friends are advising against seafood and chicken after surgery. Do we really have to avoid certain foods before/after surgery?

Answered by Chan Ya Ling, Dietitian, Department of Dietetics, Sengkang General Hospital (SKH), a member of the SingHealth group.

We are sometimes advised not to eat these foods because according to traditional Chinese medicine, they are known to affect wound healing. There is little evidence however to back this up.

Good sources of protein

On the contrary, chicken and seafood are well-documented good sources of protein and protein is one of the components needed for your body to heal. Surgery creates stress for our bodies, which can deplete nutrients and weaken our immunity, increasing the risk of infections.

If you wish to play safe, there are many other protein sources to choose from – think

  1. Fish,
  2. Pork,
  3. Mutton,
  4. Egg white,
  5. Tofu,
  6. Beans and
  7. Legumes

More importantly, eat a healthy, balanced diet and a wide variety of foods in order to heal well. For those with dietary restrictions or poor food intake, we encourage you to seek a dietitian’s advice.​

Myth or fact – Is it safe to consume coffee and spicy food while on antibiotics? Click the link to find out.

How safe is it to consume leftovers? Click the link to find out. 

Ref: N18