Great foods to eat after heart surgery


According to the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, 152 thousand coronary artery bypass surgeries were performed in the United States in 2003. Coronary artery bypass surgery requires the surgeon to bypass blockages in the heart arteries to restore blood flow to the heart muscle.

Following surgery, your body will need extra protein to aid the healing process. The Cleveland Clinic recommends 0.8 to 1.0 g of protein per kilogram of body weight following bypass surgery. For example, a person who weighs 150 lbs. would require approximately 54 to 68 g of protein per day. Good dietary sources of protein include beans, soy, nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy products, fish, and lean meats.

After heart bypass surgery, you will need to include more heart-healthy fats in your diet such as omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. The Cleveland Clinic recommends you aim for two servings of oily fish a week to help keep your heart healthy following heart bypass surgery. Omega-3 fatty acids help to lower blood cholesterol levels.

What should your diet include?

  • Aim for variety.
  • Include as much fresh food as possible.
  • Minimize your consumption of processed foods and fast food.
  • Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid


An anti-inflammatory diet can help decrease chronic inflammation.  Inflammation  is a root cause of many serious diseases.

What foods are Anti Inflammatory?

Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as

  • salmon, tuna, sardines, cod
  • flax seed
  • walnuts

Spices and herbs

  • turmeric, rosemary, ginger
  • garlic and onions
  • extra virgin olive oil  ( should be a bit bitter tasting)


Limit your sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300mg a day following heart bypass surgery, advises the Cleveland Clinic.

The US. National Library of Medicine's MedLine Plus service states that supplementation of omega-3 for one month prior to and one month after heart bypass surgery reduces the risk for postoperative blockage of blood vessels by 26 percent. Further research is needed to assess the effects of omega-3 supplementation prior to other types of surgery.

Eating a low fat and low cholesterol diet is also a good idea. Stopping harmful activities such as smoking or drinking alcohol increase your chance of a long and productive life.

For most people this requires at least nine collective servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Incorporate a variety of fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables into your diet routinely for maximum benefits. Varieties particularly rich in antioxidants include berries, citrus fruits, apples, broccoli,  cantaloupe, kiwi, papaya, mango, tomatoes, leafy greens, bell peppers, carrots and sweet potatoes.  Your plate should look like a rainbow of colors. Your goal everyday should be to eat natural sources of every color of the rainbow. It is also a good way for kids to eat healthy at an early age.

Red Fruits and Vegetables

Contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin, to name a few. These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support join tissue in arthritis cases.


Orange and Yellow fruits and vegetables

Contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones.


Green vegetables and Fruit

Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity.


Blue and purple fruits and vegetables

Contain nutrients which include lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and quercetin. Similar to the previous nutrients, these nutrients support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as an anticarcinogens in the digestive tract, and limit the activity of cancer cells.


Eat Whole grains.  Be sure that you buy whole grain not ground  wheat.  The ground wheat will also enter the blood stream faster than the slow release of the whole grain.  The whole grain also takes longer to digest so it will keep you feeling full longer. Nutrient-rich whole grain foods include steel cut and old-fashioned oatmeal, 100 percent whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, pearled barley, quinoa, air-popped popcorn, brown rice and wild rice.

Lean protein sources, on the other hand, promote wellness, strength and recovery. Examples of lean protein-rich foods include lean meats, skinless chicken and turkey breasts, low-fat dairy products, legumes and fish. Select low-fat cooking techniques, such as grilling, baking, broiling and steaming, most often. Fatty fish, such as albacore tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel, halibut and lake trout, provide omega-3 fatty acids --- healthy fats associated with improved heart health. The American Heart Association recommends fatty fish at least 2 to 3 times per week for optimum wellness.



Worlds Healthiest Foods

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