Foods To Boost The Immunity After Bariatric Surgery
The world is struggling with the “Coronavirus outbreak“, which the World Health Organization also accepts as a pandemic. Many scientists related to coronavirus are working hard on the treatment and healing processes. Covid-19 affects people with weak immune systems and chronic diseases. Our patients who have undergone bariatric surgery have one question in mind: “Is my immunity inadequate because I had bariatric surgery? Is the amount of food I eat sufficient to strengthen my immunity? ”
First of all, I would like to emphasize that there is a serious increase in the immunity of all of you when compared with now and before surgery. One of the factors that decrease immunity is obesity. In addition to being operated, you have started to eat healthier and better quality. You have almost moved away from your old bad eating habits and added new, beautiful habits to your life; reading labels, eating consciously, learning the content of foods, etc.
While avoiding this epidemic process, I will describe ways to strengthen our immune system just choosing the right foods. It should be remembered that the solution of the coronavirus is not possible with only a medical nutrition plan, but healthy nutrition, regular sleep, and physical activity will help strengthen our immune system.
As bariatric dietitians, if you ask which word is the most word out of our mouth, you will always answer “PROTEINS“. Yes, we emphasize the importance of proteins for you many times in the postoperative period. The most important food source that will increase your immunity, you should definitely consume the proteins that serve as your body’s defense shield at every meal. The protein sources we consume most; egg, cheese, meat, chicken, fish, turkey, milk, and milk group. We should also add legumes, which are a source of vegetable protein, to this list. Our patients who have undergone bariatric surgery and who have completed their first month can start eating legumes as boiled. In addition, since legumes are long-lasting, they are a good source of nutrients that will remain intact during this period of the stock.
When we say immunity, the first vitamin that comes to our mind is vitamin C. Vitamin C enhances leukocyte function in the blood, increasing the number of antibodies and the effectiveness of antibodies that fight free radicals and microbes. During this period, you should consume more foods rich in vitamin C. If you think we are taking vitamin C only from orange, tangerine, grapefruit, you are wrong! Green leafy vegetables like Capia pepper, green pepper, parsley, mint, spinach are very good sources of vitamin C. Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery for the first 3 months, during which they should avoid acidic fruits and vegetables such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, need to consume more of the green leafy vegetables as boiled.
According to the results of the studies, people with vitamin D deficiency have a higher risk of infection. The biggest source of vitamin D is the sun. For vitamin D, you can sunbathe on your balcony for 10-15 minutes every day with your hands and elbows exposed. Unfortunately, Vitamin D we take from food is not enough for our body. Therefore, in the case of vitamin D deficiency, nutritional supplements should be obtained. If vitamin D deficiency has been observed in your routine blood tests, you can get vitamin D supplements by contacting your doctor.
Zinc is one of the most effective minerals that strengthen the immune system. Zinc is found especially in animal protein sources such as meat, fish, eggs as well as nuts. If it’s been three months since your surgery, you can now consume nuts for your snacks. However, portion control is very important when it comes to nuts. You can add 1 small handful of pumpkin seeds or 8 almonds to your daily diet. Eating a large number of nuts will cause you to eat unnecessary calories and pause your weight loss process.
Probiotics are also very important in this process. The gut microbiota supports the immune system by regulating the number and density of immune cells in the gut. Remember, 70% of our immune system is located in our intestines. The best sources of probiotics are fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir. You should definitely consume foods containing probiotics for two meals a day.
You should also add nutrients containing Omega-3 fatty acids that help regulate and strengthen our immune system to your daily diet during this period. The best sources of omega-3 are fish, walnut, avocado, and purslane. You can start consuming fish, avocado, and purslane from the puree diet period; however, for walnuts that are difficult to digest, you should wait to fill your 3rd month. In the social isolation process, canned fish will be a good source of omega-3s for you.
Adequate water consumption is very important for the immune system elements to work. You should drink at least 2 liters of water per day, paying attention to the solid-liquid separation. Our patients who have difficulty drinking water can add 1-2 slices of apple, parsley, mint, cinnamon to your water for sweetening them, or you can consume herbal teas such as linden and chamomile.