food is fuelEating a balanced diet before surgery will help "fill your tank" so your body can better handle the stress of the procedure. After surgery, good nutrition helps you regain your energy, fight infection, and heal. The physical stresses of surgery increase the body's metabolism, or the processes that keep us alive and functioning. That increased rate means your body uses up a lot more energy after surgery, which is why you need to "fill your tank" before surgery.

healthy lunchThat said, it can be a challenge to eat well prior to surgery. Experiencing the "butterflies" of nervousness or just not feeling well from being ill can lessen your appetite.

We can't repeat it enough: Good nutrition speeds recovery time, lowers your risk of infection and other complications, and helps you regain your strength and energy. In the Healthy All-Around Diet section, we'll tell you what nutrients you need – and how to get them.

In the meantime, here are a gew resources that can help you in your quest to eat a balanced diet and build up your reserve: