In certain cultures, there are several taboos (“pantang”) during occasions like after a surgery, during and after pregnancy, when having a fever or flu, during new year, wedding and etcetera. Of course these taboos include food taboos.
One of the common food taboos, is to avoid chicken and egg after surgery as it will cause the wound to be infected with pus (“nanah”).
Is this true? Should we really avoid them?
In short, this is a MYTH.
If So, What Are The Facts?
Firstly, what causes pus on a wound is generally, an infection by bacteria or fungi. When the body detects an infection, it sends white blood cells (neutrophils) to the infected area to destroy the bacteria or fungi. During this process, dead cells, tissue, and bacteria accumulate as pus.
There is always a chance of getting an infection and subsequently pus on a wound. Nevertheless, to reduce the risk:
Ensure that the wound is clean and dressing changed when necessary.
Eat well to ensure adequate nutrition for wound healing, especially proteins; of which includes chicken and eggs. Example of other sources of protein are fish, tofu, milk, beans and lentils.
If diabetic, manage your blood sugar level well. Elevated blood sugar levels delays wound healing and increases risk of bacterial infection.
Therefore, should you eat chicken and eggs after a surgery?
Yes, it is completely safe and even advisable. However, if you are still not convinced and do not feel comfortable eating them, it is also alright to skip the chicken and egg. Nevertheless, remember to get your protein from the other sources as mentioned.
We provide post-operation meals with adequate nutrition that supports wound healing. Use promo code “HOMEYBLOG” to get 5% discount when buying meals at Homey!
Köhler, R., Lambert, C., & Biesalski, H. K. (2018). Animal-based food taboos during pregnancy and the postpartum period of Southeast Asian women – A review of literature. Food Research International. S0963-9969(18)30812-3 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2018.10.026
Everything You Need to Know About Pus (2018). https://www.healthline.com/health/pus
Abscess (2016). nhs.uk/conditions/Abscess