What To Eat After A Colonoscopy Procedure? Points To Know!

what to eat after a colonoscopy

Have you just got yourself a colonoscopy? Or perhaps you are looking to get yourself one? In either case, for the unversed, this medical procedure can disrupt the functioning of your digestive system. Hence, you cannot eat everything that you normally eat in a day. Wondering what to eat after a colonoscopy? We have the answers for you right here! 

This post will briefly outline the foods to eat after the medical procedure, and the foods to avoid.  Apart from that, we will also try answering some of the most asked questions that you may have. Let us get to the details – 

What to eat after a colonoscopy? 

man eating after colonoscopy
Image Credit: GoodRx

For starters, you must remember to have food that is easily digestible, does not cause gas (especially if you have a history of gas pains), and would support your healing process. The low-residue diet will help your intestines recover after the process. Let us explore the specifics – 

Fluids  Start recuperating with water, and then follow it up with electrolyte drinks, herbal teas, and vegetable juices (lettuce/carrot/celery/beet/parsley)

These drinks help your body recharge with minerals and nutrients at the initial level.  

Soup/Broth  Soups or broths are good transition meals after the process. 

Before you start your ‘solid diet’ a bowl of chicken noodle soup or even miso soup can help your body regain the – much required potassium, iron, and carbs. 

Popsicles Many suffer from post-operative nausea and queasiness. For those wanting to know what to eat after a colonoscopy in case of such symptoms, popsicles can provide you great relief. 

Also, they provide you with the perfect combo of sugar and liquid that precisely increases your energy levels. 

Applesauce  Just as you get ready to dive into the ‘solid’ foods, post the procedure, here is a starter. Applesauce. 

This food has polyphenols that enhance the antioxidant enzymes in the colon cells. 

It also reduces the amount of inflammatory agents in the gut. 

For those opting for store-bought applesauce, they have ascorbic acid in it. This supports the immune system and the natural healing process of the body. 

Scrambled eggs  Scrambled eggs are a digestible food product that would help heal your gut after the process. 

It also contains Vitamin D which increases the collagen-making process in the body. 

Note: Do not add cheese/milk to the eggs, since that could be hard on your gut. 

Mashed potatoes  Potatoes are packed with Vitamin C, B6, and potassium. This helps improve your potassium levels in the body (which is a crucial electrolyte), which has gone off-track due to the procedure. 
White bread  For the unversed, this has both carbs and starch content that are easily digestible. 

Also, the fiber found in this is comparatively less dense and suitable for your gut recovery. 

Gelatin/Pudding  Jello (a gelatin dessert) or pudding are easily digestible foods that you can have post your colonoscopy process. 

The collagen present in gelatin helps build a mucus lining along the intestine walls. It promotes healthy digestion and protects the stomach against ulcers. 

Tender cooked vegetables  Sauteed or steamed veggies are suitable for improving your gut. They offer a range of antioxidants, fibers, nutrients, and minerals to help your gut recover after the procedure. 
White rice  This is one food item you must add to your list of what to eat after a colonoscopy. It is one of the best sources of carbohydrates and is very easy to digest. 

Pair it up with scrambled eggs for a nutritious after-procedure meal.  

Whitefish/Chicken  Whitefish like halibut, cod, and tilapia are mild on the gut. Even boiled chicken is a great addition. 

As lean proteins, they help your body recuperate. The added potassium and healthy fats are also essential for the body. 

What foods to avoid after a colonoscopy?

Now that you have gained clarity about what to eat after a colonoscopy let us give you an idea about what foods to avoid after this procedure – 

  • Raw fruits and vegetables

raw fruits and vegetables not to have after colonoscopy
Image Credit: Gravity Fitness Equipment

It could be tough on your digestive system. 

  • Dairy products that have lactose

what not to eat after colonoscopy process
Image Credit: iStock

Even if you are not lactose-intolerant, you might become one just after the process. Your digestive system is sensitive and will not be able to handle the process. 

  • Whole grains are a complete no-no 

whole grains not to have after colonoscopy
Image Credit: EatingWell

Generally speaking oatmeal and brown rice work wonders for your health. But not after you have had a colonoscopy. They are hard to digest and can cause bowel irritation. 

  • Acidic fruits 

acidic foods to avoid after colonoscopy
Image Credit: My Hills Dentist

Assuming that you would not have had any food before the surgery, these fruits could aggravate the acid present in your digestive system. That will cause you to get a stomachache. 

Nuts and seeds

nuts and seeds not suitable after colonoscopy
Image Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

While you may love to have a bite of almond or cashew, post the procedure they will be a little hard on your stomach. 

Cruciferous vegetables and legumes

cruciferous veggies not after colonoscopy
Image Credit: Live Science

They are the best foods for your body. But post your colonoscopy, these foods could create gas in your stomach and cause gas pains. 

Fried/Spicy/Fatty foods

Image Credit: MyRecipes

These are anyway not good for your health. Hence, steer clear of it after you are done with the procedure. 

Alcohol and carbonated drinks

avoid liquor after colonoscopy
Image Credit: Healthline

These soda drinks can make you feel bloated and gassy. That is the last thing you want after a colonoscopy process. 

Apart from the foods mentioned above, consult with your medical professionals, regarding any other restrictions. 

What is the right time to start eating after a colonoscopy? 

right time to start eating after colonoscopy
Image Credit: iStock

To only be aware of what to eat after a colonoscopy is not good enough. You also must know the correct time of eating post the procedure. The ideal time to start eating is after the effect of the sedative wears off. Normally, doctors recommend holding up to 1 hour. But it could extend up to 2-3 hours. Hence, you must be prepared accordingly. 

At the end of the day, you must consult a doctor for the specifics. 

Parting thoughts 

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure to detect abnormalities in the colon, especially polyps that could further develop into cancerous growth. Though a person has to be hospitalized for 1-2 hours only, after this procedure the digestive system gets affected. Now that you have read this post, you know what to eat after a colonoscopy and the foods to avoid. If you still have queries, you can scroll down to the list of FAQs that we have prepared for you. Lastly, always consult with your medical professional for specific details. 

If you liked this post, and want to know more of such health tips and ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’s’ keep a watch over HeAndSheFitness. We will be back with more news from the health world. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What to eat to recover gut health after colonoscopy? 

According to multiple research it has been found, many individuals face untoward abdominal symptoms after a colonoscopy. This is primarily due to the gut microbe getting affected. Having probiotics is a great way to recover gut health. 

2. What are some of the most important colonoscopy aftercare?

Amongst post-procedure care, you must stay hydrated (drink plenty of water and herbal teas), have your medicines on time, and follow strict dietary guidelines. Apart from that, start resuming your regular duties one by one. 

3. What to not do after the colonoscopy process?

Immediately after the colonoscopy process, do not indulge in any kind of heavy lifting or include heavy foods (high protein) in your diet. Your body is not ready to accept these foods right away and it will only harm you in the long run. 

4. How to manage post-colonoscopy constipation?

Many face constipation issues after their colonoscopy process. Normally, doctors recommend a minimum of 30 grams of dietary fiber with liquids. However, they may also prescribe laxatives in certain cases. Connect with your doctor for the best recommendation. 


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