When it comes to this condition, one question that most people would usually ask is "What foods can actually cause appendicitis?" Since this disorder occurs in a part of the digestive system, it's not unusual for people to blame their diet for this ailment. But while it's true that what you consume has a direct impact on your digestive (and overall) health, it does not necessarily mean that the foods you eat can actually cause this disorder.
Spicy Foods and Plant Seeds Are Often (Wrongly) Blamed for Appendicitis
People who love spicy foods often feel disheartened when they're told that these can cause appendicitis. But the truth is that eating spicy foods cannot cause appendicitis and will not make it burst. While it's possible for a piece of spicy food to cause a blockage in the appendix, it is not the spiciness of the food that can lead to this condition.
However, consuming spicy foods like hot peppers, chili and salsa can affect your digestion, cause discomfort and mimic the early signs of appendicitis. It can lead to indigestion, which causes severe pain in the area between the breastbone and bellybutton (the area of the body where appendicitis first manifests), as well as nausea.
Sometimes, the pain is so severe that it's often mistaken for appendicitis or a burst appendix — even though it's not.1 Fruit and plant seeds and other residuals are also sometimes blamed for appendicitis, and for this reason, people become hesitant to consume them. Examples include tomato seeds and grape seeds.
However, a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine said that the risk of these materials causing acute appendicitis is very minimal. Nevertheless, the researchers advise digesting and chewing fruit and plant seeds well to help prevent a blockage from occurring in the appendix.2
Foods You Can Eat After an Appendectomy
An appendectomy is sometimes inevitable, especially if the inflammation has already worsened. If you've had this procedure, then you need to keep in mind that getting enough rest and consuming the right foods are necessary to speed up and ensure proper recovery. For the first day or two after the operation, your doctor might put you on intravenous (IV) feeding. Afterwards, a liquid diet of broth and juice, along with applesauce and other light foods like gelatin, may be consumed.3
It's important to take a few sips at a time, allowing your appetite to increase so that you'll feel stronger gradually.4 Eventually, you may include other soft foods in your diet. Traditionally fermented yogurt is a good choice because it's easy to digest and does not cause nausea. Its beneficial bacteria can also help your body's natural healing process.5
Avoid These Foods After You Have the Procedure
Once you feel strong enough and your appetite has returned, you can start consuming a healthy balanced diet. But although many doctors tell their patients that they can eat "anything," remember that there are certain foods that you should limit or avoid during the first month after having an appendectomy, such as:
- Fried foods, especially those that are fried in vegetable oils, as they are hard to digest
- Pastries, cakes sweets and other baked goods that have plenty of sugar and fat are difficult to digest and can lead to bloating
- Red meat, as it may take a long time to digest
- Whole milk, cream cheeses and ice cream (while raw milk is particularly good for you, it may cause digestive discomfort)
- Alcohol, which can irritate your digestive system