You have just undergone stenting or bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass grafting, or CABG) to increase blood flow to your heart muscle and prevent a first or second heart attack. Although you are looking forward to feeling better, your body is exhausted. To speed your recovery, eat protein. "Surgery of any kind increases the need for protein. Its very important in the healing process," says Cleveland Clinic dietitian Melissa Ohlson, MS, RD, LD. After a major surgical procedure such as CABG, protein is needed to repair your heart, your cracked breastbone and your stitched skin. Protein contains amino acids, which play a key role in repairing and rebuilding muscle and bone.