Yogurt, cheese, green leafy vegetables, collard, turnip greens, mackerel, salmon and tuna are rich in Vitamin D and aid in calcium absorption, aiding fracture recovery. Include sweet, bitter and astringent foods to your diet, they are healing in nature. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and salty, sour or pungent foods.
A broken bone or even a hairline fracture can cause untold misery in the form of throbbing pain. Plenty of rest and medication are required to heal and bond the fracture. It can be a cumbersome, tiring process for a fractured bone to recover completely. While medical advancements have eased the process, there are also certain foods to heal broken bones quickly.
Understanding The Bone Structure
The primary structure of a bone is made up of collagen, calcium and phosphorous deposits in the form of minerals. These minerals give the bones strength while the collagen rods provide resiliency. Inadequate levels of Vitamin D in the body can also lead to a condition called rickets which causes brittle bones .
Protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium and zinc are the main constituents for healthy bone development. Consuming foods that are rich in these ingredients are guaranteed to speed up bone fractures.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends upping your calcium intake first and foremost to build strong dense bones. Foods that are rich sources of calcium include yogurt, cheese and green vegetables. Foods such as soy-milk, breads and cereals consist of added calcium.
It is essential that when you consume beverages rich in calcium, the bottle or container needs to be shaken well as calcium tends to settle down at the bottom. When the body’s calcium absorbing tendency is low, you can also consume calcium supplements .
According to a study, children who don’t drink cow’s milk are at increased risk for pre-pubertal bone fractures .
Vitamin D is an important component for bone health as it helps in the absorption of Calcium. Sunlight is an important source of Vitamin D. Foods such as mackerel, salmon and tuna are good sources. It is also said that one eight-ounce serving of milk contains 25% of the daily value (DV) of vitamin D. Calcium supplements are also good sources of Vitamin D .
Results from 2 large, prospective cohort studies support an association between vitamin K intake and relative risk of hip fracture – those consuming highest amount of Vitamin K had the lowest risk of hip fractures . Leafy vegetables are a great source of Vitamin K.
Recommended Foods For Helping Recover Bone Fractures
Some of the highly recommended foods that aid in bone fracture recovery are collard greens such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, okra and turnip greens. You can also consume spinach, brussel sprouts, papaya, potatoes, raisins, plantains and prunes.
Foods That Can Weaken Bones
Chronic drinking causes serious health problems such as pancreatitis, liver disease, heart problems, cancer and osteoporosis. Alcohol interferes with calcium balance by increasing the parathyroid hormone which causes reduction in calcium reserves .
Sodium Chloride (Salt)
While salt intake is required for healthy functioning of the body, excess consumption of dietary salt can cause weakening of bones.
Drinking more than three cups of coffee per day may interfere with calcium absorption in the body and may cause bone weakening.
Unbalanced pH Levels
The maintenance of acid-base balance is critical for bone health. A drop in extracellular pH stimulates bone resorption because bone calcium is used to buffer the pH drop. An acid-forming diet, therefore, increases urinary calcium excretion.
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables that is typical of a vegan diet has a positive effect on the calcium economy and markers of bone metabolism in men and women. The high potassium and magnesium content of fruit and vegetables provides an alkaline ash, which inhibits bone resorption.
This also ties in very nicely with the Ayurvedic view of high amount of Pitta in the body leading to reduction in structural strength. One of the seminal Ayurvedic texts, the Charaka Samhita, recommends a pitta-pacifying diet:
- Consuming sweet, bitter and astringent foods that cool the system – these foods are nourishing, vitalizing, saturating, bulk-promoting, stabilizing, compressing, healing and absorbing in nature.
- Avoiding pungent, sour and salty foods – these foods are mass-breaking, space-creating and remove stiffness, binding and compactness.
- Understanding the Structure of Bones. Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation.
- Food and Your Bones. National Osteoporosis Foundation.
- Craig, Winston J. “Health effects of vegan diets.”The American journal of clinical nutrition 89.5 (2009): 1627S-1633S.
- Black, Ruth E., et al. “Children who avoid drinking cow milk have low dietary calcium intakes and poor bone health.”
- The American journal of clinical nutrition 76.3 (2002): 675-680.
- What People Recovering from Alcoholism Need to Know About Osteoporosis. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases, April 2015.