The 5 best foods to recover from a bone fracture

October 27, 2015

Topic: orthopaedic fracture

Consider these foods to help speed up the bone recovery process.

Dealing with an orthopaedic fracture is never fun. It can be painful and even require surgery. Once people break bones, they instantly want to be better. While that cannot happen, certain foods and nutrients can help speed up the process.

"When a bone first breaks, it needs a lot of energy to heal."

Understanding the healing process
Before getting into which foods people should add to their diet, it is important to consider the actual healing process. When a bone first breaks, it needs a lot of energy to heal. This energy comes in the form of calories from food. When the bones begin to heal and come together about two weeks later, they need adequate amounts of protein to build new bones known as soft callus. As these new proteins work and fuse together, they need amino acids from protein-based foods. It is important to focus on healthy foods during this process, not ones that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Why? The bone recovery process requires a great deal of blood flow, so if people are eating unhealthy foods and practicing dangerous habits such as smoking and drinking, it can hinder the process and make the movement of blood cells more difficult.

Bone-healing foods
With that information in mind, consider eating these foods to help recover from a broken bone faster.

1. Kale
This food and other leafy greens are high in calcium, a crucial mineral needed to build and structure bones. Without calcium, bones can become weak and brittle, so getting a good amount of this each day can help improve the healing process. Other foods high in calcium include salmon, sea vegetables and sardines. Adding yogurt - another calcium-rich food - can be especially beneficial to your bones. Yogurt contains two different amino acids, lysine and glutamine, that help the bones absorb calcium faster. 

2. Spinach
Spinach has two minerals bones need - calcium and zinc. Together, these minerals can help rebuild the bones. Zinc, which spinach has plenty of, helps cause the chemical reaction needed to build bones. Other foods high in zinc include different types of beef, oysters, wheat germ and pumpkin seeds.

Spinach and other foods rich in vitamin K can help speed up the healing process.  Spinach and other foods rich in zinc can help speed up the healing process.

3. Milk
While milk has calcium, it is also high in protein and vitamin D, two nutrients that bones need to heal. As mentioned, foods rich in protein help encourage amino acids in the bones to come together and create new bone mass. Like some types of amino acids, vitamin D helps the bones absorb the calcium they so desperately need.

4. Broccoli
Broccoli and other foods rich in vitamin K1 are very beneficial to bone health. Vitamin K1 is involved in the bone mineralization process, meaning it helps the bones fuse together and create new bone mass. Simply adding a cup of broccoli to dinner can help boost the recovery process and heal bones in no time. There are also foods rich in vitamin K2, which also plays a role in bone development. Vitamin K2 can be found in raw dairy products such as cheese and can help improve blood flow.

5. Green bell peppers
Green bell peppers are chock-full of vitamin C, another nutrient crucial to bone healing and development. However, green bell peppers are not the only food rich in vitamin C. Other foods, such as citrus fruits like oranges, strawberries and tomatoes, all have a good amount of vitamin C in them and can help heal bones quickly. Why? Vitamin C helps build collagen, which can help structure skin and tissues that surround the broken bone and support it, allowing it to heal faster.

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