The human body is a remarkable healer of itself. After a break, also called a fracture, your bones will produce new cells and tiny blood vessels at the broken part to close up the gap until it’s good as new.
Chances are, your doctor reduced the bone, putting it into a splint or a cast, to keep it immobile until it’s strong again. First rule of order: Be sure to follow your doctor’s treatment plan carefully to mend and heal properly.
You must limit the use of your damaged limb. Relax and accept that you cannot do the things you used to normally do. If you do, try to do things too soon, you will possibly lengthen the time it takes to get back to normal. But, right now, let’s talk about how you might help to speed your recovery time. Because bone is about 70% mineral content, it is high in phosphorus, magnesium, silicon, zinc, and of course, calcium, along with some other minerals. Bone is also very high in protein content. A high-protein diet will provide some of the building blocks needed to synthesize a new bone matrix.
Plant-based proteins are recommended, such as nuts, oats, and quinoa, instead of animal and dairy proteins which contain more fat. Amino acids found in protein, such as lysine, arginine, glycine, cysteine and glutamine are responsible for the absorption of calcium and the regeneration of bone tissue. Anti-oxidants, like vitamins E, C and K, may aid in fracture healing by suppressing inflammation. By adding more dark leafy vegetables and any type of berry your bones will really benefit.
Other foods to eat when your bones are healing are: Oats, shredded wheat, collard greens, broccoli, sardines, salmon and other fish, fat free chicken or turkey breast, fresh fruits, grapes, orange and grape juice, nuts, tomatoes, apples, and water. Be sure to drink lots of water, which will carry the nutrients of your improved diet to the bones. You’ll go to the bathroom more, and that’s not easy for you in your current condition. But it will keep you from being too inactive, which will make you sore and stiff, by just “going”.
Movement is essential. Only after approval by your doctor, small movements will keep blood flowing, carrying important nutrients to the break site. Wiggling your toes or fingers, stretching gently, and rotating shoulders and elbow joints will keep circulation going in your unusable arm or leg.
Do lots of sleeping, as your body needs rest to heal. Your body has endured a serious shock and it may require a long road of recovery to be complete.
Consider avoiding these foods while you’re healing, which hinder the absorption of calcium and minerals: carbonated drinks, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, high-fat foods, sugar and salt.
Oh, one last thing: if you smoke, stop. Research has shown that smokers’ bones heal much slower and take more time to heal than non-smokers. Try quitting the habit with an established support system and a smoking cessation program with proven results. So if you eat better, sleep more, drink lots of water, do easy exercises, and live nicotine-free, you will be back to your normal routine as soon as possible.