Foods and Supplements to Speed Healing From a Bone Break or Injury.
What are foods and supplements you can take to help speed healing from a bone break or injury? Here are some of the foods and supplements I’ve used to help my body heal.
As some of you know I fractured my Sesamoid bone in July 2016. When it happened, I had no idea how serious of an injury it was. I thought I’d be back in no time. I was wrong. I later learned that a Sesamoid injury can often be a lifelong struggle for many athletes and active individuals. But recovery IS possible and I am determined to be one of the success stories.
Recovery from a bone break or serious foot injury like the Sesamoid is a long, tortuous process. It is often an emotional roller coaster of ups and downs; good and bad days. Taking a proactive approach to healing has helped me stay positive and focused throughout this challenge. It helps me to know I am doing everything I can to be good to my body and promote healing. This means making sure to follow all of my physical therapy exercises, listen to my body’s needs, eat a nutrient rich diet, invest in healing supplements, rest, and work on keeping my mind in a peaceful place. The mindset piece of injury recovery really is the hardest part – staying positive, patient, and focusing on what you can do to make progress really helps.
I filmed several hurt foot workout videos for my Youtube channel throughout this recovery. These exercise videos are safe to do with a foot, ankle, or toe injury. Creating this content helped me connect to others who are experiencing the similar pain and frustration of injury. Knowing I could contribute in helping someone else through a challenging time lifted my spirits and reading the kind comments below the videos is often the fuel that keeps me moving forward. It’s a full circle – the best exercise for the heart is reaching down and lifting someone else up. I am so grateful for my community online and off who has been my support system throughout this process.
I hope to use all of the valuable experiences I’ve gained from this injury to help others through my work. I feel that the lessons I’ve learned (and continue to learn) can help others who face a painful injury in life.
If you are struggling with an injury right now I want you to know: you are not alone. I know how you feel and my heart goes out to you! I want to share the foods and supplements that have helped me in healing from bone break injury in hope that my story can help you in some way. Of course, everyone’s needs are different, so always consult with a doctor / nutritionist before changing your diet or adding supplements. These recommendations are based off my own personal bone break injury recovery experience. I share them with you with the hope that the resources below help you stay positive, make progress, and recover to full health.
Foods and Supplements to Help Heal From Bone Break or Fracture
Following an anti-inflammatory, high quality, nutrient rich diet is a powerful way to support your body in recovering from a bone break, fracture, or injury. There are also a few specific foods and supplements that can further aid in the process. Here are the foods and supplements I have found to be most effective.
- Vitamin D. The jury is still out on whether or not vitamin D supplementation actually leads to bone healing after a fracture, but evidence suggests that a vitamin D deficiency often plays a role in broken bones. In that way, vitamin D does play a role in bone healing, at the very least indirectly. If you have a broken bone, getting out in the sun is ideal because getting vitamin D directly from sunlight is really important for bone growth. I did this a lot with my injury in the beginning – I made an effort to go out by the pool and get sunshine! During the wintertime, investing in a Sun Therapy Lamp can help in healing (and seasonal depression). You can also take 5,000 IUs of vitamin D twice a day for three months to help heal broken bones fast.
- Calcium. Calcium is an essential structural component of the skeleton, which makes it vital for both health and bone healing. That’s why a calcium deficiency can contribute to broken bones — and why eating more calcium rich foods can aid bone healing naturally. You can get calcium from green leafy foods like spinach, broccoli, kale, arugula, and raw fermented dairy products. In addition to eating calcium rich foods, I like to take a calcium supplement to ensure I’m getting enough.
- Magnesium. In order for your body to even use calcium, you also have to have magnesium because research shows magnesium and calcium metabolism are closely related. Eat magnesium rich foods like green leafy vegetables, Flaxseeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds, Grass-fed beef, Swiss chard, Almonds, Avocados, and Black beans. You can also add a magnesium supplement, I take the Source naturals magnesium daily.
- Vitamin C. Many studies tout the benefits of vitamin C on bone healing. Eat foods rich in vitamin C like vegetable juices, orange juice, true oranges, lemons, bell peppers, kiwis, broccoli and asparagus.
- Protein. Getting enough protein is always important, but especially when you are healing from an injury. Bone is made of living protein upon which mineral crystals are implanted. By volume, about 50% of bone is protein. When a bone fracture takes place, the body starts collecting protein building blocks to create new bone. Increasing protein consumption promotes growth factors such as insulin like growth, which has a positive effect on skeletal integrity, muscle strength, immune response, and bone renewal. Make sure you know and work to meet your daily protein requirement with high quality nutrition. I follow a healthy, clean diet and supplement extra protein in recipes with all natural, plant based Vega protein powder (its my favorite). Getting enough protein ensures that your body has what it needs to repair and restore.
- Collagen. I was really skeptical about collagen at first, but then I purchased a bottle at Whole Foods Market, and have been hooked ever since. Collagen is the mechanical strength of bone. It helps to build bone matrix, repair connective tissues for improved elasticity, improve blood vessel circulation, and promote wound healing. I take 6 capsules of Super Collagen+C Type 1 and 3 in the morning before breakfast. I also put Nunaturals collagen in my morning bowl of oatmeal for an extra dose. It doesn’t have a taste, but makes the oatmeal super thick!
- Turmeric. Turmeric supports a healthy inflammatory response and heart, joint & liver function. You can add turmeric spices to foods / recipes or take a supplement to promote healing. I take the Gaia herbs turmeric supreme 3 times per day with meals. I’ve also tried taking Curamin (main active ingredient in turmeric) directly. I feel both have made a difference in my healing.
- Bone broth. Bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation. It is a rich source of chondroitin sulfate, which has an anti-inflammatory effect and has been found to also help alleviate joint pain, improve blood circulation, promote intestinal healing, help in calcium- or- magnesium-deficiency-related insomnia, irritability, fatigue and anxiety. I prefer this brand because it’s low in sodium, but there are a lot of options to purchase at your local market and healthy ways to cook up your own at home.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is considered to be a potent remedy for illnesses and overall health. You can read all about it’s diverse and incredible health benefits here. I drink an apple cider vinegar detox drink every day and swear by it’s magic powers.
- Epsom Salt. Taking regular epsom salt baths has been powerful for me in dealing with pain and promoting recovery. Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfates which help flush toxins, improve absorption of nutrients, help form joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins. I take a hot bath several times a week to promote circulation and healing.
- Arnica. Arnica functions as anti trauma aid and can be taken immediately after fracture.
- Zheng Gu Shui. You’ve probably never heard of zheng gu shui but let me tell you: it’s a game changer. Zheng Gu Shui translates to ‘mending bone water’ in English. Zheng Gu Shui is a liniment especially designed to relieve pain associated with fractures, bruises and other types of mild trauma. I put the ointment on my foot nightly and also found it helpful with sore muscles, aches, and pains.
A quality bone healing diet consists of lots of nutrient dense anti-inflammatory foods, vitamins, and minerals. It’s important to stay away from foods that tend to be overly acidic, conventional meat and dairy products, alcohol, excess sodium, and sugar (which is the DEVIL and creates inflammation). Those will acidify your body and actually leach minerals out of your body and cause your bone healing and growth to slow down. If you want even more insight in how to fuel your success, I highly recommend JJ Virgin’s work. This video is one of my all time favorite resources to share with clients.
Exercise can also Speed Bone Break Fracture Healing!
Exercise is an important way to accelerate fracture healing. The healing process requires good blood circulation, and a satisfactory flow of nutrient replenishing blood to the bone break fracture area. However, your exercise choices need to be SAFE and not put ANY stress on the bone break fracture. Check out my hurt foot workouts to help get ideas on exercises you can do with a hurt foot or injury.
I know how incredibly frustrating and challenging dealing with a bone break or an injury can be. It helps to stay positive, patient, and focus on the steps you can take right now to move forward. It’s a long, slow, process but I know this for sure: you will grow stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually from the injury challenges you face. Have faith, practice patience, trust the journey, and take small steps in healing every day. Be kind to yourself and treat your body, mind, and spirit with love. If you need more tips to help keep your mind in good shape while you heal, read “How to Stay positive with an Injury”.
Your turn: Have you found these foods or supplements helpful in your own life? What have you found to be most effective in healing from injury?
I hope this post serves you in feeling your best. I want you to know that I am cheering for you.
Stay strong and stay positive my friends.
For more support in living your best life, check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape.