Fractured your bone? Don’t worry…. you still can improve the strength of your bone.
When you break a bone, your body takes immediate action to repair the damage. The healing is a continuous & energy intensive process. So, good nutrition is necessary to ensure perfect and speedy recovery. You may have to work harder to build bones regardless of your current bone status. Healing requires good blood circulation and adequate nutrition through variety of food.
When you think of bone health, milk is the first food that comes to your mind. Of course, it is an excellent and easy source of calcium, for a glass of milk (240ml/80z) will provide 300mg of calcium. Calcium recommendation for an adult is 1000mg/day. Calcium is an essential mineral for the bone, muscle and heart activity.
Other dairy products like cheese and yogurt are good sources of calcium. Salmon, sardines, anchovies are among sea foods, rich in calcium. Spinach, collards and swiss chards are good vegetable sources of calcium. Broccoli, turnip leaves, asparagus, and mustard greens also contain fair amount of calcium. White beans, kidney beans, calcium fortified soy products & cereals, contains moderate amount of calcium. A teaspoon of sesame seeds over cooked greens and a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds to green salad, will enrich the dish with calcium.
Excess salt, soda and caffeine consumption will decrease the calcium absorption. For bone health, it is best not to drink too many soft drinks or cups of coffee or tea, everyday.
It is not just the calcium that is essential for the formation of bone. You also need good amount of protein, vitamin D, vitamin K, and vitamin C for bone formation and quick healing.
Protein plays important role in enhancing the integrity of your bones. Bone is a connective tissue composed of an organic protein, collagen that gives strength & flexibility to the bone and muscles. By volume, half of bone is comprised of protein. Poor protein status will take longer time to heal.
Intake of protein and calcium should be adequate for bone repair. A constant stream of amino acids, building blocks of protein, is required through regular balanced diet. For elderly, the protein intake is little higher than the recommended intakes. Meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and soy foods are considered high biological value protein foods.
Edamame (fresh green soybean) and calcium fortified tofu, tempeh, and soy beverages are excellent sources of bone-building protein. Soy milk contains plant estrogen that increases the absorption of calcium.
Among nuts almonds, pistachios, sunflower, and walnuts seeds have the highest amount of protein but high in calories, too! So, just a handful of any plain or baked nuts a day, is sufficient. Control intake of pecan and macadamia, for they are lower in protein and high in fat content.
Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is essential for the dietary calcium to get absorbed by the intestine. You could drink milk all day, but the calcium in it would not do much good to your bone unless it is accompanied by vitamin D. Mushroom, egg yolk, oyster, sardines, tuna, herrings, are good sources of Vitamin D. Milk also contains some amount of vitamin D.
Expose yourself to sunlight, everyday (before 9:00am and after 4:00pm) for vitamin D. Sunlight exposure is truly one of the powerful healing therapy. Yes, skin produces vitamin D when hit by ultraviolet light from the sun. An UV advantage! But this healing rays cannot penetrate glass. So, by just sitting inside a car or a glass room, you cannot generate vitamin D. You need to step out of the door and enjoy the sunlight!
Kidney beans are a good source of calcium and also rich in vitamin K that activate proteins during the bone formation. Other vitamain K rich foods are lettuce, spinach, turnip leaves, broccoli, and liver.
Vitamin C promotes the formation of new connective tissue, the collagen, that holds our body together. Collagen is the most abundant protein when compared to other proteins in our body. No heart or other organs and blood vessels could perform its function without the collagen, protein. Vitamin C is essential in every steps that involved in the manufacturing of collagen! Fruits are good sources of vitamin C. Include variety of fruits to every meal, every day.
Good blood circulation and consumption of high biological value protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin K rich food will speed up the healing process of bone, and also help reduce the chance of getting fracture in future.
- Rober P Heaney and Donald K Layman: “Amount and type of protein influences bone health,” Am J clin Nutr May 2008 vol.87 no. 5 15675-1570S
- H E Theobald: “Dietary calcium and health,” 2005 British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin, 30, 237-277
- Bess Dawson – Hughes: “ Calcium and Vitamin D Nutritional Needs of Elderly Women,” J. Nutr. April 1996 126: 1165S-1167S
- Jean Philippe Bonjour, Valerie Benoit, Brigitte Rousseau, and Jean-Claude Souberbielle: Consumption of Vitamin D and Calcium Fortified soft white cheese lowers the biochemical marker of bone resorption TRAP 5b in Postmenopausal women at moderat risk of osteoporosis fracture,” J. Nutr. April 1 2012 vol. 142 no. 4 698-703