One of the reasons that we started Functionally was to ensure that we’re able to bring good advice to people around Fitness and Nutrition, Functional Nutrition is the core focus of our research efforts and no better time to for to be reading here if you’ve recently experienced a broken bone. (In fact, I’m sat writing to you having recently fractured my Femur heavily in a cycling accident – hence my own research on this topic!)
Hopefully you’ll have read and understood the Bone Healing Process in our last post, and know that your body is working intensively through 4 phases for up to 12 weeks to repair and build new bone structure – this requires optimal nutrition to ensure that it happens fast and result in a strong healthy bone.
Below we’ve details some of the key Do’s and Don’ts from a Nutrition point of view.
1) Understand the fracture, Understand the need for Nutrition
Whether you have broken your Wrist, Arm, Metatarsal or Leg will have an impact on the length of your recovery, and importantly the lifestyle changes that you’ll have to make in order to achieve a good recovery. Use online resources to understand the complexity of the situation and of course ensure that you receive the best medical support and advice. For example, I recently broke my leg, had same day surgery to reposition the bones and screw them back into alignment. I understood that I could not carry weight for 6 weeks, but could retain light movement of the leg, get about on crutches and ensure my nutrition was on point for 10-12 weeks because the Femur is the largest bone in the body.
2) Stock up on Calcium
Its well understood that Calcium is the building blocks of your bones, we know this means that turning to good quality dairy products might be key. We see that some of the best sources of Calcium are in:
- Fermented Milk products like Kefir
- Natural Yoghurts
- And more HERE
3) Fill your boots with Leafy Greens & Vitamin C
In order for your body to full absorb and utilise this burst of Calcium you’re going to need plenty of Magnesium which is a mineral very similar and interrelated to Calcium – the two are interdependent on one another to activate. This means that we’re going to be looking to add them to the diet as much as possible. They’re found in leafy greens such as:
- Black Beans
We know that its good for our immune systems but research has also shown that elevated levels of Vitamin C can also increase the speed of healing when it comes to broken bones, and even more recently has been linked to prevention of Cancer. My recommendation is to build elevated levels of Vitamin C into your ongoing diet, it can be found easily in:
- Red Peppers
4) Supplement with harder to get Nutrients
We usually advise that Supplements only come into the diet once all food related options have been exhausted, but when I dug a bit deeper into nutrients that could assist with bone healing I discovered two that would otherwise be low in my diet.
Vitamin D: Whilst there isn’t conclusive evidence that Vitamin D speeds up healing, it’s certainly clear in the studies that a deficiency in Vitamin D will prevent good bone recovery. So we picked up some 5000IU supplements from our local health store.
Fish Oils: The benefits of Omega 3 are widely accepted, they include enhanced brain function, immune system, reduced aging and improved bone health (http://www.chatelaine.com/health/wellness/the-benefits-of-fish-oil-seven-surprising-ways-it-improves-your-health/). As I don’t enjoy eating Fish I regularly supplement with a good quality Fish Oil capsule as part of the daily routine.
5) A shake a day makes the fracture go away!
So thats a lot of detail on the nutrition but how do we bring this into the real world and ensure we’re feeding this on a regular basis? Well below I’ve included links to some key dishes that include many of these ingredients, but also my killer shake that I’ve crafted and been using for the past couple of months.
- Bone Healing Morning Shake
Blend the following up into a Nutribullet or good blender to make the most nutritious bone healing blended shake:
- ½ a glass of Fresh Full Fat Milk
- ½ a glass of Kefir
- 1 Banana
- 1 Kiwi
- ½ Avacado
- 1 handful of Kale
- 1 handful of Spinach
- 1 serving Natural Whey Protein Powder
- Top with Water or more Milk to get your desired consistency
- Broccoli and Spinach Couscous Salad
One of our favourite salads, great if you add raisins/dates and a pinch of spice to give it that Middle Eastern flavouring.
- Blanched Spinach
Using Blanched Spinach as a side dish for another meal is a great way to include it with 2 mins effort and its really enjoyable, especially if you melt a tiny bit of butter on it too (#naughtybutnice).
I’ll add more here as we discover them…