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What Should Be the Post Fracture/Trauma Diet?

By Dr. Geeta Buryok in Nutrition And Dietetics , Dietetics

Jul 05 , 2017 | 4 min read

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We all know that bone is a highly vascular organ and a dynamic tissue which is remodelled constantly throughout life.

How does a bone fracture occur?

A bone fracture is a medical condition in which there is a break in the continuity of the bone. A bone fracture can be the result of high force impact or stress, or trivial injury as a result of certain medical conditions that weaken the bones, such as osteoporosis, bone cancer, or osteogenesis imperfecta, etc. The healing process can take weeks, months, or even years depending on the injury.

Can a good Nutrition help?

Food is one factor that can affect how quickly or slowly a broken bone heals. Nutrition is one of many elements that influence bone strength. Good nutrition lays a firm foundation for a healthy body and strong bones.

Dietary intake also plays a significant role in protecting the skeleton by maintaining healthy tissues to cushion the force of a fall. Each stage of the fracture healing process brings with it increased nutritional demands. For starters, the whole process requires a great deal of energy—which is generally supplied through the intake of calories in food.

Next, healing requires the synthesis of new proteins, which is dependent upon an ample supply of dietary proteins. Dr. Geeta Buryok, Head of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, suggests what all post-fracture diets for quick healing.

  1. Calcium

    Calcium is one of the main bone-forming minerals and an appropriate supply to the bone is essential at all stages of life. Since calcium is the primary mineral in the composition of human bone, it comes to an as little surprise that it plays a central role in recovery from bone fractures or other bone injuries.

    Foods high in calcium include dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt; almonds; green leafy vegetables, pulses, soy products; and cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, kale, collard and mustard, and turnip greens. White sesame seeds are believed to be one of the excellent sources of calcium.

  2. Vitamin D

    Vitamin D plays an important role in drawing calcium from your blood into the bones. Without adequate doses of vitamin D, dietary calcium can have difficulty finding its way into the bones that need the mineral to heal.

    The sunshine vitamin can be acquired through exposure to unfiltered sunlight. However few people get enough of this vitamin from the sun and need to eat foods rich in D or take supplemental doses. Food sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna; egg yolks; dairy products, including fortified milk.

    Increasing your vitamin D also balances your phosphate and calcium ratio in your bones. A 10 – 30 minutes exposure of sun on a daily basis without sunscreen can help the body to synthesise sufficient amounts of Vitamin D.

  3. Vitamin K

    This vitamin plays a key role in strengthening osteocalcin, a protein component of bone, without increasing the mineral density of bone. This vitamin is abundantly found in green leafy vegetables, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, fish, liver, meat, eggs, and cereals.

  4. Vitamin C

    A key player in the production of collagen is essential to bone healing. Good sources of Vitamin C include Lemon, Oranges, Mausami, Papaya, Tomato, Guava, Raw amla juice to name a few.

  5. Protein

    Dietary protein will increase muscle mass and calcium absorption and suppress parathyroid hormone. Protein-rich foods include meat, eggs, and fruits.

  6. Zinc

    Zinc is required for normal skeletal growth. It also promotes bone regeneration. Zinc-rich foods are meat, seeds, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.

  7. Iron

    You need iron to make collagen to rebuild your bones. It also helps your bones heal by getting oxygen into them. Iron-rich foods are eggs, whole-grain bread, and fortified cereals.

  8. Potassium

    You won't lose as much calcium when you pee if you consume enough potassium in your diet. Fresh fruits rich in potassium are bananas, potatoes, nuts, meat, and milk.

Which foods to avoid?

Just like certain foods promote bone healing, some hinder it. These foods, known as bone robbers, hinder your body's ability to absorb calcium and vitamins. In some cases, they may cause your body to pull nutrients from the bones. Foods to avoid include foods high in sugar or salt, red meat, alcohol, and caffeine.  

  1. Alcohol

    It is best to abstain from alcohol while healing a broken bone. Patients, who smoke, have a much longer average time to healing. Smoking alters the blood flow to the bone, and it is that blood flow that delivers the necessary nutrients and cells to allow the bone to heal.

  2. Coffee

    Coffee, colas, and other caffeinated drinks increase the rate of calcium loss through the urine.

  3. Salt

    High salt intakes affect calcium metabolism and are, therefore, it is recommended to avoid foods with a high salt content e.g. salted chips, packet soups, Pickles, Processed and packaged foods, Ketchups, sauces etc. You need to visit the best nutrition doctor for better results and quick recovery.

Conclusion

With this information, you can determine what a fracture patient's diet should consist of. It would be prudent to provide them with a diet that would expedite their recovery, given that their body is in a state of fluctuating stress and shock due to the injury.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What helps broken bones heal faster?

    A healthy diet contains vegetables, fruits, lean protein and water. In particular, calcium, vitamin D and protein will be important.

  2. Which fruit is best for bones?

    Fruits rich in vitamin K such as blueberries, raspberries, plums, grapes, and figs are good for bones.

  3. Are eggs good for bones?

    Eggs contain plenty of vitamin D to help improve bone health.

  4. Is hot water good for fractures?

    Heat is good as it can reduce muscle stiffness and encourage movement.

  5. How do you know when a fracture is healed?

    After six weeks, if the bone doesn't hurt while you touch it, the nit is most likely to be healed.