What Should Be the Post Fracture/Trauma Diet?

By Dr. Geeta Buryok in Dietetics

Jul 05 , 2017 | 3 min read


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. Divya Choudhary, Head, Nutrition and Dietetics, suggests what all post fracture diet for a quick healing.

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 as little surprise that it plays the 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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

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.