Your bones are unarguably one the most important structures in your body as they help facilitate rigidity and your movement from one place to another. Without the bones, your body would not have the shape it has and your delicate internal organs such as the brain, heart and lungs, would not be as protected as they are. It is therefore very important to devise means of keeping the bones strong and healthy.
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However, rather, unfortunately, bones sometimes get affected by one issue or the other including fractures and osteoporosis. When any bone-related issue occurs, the bones need to rebuild themselves. While this can happen naturally i.e without any human intervention, eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, which is rich in certain nutrients can help speed up the bone rebuild/repair process.
This article therefore would be looking at certain types of foods you can eat regularly to speed up the repair or rebuild process of your bones, as well as those to avoid. The foods to consume are examined below:
1. Protein-rich foods
According to WebMD, about half of your body’s bone structures are made of protein and if you have a fracture, your body would need protein to build new bones. What’s more, protein also helps your body take in and use calcium, which is an important nutrient for bone health. Excellent dietary sources of protein include meat, fish, milk, yoghurt, nuts, seeds, beans, soy products, and fortified cereals.
2. Calcium-rich foods
Calcium is required by the body for many roles but one of the most important roles it plays is the building and maintenance of strong bones. Thus, it is advised that you increase your consumption of foods and drinks that are rich in it. Examples of such foods include milk, yoghurt, cheese, broccoli, collard greens, kale, soy, beans, canned tuna or salmon with bones, almond milk, and fortified cereals or juice.
3. Vitamin D-rich foods
Vitamin D helps boost your body’s absorption of calcium and its ability to build up the minerals in your bones, hence, why foods that are rich in vitamin D should be a regular feature on your diet plans, especially if you have fractures or other bone issues. You can get vitamin D from sunlight, but you can also derive it from foods such as egg yolks, fatty fish (tuna, salmon, herring, and sardines), cod liver oil, liver, yoghurt, fortified milk, and fortified orange juice.
4. Vitamin C-rich foods
Vitamin C helps your body to synthesise collagen, a protein that is important as a building block for bone. Fortunately, vitamin C helps your body make collagen, which, in turn, can help repair or rebuild your bones. Vitamin C is present in many foods including citrus fruits (oranges, lemon, lime, and grapefruit), kiwi fruit, berries, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and green vegetables.
5. Iron-rich foods
Iron can also help facilitate your body’s bone repair process by facilitating the production of collagen, and getting oxygen into your bones to help them heal. People who have iron-deficiency anaemia often heal more slowly after a fracture. You can get iron from foods such as red meat, dark-meat chicken or turkey, oily fish, eggs, dried fruits, leafy green veggies, whole-grain bread, and fortified cereals.
6. Potassium-rich foods
Potassium can help keep your bones healthy and stronger by ensuring that you don’t lose a lot of calcium via your urine when you urinate. Fortunately, many fresh fruits are rich in potassium, these include bananas, orange juice, potatoes, nuts, seeds, fish, meat, and milk.
Apart from the 6 food types examined above, it is also recommended that you reduce your intake of certain foods for the sake of your bones. This is particularly true if you have a fracture and your bone is just healing. The three foods to avoid or cut back on include the following:
Alcohol may slow down your bone healing process as it prevents the growth of new bones that can help hasten the repair process. What’s more, when you drink too much alcohol, it can make you unsteady on your feet, which, in turn, can make you more likely to fall, causing further injury or damage to the same bone.
A high intake of salt can affect your bones by making you lose more calcium via your urine. This, in turn, can significantly reduce your bone density, and make your bones brittle, and vulnerable to osteoporosis and fractures.
Also according to WebMD, having more than 4 cups of coffee a day can slow down bone healing a little, as it can make you urinate more, which, in turn, would lead to loss of more calcium through your urine.