9 Foods That Help Heal Broken Bones Quickly

Updated on December 13, 2017
LongTimeMother profile image

My husband is back on his feet without crutches! I believe it's because we put together a diet strategy incorporating healing foods.

Foods That Help Broken Bones Heal
Foods That Help Broken Bones Heal

How Can I Help My Bones Heal Faster?

When my husband broke his ankle, doctors warned him that he'd likely be out of work for a year. Everyone we knew had a story to tell about friends who experienced slow recoveries.

Despite the naysayers, my husband wanted to heal quickly and hated taking painkillers. Because foods are part of nature's medicine chest, I wanted to find the best options to help restore his fractured tibia and the broken bones in his ankle. A healing diet became part of our recovery strategy.

Just three months after surgery, my husband was back at work (rugged outdoor work, not a desk job)! He continued eating the foods below for a few more months to make his ankle as strong as possible. I have always chosen natural and alternative healing methods, and these are the nine foods I discovered throughout this process.

The information contained in this article contains anecdotal advice. Please consult with a medical professional regarding dietary changes or inclusions before altering your daily regimen.

What Should I Eat to Heal Faster?

Choice
Method of Preparation
Medicinal value
Avocado
Sliced fresh, juiced
Lubricate joints
Onions
Steamed, soups
Strengthen bones
Pumpkin
Steamed, soups
Strengthen bones
Spinach
Steamed, stir fry
Strengthen bones
Peas
Fresh, steamed, juiced
Prevent blood clots
Zucchini
Juiced, cooked
Heal broken bones
Comfrey
Juiced, cooked
Heal broken bones
Fennel
Fresh, juiced, cooked
Aid digestion
Parsley
Fresh, juiced, cooked
Prevent constipation
Avocados are a great food to help heal broken bones.
Avocados are a great food to help heal broken bones. | Source

Avocados

Avocados might seem like an unusual choice, but the fat they contain provides natural lubrication for our joints. This is pretty important for a broken ankle, so I included one avocado in my husband's meals every day. They're delicious, and my husband enjoys eating them.

Whenever I plan a diet to address a specific health issue, I am mindful of the dish's presentation. Nobody likes being restricted to boring foods.

Onions have anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiviral properties.
Onions have anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiviral properties. | Source

Onions

Whether you have broken bones or not, onions deserve a place on your dinner plate every night. They have anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral properties that help strengthen bones.

A few studies found that onions possess a compound that inhibits osteoclast cell activity. These cells negatively affect bone strength, so the onion's health benefits really caught my attention!

Because bone integrity and strength are essential for anyone who has experienced a fracture, I made sure my husband ate lots of onions throughout his recovery. The stronger an onion tastes, the stronger effect it has on your body.

Pumpkins are another great food to incorporate into your recovery diet.
Pumpkins are another great food to incorporate into your recovery diet. | Source

Pumpkins

A number of studies reported positive links between dietary potassium and healthy bone mineral density. High-potassium foods help prevent the removal of calcium from the bones, and pumpkins are very high in potassium and vitamin A. They're gentle on the digestive system, a good source of fiber, and low in calories.

I like to prepare pumpkin with a little olive or coconut oil because the carotenoids in pumpkin need fat for absorption. Some people prefer using butter, but it's up to you.

Spinach is a great option to include in your meals.
Spinach is a great option to include in your meals. | Source

Spinach and Other Greens

Spinach provides a treasure trove of nutrients. It's also a great source of vitamin K, which is vital for building strong bones.

  • Vitamin K activates osteocalcin, a compound that anchors calcium molecules within the bone.
  • Spinach is also a source of calcium, which I believe makes it a perfect package for healing broken bones.
  • Half a cup of fresh spinach leaves provides a complete daily value of vitamin K.

It's not hard to work half a cup of spinach into one meal a day. Try incorporating it into your daily diet!

Peas in a Pod
Peas in a Pod | Source

Green Peas

Common garden peas are great for helping broken bones repair because they have the following properties:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Iron
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium

Most importantly, fresh green garden peas are acknowledged as a food that prevents blood clots.

When you're instructed to stay in bed and be immobile for a few weeks, you need to proactively prevent blood clot formation. This made green peas an obvious ingredient in his daily diet. When it comes to thinning blood, I prefer to rely on green peas rather than daily doses of aspirin, which has listed side effects I want to avoid.

To add a little variety to his otherwise boring recovery, I tried preparing peas in new and innovative ways. I made fresh pea juice, and we were both surprised by how nice it tasted! I also took frozen peas from the freezer, ran them under water to thaw them out, and then pureed them in my juicer to create a pea sorbet or pea ice cream (dairy-free). The texture was really pleasant, and I joked about serving it in an ice cream cone.

All jokes aside, if he became seriously tired of being served peas daily in soups, steamed, or juiced, I probably would have served him peas for dessert.

You should find New Zealand's Green Lipped Mussels in your local market. If you can't get them fresh, take capsules with your meals.
You should find New Zealand's Green Lipped Mussels in your local market. If you can't get them fresh, take capsules with your meals. | Source

New Zealand's Green-Lipped Mussels

New Zealand's green-lipped mussels (sometimes called green-shelled) are anti-inflammatory, have a natural pain-killing quality, and possess chondroitin and glucosamine. Chondroitin is a major constituent of cartilage and other connective tissue, and glucosamine is a crystalline compound found in healthy connective tissue. Both obviously play a significant role in healing broken ankles, and the mussels can be a natural way to intake these properties.

You can buy New Zealand's green-lipped mussels fresh (or freshly packaged in the refrigerated section of your supermarket) and include them in your diet. If you can't find them fresh, buy a bottle of Mobicosa capsules and take a couple every day with your meals. They are made from 100% New Zealand green-lipped mussels. Make sure to take them with your meal, and not on an empty stomach. Of course, make sure not to eat the mussels or take capsules if you are allergic to seafood.

I grow these large, fresh comfrey leaves in my organic garden.
I grow these large, fresh comfrey leaves in my organic garden. | Source

Comfrey

I grow comfrey throughout my garden for mulch and plant food, but it's also particularly useful for healing broken bones. Its traditional name is 'knit bone' because it can be used as an external poultice or eaten and digested to help heal bones.

To help speed my husband's recovery, I did the following things:

  • Chopped comfrey and mixed it with scrambled eggs for breakfast
  • Juiced comfrey with fresh green peas to make a cool, refreshing drink
  • Added comfrey to salads.
  • Applied it directly to his leg as a comfrey poultice.
  • Used it in soups, curries, and the occasional stir fry

My comfrey dies with the first frosts of our local winter, but I still have small leaves growing fresh in pots and a few protected areas in the garden. If I need to, I can also dig up some comfrey root.

Ever since my husband broke his ankle, I try drying and storing some of my best comfrey leaves each season in a jar for future use.

Zucchini
Zucchini | Source

Zucchini

Years ago, I bought a book called Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Juices. It recommended juicing zucchini squash to help knit bones back together in a shorter period of time.

I mentioned this remedy to many people who had fractures, but my husband's surgery helped me learn firsthand about zucchini's balance of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sodium that makes it ideal for mending broken bones.

Zucchini juice and cooked zucchini both made it on my short list of healing foods. When I prepared his first zucchini juice, my husband drank it without complaint. That counts as a win in my book!

I grow fennel, which aids digestion and is useful during the recovery stage while bones are healing.
I grow fennel, which aids digestion and is useful during the recovery stage while bones are healing. | Source

Fennel

Because fennel is traditionally used to soothe the stomach and relieve gas, it seemed a logical addition to the daily diet of anyone with limited mobility.

Fennel aids digestion. If you were previously active but are suddenly forced to remain sedentary while your bones heal, fennel can help your body cope with the change.

Parsley has many advantages, one of them being that they grow more easily than prunes, another natural laxative.
Parsley has many advantages, one of them being that they grow more easily than prunes, another natural laxative. | Source

Parsley

Parsley may seem like an unusual choice, but it has a lot of medicinal qualities that include acting as a gentle laxative.

My husband was instructed to take two Endone tablets every four hours for pain management, but he only took one tablet at night. This meant he only took one out of 12 painkillers a day. He was determined to avoid the constipation problem associated with earlier attempts at pain management, which makes parsley a useful food for anyone wanting to help broken bones heal.

Parsley builds blood, helps renew tissues, and possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It assists kidney function and is believed to help prevent bacterial growth in wounds.

We nibble on fresh herbs every day, and my husband is happy to eat a handful of parsley leaves fresh from the garden. I plan to add some to fresh juice to add an extra boost for his recovery.

Herbal tea is a great substitute for coffee.
Herbal tea is a great substitute for coffee. | Source

Herbal Tea

A lot has been written about the effects of coffee on the body over recent years, but what I honed in on was that caffeine can pull calcium out of bones. Because calcium actively contributes to healing broken bones, coffee was off the menu for my husband. I used herbal tea to substitute for coffee, as it's more helpful for strengthening bones.

Topped with chives grown organically in my garden, this pumpkin dish is a quick and easy meal that helps broken bones heal faster.
Topped with chives grown organically in my garden, this pumpkin dish is a quick and easy meal that helps broken bones heal faster. | Source

Two Healthy Meal Ideas

Here are two easy meal ideas you can use to incorporate beneficial vegetables in your diet:

Meal One: Light Salad

What You'll Need:

  • Comfrey
  • Peas
  • Other greens (optional)
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggs

Blend the comfrey, peas, and other greens together. Cook an egg, slice avocados and tomatoes, and put it all together on a plate. Sprinkle the dish with balsamic vinegar, and you're done! This dish looks and tastes like a simple salad, but it includes nature's powerhouse foods for healing broken bones.

Meal Two: Pumpkin Everything

What You'll Need:

  • Pumpkin
  • Onion
  • Oil (olive or coconut)
  • Chives

To make this dish, dice pumpkins and onions in 0.5" cubes. Add a dash of oil to a pot, add the vegetables and cook them until they've softened. Blend it all and plate your dish. Chop chives and sprinkle them on top. Enjoy!

My husband's broken ankle

Natural remedies have had a very positive effect on my husband's broken ankle.
Natural remedies have had a very positive effect on my husband's broken ankle. | Source

Healing Broken Bones At Home

Most accidents resulting in bone injuries require a visit to a doctor and sometimes a hospital stay. However, the majority of the recovery period is spent at home on the couch.

Your activity would be restricted, and any exercise may require the active participation of a physical therapist. If you want your hands free while you move around the kitchen, grocery shop, pick herbs, or carry plates to the table, try using a hands-free crutch. My husband hated the inconvenience of traditional crutches, and I grew tired of being the only who could carry firewood, transport mugs of coffee, and pick pumpkins while he wasn't allowed to put weight on his ankle. If you live alone and want to be conveniently mobile, this may be a good option for you!

You can still do things at home to hopefully speed your recovery, and one of the best ways to promote healing is to choose good foods with appropriate medicinal qualities. I hope my choice of the best foods to help heal broken bones also helps you heal faster. Good luck!

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Questions & Answers

    © 2013 LongTimeMother

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      • LongTimeMother profile imageAUTHOR

        LongTimeMother 

        2 years ago from Australia

        Best wishes to you and your mother, Sammi. I also hope she gets home to you soon. It takes a while to recover from broken bones, but if you can prepare meals for her with these foods for healing broken bones the process may be faster. Good luck!

      • profile image

        Sammi 

        2 years ago

        My mom got into a bad motorcycle accident and fractured alot of her bones in her legs and her ribs and i hope these tops will help her heal faster so she can come home sooner. Thank you so muchfor posting these tips. Its exactly what we were looking for.

      • LongTimeMother profile imageAUTHOR

        LongTimeMother 

        2 years ago from Australia

        Hello jcatesby6. Let me start by saying I'm not a doctor (but you guessed that, no doubt,) And I've never had bilateral hip replacements (but you guessed that too, I'm sure.)

        However, because you grow your own comfrey, I think it is a great idea to use it. The big question of course is just what is expected after bilateral hip replacements? What exactly is it that you'd be trying to achieve?

        If you'd like to send me an email at longtimemother (at gmail) with your email address, I'll jot some thoughts and send them your way. :)

      • profile image

        jcatesby6 

        2 years ago

        Great article. I have so much Comfrey growing for mulch, chooks, poultices, etc. I have just had bilateral hip replacements, would you recommend poultice on the wounds, it is 5 weeks since the operation?

      • profile image

        Richa 

        2 years ago

        Thank u fr sharingthis article.. Thanx a tonn... :) :* :)

      • LongTimeMother profile imageAUTHOR

        LongTimeMother 

        3 years ago from Australia

        Thank you pk. If you have a broken bone, I hope these hints aid your healing. :)

      • profile image

        pk 

        3 years ago

        thanks for your time to post such an informative article

      • LongTimeMother profile imageAUTHOR

        LongTimeMother 

        4 years ago from Australia

        Hello Asian Gal. Comfrey is native in temperate parts of western Asia. If you ask around locally, you might be able to find some. If you follow this link https://remedygrove.com/remedies/How-to-use-Comfre... it will take you to my article about using comfrey as a poultice. It also has a link there to buy pre-made comfrey products.

        Hopefully eating some of the foods I suggested in the above article might help your bones heal and thus relieve your pain. My husband had surgery because the bones were badly broken and unable to line up and heal without help. If your surgeon has xrays that show your bones are unable to heal without surgery, you should have the surgery first and then try healing. Five months is a long time to be in pain.

        Good luck.

      • profile image

        Asian Gal 

        4 years ago

        Thanks for sharing. I have a broken ankle 5 months ago, did not want surgery so I am still in pain. I am in Asia and we don't have comfrey here. So I have no clue what is comfrey. Is there any other althernative to prepare a poultice?

      • LongTimeMother profile imageAUTHOR

        LongTimeMother 

        5 years ago from Australia

        Thanks, Audrey. My husband is a vegetarian. He had a bone density test when he was 50 and the results showed he had the bone density of a 30 year old, which surprised the doctor because he anticipated problems. :)

      • LongTimeMother profile imageAUTHOR

        LongTimeMother 

        5 years ago from Australia

        Hi Stephanie. Maybe you could plant a little of that root and grow your own comfrey for future harvesting. :)

      • StephanieBCrosby profile image

        Stephanie Bradberry 

        5 years ago from New Jersey

        I have some comfrey drying in my basement right now. Someone I met while vending my herbal product line figured I could use the comfrey more than her. And she said she had an overabundance. So I plan on turning it into comfrey oil. It is such an amazing healer. However, we tend not to tell people to use it internally because it can cause issues. So I use it for external use only as an herbalist.

        Great hub and great details on the uses of all these natural wonders.

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 

        5 years ago from California

        Thank you so much for sharing this--I also believe in nature's medicine chest--it is so good to know that I eat much of this already on a regular basis--I am a vegetarian and have always loved veggies to the exclusion of proteins--

      • LongTimeMother profile imageAUTHOR

        LongTimeMother 

        5 years ago from Australia

        PS aviannovice, I trust you'll keep a bottle of mobicosa gel in your own fridge for emergencies. You could split the contents into separate sealable plastic bags and share it around with your family and friends. :)

      • LongTimeMother profile imageAUTHOR

        LongTimeMother 

        5 years ago from Australia

        Hi aviannovice. You have done your community a great service by making Mobicosa products available locally. Perhaps your natural food store might like to print a copy of the text in my Mobicosa review and display it in their window so customers can see the ways the capsules and gel can help. If they stick an 'available here' sign on it I'm sure they'll gain a lot of interest. (They could also display my first broken ankle hub about Mobicosa's success with the swelling if they like. I'm happy to help them spread the word.)

        Such a shame you don't have land for a garden. Do you have room for a few fresh herbs growing in pots on your windowsill? No point trying to grow comfrey there, of course. lol. The leaves grow so big they'd fill the kitchen sink! :)

      • aviannovice profile image

        Deb Hirt 

        5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

        I love my veggies, so I will always eat them. Sadly I have no land for a garden, and I really do miss it. I have spoken to the natural food store, and at my suggestion, will begin carrying both mobicosa capsules and gel. Lots of arthritics out there that would appreciate a healthier alternative.

      • LongTimeMother profile imageAUTHOR

        LongTimeMother 

        5 years ago from Australia

        Hi Que Scout. I have no idea how many people would actively change their diet to help heal their broken bones. I might have just wasted a few hours, but at least I've put the info out there.

        Happy to hear I am contributing to your education in the process. lol.

      • LongTimeMother profile imageAUTHOR

        LongTimeMother 

        5 years ago from Australia

        Thanks, Randy M. I figure it might be useful for others in a similar situation who don't share my level of interest in foods and research. Might as well spell it out. :)

      • Que Scout profile image

        Stephen Hodgkinson 

        5 years ago from Sydney Australia

        Hi Longtimemother

        I sure hope your husband heals in good time. I was fascinated by some of the foods and their benefits. I thought, ow yea, she will discuss calcium but I did not think I would see such detail about calcium. I do not have broken bones but I did learn an awful lot about what blocks calcium or or what promotes the formation. Like the pumpkin's potassium link to calcium.

        I am so glad you did not mention milk. Most think of milk for broken bones when in fact the stuff is virtually useless for those of the age of 7.

        I swear I am learning more on hubpages than in school. Thanks

      • Randy M. profile image

        Randy McLaughlin 

        5 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

        Awesome compilation! Kudos!

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