The Best Diet to Heal Broken Bones


Food is one factor that can affect how quickly a broken bone heals. A well-considered diet followed prior to injury means you will have a quicker recovery time than someone who begins the diet after the break occurs. The area where the break occurs, as well as your overall health, will also impact your recovery time.

A person with a broken arm in a sling.
A person with a broken arm in a sling. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)


Eating foods with calcium can help strength bones, especially if you have a calcium deficiency leading to weakened bones. Calcium-rich foods include salmon, sardines, yogurt, milk, nuts, beans, greens and oranges. A 1-cup serving typically provides 74 milligrams of calcium, depending on which type of food you're eating.

When you increase your calcium, you'll also want to adjust your diet to improve your body's ability to absorb the additional calcium. Increasing your vitamin D, which also balances your phosphate and calcium ratio in your bones, can help you accomplish this goal. Sources of vitamin D include fish like salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel offer a minimum of 70 percent of your daily value for the vitamin. You can also eat milk, eggs, liver, or cereal fortified with vitamin D.

Along with vitamin D, incorporating foods high in vitamin C can improve the healing time for broken bones. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper, oranges, strawberries, parsley and kale all have high percentages of vitamin C.

A bowl of calcium rich oranges.
A bowl of calcium rich oranges. (Image: Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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.

A black cup of coffee.
A black cup of coffee. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)


Some people tend to have the philosophy that if a little vitamin C or D helps, then more will decrease the healing time. The Food and Drug Administration provides recommended amounts for nutrients to protect individuals. Exceeding these recommendations can lead to health issues. For example, too much vitamin C can lead to vitamin C toxicity, which can increase the amount of iron absorbed by the body. To make sure you're following the best diet possible, talk with your doctor before increasing your intake of certain foods or vitamins.

A woman holds a vitamin C tablet.
A woman holds a vitamin C tablet. (Image: Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

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