I broke the middle three metatarsals of my right foot on the evening of December 9th (that will be the last time I skateboard at night on a poorly paved road). The foot doctors initially thought I would need surgery (pins and/or plates), but after a week in a compression splint my remedy was revised to seven weeks in a cast.
That was tough (especially on my family, who had to pick up slack around the house), but now the cast is off and I’m walking around with a velcro boot/splint while the healing completes. X-rays show much improvement and my podiatrist seems pleased with the rate of healing. There’s still some pain and swelling, and I’m out of shape and will probably need some chiropractic adjustments down the road, but I’m thinking and hoping I’m over the worst of it.
I’ve been consuming more of the following foods and supplements in an attempt to accelerate my bone healing. I have no idea if it’s helping or not, but I figure it can’t hurt to supply an abundance of the necessary building blocks. The list, for what it’s worth:
Kefir: good source of calcium and phosphorus, and most brands provide the additional benefits of l. rhamnosus, the incredible GABA-enhancing friendly bacteria. Great for mood and resilience when I need it most. I’ve been eating more of other calcium-rich foods as well: cheese, yogurt, canned salmon and sardines (with bones), broccoli, and almonds.
Oats: high in silica, which enhances bone and connective tissue health. I’ve also been taking a horsetail supplement for additional organic silica. Some nuts (brazil, almonds, walnuts) also contain silica.
Fat soluble vitamins: I’ve increased both my vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 intake from supplements to increase calcium absorption and get that calcium into my bones. I’ve also reduced my vitamin A intake, as there is some evidence that excessive vitamin A intake can increase risk of fracture.
Citrus: I’ve been craving citrus and eating a lot of it. Vitamin C is needed for collagen production (a component of bone), so that’s probably a good thing.
Magnesium and zinc: I take supplemental magnesium as part of my asthma protocol, so I assume I’m getting enough. I’ve increased my zinc intake to support the healing process (from both food–mostly oysters–and supplements).
Bone broth: I’ve had some bone broth lately. More probably would have been better, but when it comes down to it I don’t like the taste of most of the store-bought stuff. On the other hand I love the broth we make at home from chicken bones and vegetable scraps. We usually add some white wine vinegar to help leech the minerals out of the bones into the broth (and to improve the taste).
Avoiding potential antinutrients: Ideally I would have quit drinking caffeine and alcohol, as both can reduce calcium absorption and/or slow down healing. But I kept drinking coffee and red wine in moderation (both for health benefits and also to not feel like I was depriving myself–life has been hard enough with reduced mobility). I’ve been just OK about avoiding sugar–I was strict during January but I’ve indulged in ice-cream a few times, and I eat dark chocolate pretty much every day. I’ve eaten fewer beans due to phytates reducing calcium absorption. I don’t drink any cola, so I’m not worried about excess phosphorus. I’ve also reduced my turmeric intake–it’s a great healthful spice, but in large doses it’s as powerful as over-the-counter NSAIDs and I don’t want to inhibit my inflammatory response.
I’ve still got some healing to do, so feel free to chime in with your nutritional suggestions below!