Friday, May 8, 2015

Fixing Busted Bones with Food

I have a pretty decent sized list of bones I've broken. My dear, sweet husband would call me a clutz but I'd prefer to call it what it is. Amazing Adventure Seeker-itis! Or something like that. I've always liked to do a hundred and fifty kajillion things in one weekend to ensure that if tomorrow were the last day...I'd be good.

So that means I'm in my body with full-force often. And when one is not couch bound they tend to have more battles with gravity, right? My most recent break was in practicing yoga. (Don't laugh). Headstands specifically. With fingers intertwined. It was National Stress Awareness Day and I was going inverted to work on getting that stress out. To jump to the end, I fell. Fingers snapped- I yelled OUCH and proceeded to practice yoga because that is What.I.Do. A week later I went to the doc and learned through x ray, the finger was indeed broken.

Don't Be Popeye
So here is the crucial part to healing. You must have grace with your brokenness. That means thinking positively about healing process. It also means acting in a positive manner. You've heard that Food is Medicine, right? Well it surely can be but it's important to do the homework here. In my first two weeks I ate a bowl of spinach with my eggs for breakfast and a bowl of spinach with lunch salad because spinach is so good for us! Well not everything that is typically healthy is good for our situation. My hand therapist reminded me that spinach contains a substance called oxalates which can bind up calcium and make it unavailable to our body. And calcium is a nutrient necessary for the cellular regrowth of a broken bone! Spinach and I temporarily broke up.

Easy on the Nightshades
Another category of foods to be mindful of while repairing bone are the nightshade vegetables including tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, and peppers. These veggies are known to cause bone inflammation so be wary of how much you eat and with what. It's important to balance them out with foods high in calcium.

Watch the Magical Fruit
Next on the health list are legumes such as kidney, white and pinto beans and peas. These guys are high in phytates which can potentially interfere with calcium absorption as well. The best way to reduce the phytates is to soak the bean and peas (I usually do overnight) prior to cooking. This is also a great thing to do with oats before making oatmeal. Overnight oats are hugely popular!

Buzz Kill
Maybe not so easy for some people working through bone trauma is the next modification...limiting alcohol. Alcohol does two things to bones-it can decrease mass in bones and delay fracture reparation. Research indicates no more than one drink per day for us ladies and two for the men.

The Sugar Thief
And finally, dessert. Sugar acts badly on so many levels but when we are broken, it can also rob us of phosphorous which is important in the facilitation of calcium. Best to just stay clear of that evil sweetness.

So what should we be eating to speed up healing? Here's a quick list of some sure fire good eats:

*sea veggies, yogurt, kefir, salmon = all high calcium foods
*kale and broccoli = vitamin k rich foods that help with bone formation
*organic lean protein =essential for rebuilding lost tissue
*vitamins c & d (my preference are EmergenC's and liquid D

Our bones are living, complex tissues that we constantly put demands on and sometimes need to fix. If you get in that situation like I tend to do, focus on what you can do with nutrition to speed up the healing process so you can regain your super hero status quick.

I am a personal trainer, educator and endurance athlete, not a doctor. Consult with your doctor prior to starting any fitness or diet program.