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12 Foods That Heal Broken Bones

Get back in action sooner after a fracture: Eat a diet rich in these foods to make sure your bones knit strong, fast, and firm.

French Cheese Platter with Spanish Dulce de Membrillo as top view on a wooden board hlphoto/Shutterstock


Foods like fortified milk, cheese, or yogurt are some of the best sources of calcium and vitamin D, two critical nutrients for bone strength and growth. If you have a fracture, loading up on the dairy high in these nutrients will help support the healing process, says Marisa Moore, RDN, a nutritionist in Atlanta, GA.


Soy milk

Dairy milk gets all the love when it comes to calcium, a critical nutrient for repairing fractures and maintaining strong bones, but if you’re lactose intolerant or just need a change, fortified soy milk is an equally good calcium-rich option. “It delivers a third of the recommended allowance for healthy adult women,” says Moore. Make a healthy dessert by mixing soy milk with chia seeds, a bit of honey, and fresh fruit (or jam, chocolate, or peanut butter). Or, pour it over your morning cereal or oatmeal. Check out these scientist-approved ways to slash your osteoporosis risk.

Tuna steak on rustic wooden background with fresh herbs, top view, close up. Seafood conceptVICUSCHKA/Shutterstock


Calcium only works if you’re getting it with vitamin D, and fatty fish like tuna happens to be a good source. “Calcium is the obvious nutrient here, but without vitamin D, achieving good bone health will be a challenge,” says Moore. D helps control calcium levels in the blood and plays a key role in bone growth and structure, she explains.

Toasted Pumpkin Seed on black backgroundKucher Serhii/Shutterstock

Pumpkin seeds

This Halloween, clean, dry, and roast the pumpkin seeds from your jack-o’-lantern: They’re a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps the body absorb calcium; it contributes to the strength and firmness of bones, two important factors when you’re trying to heal a fracture, says Kristi Veltkamp, a dietician with Spectrum Health’s STR!VE. You can toss roasted pumpkin seeds on a salad or munch them alone as a crunchy snack. Watch out for these secret signs your bones could be in trouble.

Green and red peppersThanakornbb/Shutterstock

Bell peppers

Sweet bell peppers—especially the red ones—are brimming with vitamin C, a nutrient that’s critical for forming collagen, and that’s important when rebuilding bone, says Moore.  Believe it or not, ½ cup of bell peppers actually has more vitamin C than an orange. Cut the peppers into strips and dip them in hummus, or try adding them to a stir-fry or omelet. Try these other collagen-boosting foods.

fresh raw green kale packed in plastic box ready to sell isolated over white backgroundGregory Gerber/Shutterstock


It’s fitting that kale is loaded with vitamin K. “This vitamin is required for calcium-binding activity in bone formation,” says Moore. Translation: it helps your body use calcium in a way that helps it reknit bone. Chow down on a kale salad, sauté the leaves as a hearty side dish, or crisp them in the oven for a bone-friendly snack.

Tin can of sprats, sardines. Top viewPhotosiber/Shutterstock


Sardines are a rich source of bone-fortifying calcium. “Teens need 1300 mg, adult women need 1200 mg, and adult men need 1000 mg of calcium a day,” says Veltkamp. If you don’t like them in sandwiches, try frying them up or cooking them into a tomato sauce. Watch out for these sneaky signs you might have osteoporosis.

top view of organic eggs in a protective containerXAOC/Shutterstock


Unless you’re drinking fortified milk or dairy, getting vitamin D from your diet is tricky. However, whole eggs have small amounts, says Moore. They also contain a bit of calcium and magnesium; plus, you get plenty of protein, iron, and B vitamins—key for overall health. If you’re looking for new ways to eat eggs, here are 55.


Black beans

If you’re looking to strengthen your bones, find a reason to eat black beans. They’re another good source of magnesium, the mineral that’s crucial to faster skeleton healing. You can put them in a taco salad, a burrito, or feature them in a big pot of chili.

grapesSuthat Chaithaweesap/Shutterstock


This juicy sweet fruit is filled with vitamin K. In fact, ¾ cup provides 25 percent of your daily value, says Moore. Eat them plain, freeze them for an icy treat, or use as a salad, yogurt, or oatmeal topping. Here are other summer superfoods you should be eating.

Salmon roasted in an oven with a butter, parsley and garlic. Cooked fish on a baking sheet on the wooden background, top view.Magrig/Shutterstock


Fatty fish like salmon are high in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids—these also play a role in collagen formation. Fill out your plate with other bone-building foods like dark leafy greens or broccoli and cauliflower medley. Check out these other omega-3 rich foods could add years to your life.

ParsleyStephen Orsillo/Shutterstock


This herb is good for more than a garnish—it’s actually an excellent source of vitamin K, says Moore. Make a parsley pesto for an easy and tasty way to consume a lot of it; put the pesto over bone-building veggies or fish from the list above for an extra boost. Next, keep your skeleton strong with these easy habits that boost bone density.