Any runner who has experienced a stress fracture knows both the physical pain and mental anguish caused by the injury, and would certainly want to avoid going through it again in the future.

The cause of a stress fracture is not always down to poor running form or excessive mileage. The nutrients you are absorbing, or lack of, from the food choices you make, are also a contributing factor.

By making a concentrated effort to include foods that are high magnesium, potassium, silicon, vitamin D, vitamin K, folic acid and vitamin B12 you can reduce your risk of a stress fracture and possibly even prevent one from occurring.

Magnesium plays various key roles in bone health, it contributes to the structure of bones and it controls the absorption and metabolism of calcium in bones.

Foods: High amounts of magnesium can be found in broccoli, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, brazil nuts and almonds nuts.

Bananas are of course one of the most popular foods among runners, so you shouldn’t be lacking in this nutrient. Apart from helping to reduce muscle soreness, potassium also plays an important role in bone health. This relates to the ability of selected potassium salts that neutralise metabolic acids that wear away at bones.

Foods: High amounts of potassium can be found in bananas, avocados, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, broccoli, sweet potatoes and beans.

Silicon is a trace mineral that both reduces the breakdown of bone and stimulates new bone formation.

Foods: High amounts of silicon can be found in carrots, peppers, onions, almond nuts, cabbage, oranges and cucumber.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D keeps your bones strong by playing an important role in the process of calcium and phosphate absorption in the blood.

Foods: Vitamin D can be found in mushrooms, fish, cod liver oil, sardines, eggs and fortified cereals.

Vitamin K
The proteins that help repair and rebuild bone tissue all require vitamin K to complete their process of restoring bone health.

Foods: High amounts of silicon can be found in spinach, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, peas and parsley.

Folic acid
Folic acid is a B vitamin and its role in bone health is in the detoxification of an amino acid called homocysteine that is linked with inflammation and the increased risk of fractures.

Foods: It can be found in spinach, broccoli, lentils, asparagus, beans and rice.

Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 also plays a role in the detoxification of homocysteine and it only occurs naturally in animal foods.

Foods: The nutrient can be found in meat salmon, red meat, dairy products and fortified cereals.

For the complete lowdown on running related stress fractures read, ‘Stress Fractures: Everything a Runner Needs to Know‘.