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Article - Fruits and Vegetables Help Maintain Bone Density

Researchers are now saying fruits and vegetables may play a key role in bone health. That means, when we think about strong bones, it's not just calcium levels we need to watch. Looks like Mom was right again when she told us to eat our fruits and vegetables! Most recently, results of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicate middle-age women can benefit from a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

A team of researchers from the United Kingdom studied a group of 62 healthy Scottish women between the ages of 45 and 55. The women gave detailed histories of their eating habits during childhood and early adulthood, the key periods of skeletal growth. During the interview, they also provided dietary profiles for the past 12 months.

Those who reported eating foods higher in zinc, magnesium, potassium, fiber and vitamin C also proved to have denser bones and less evidence of bone loss. The best sources of these nutrients are found among fruits and vegetables like green peas, bananas and potatoes (with the skin on).

The term "osteoporosis" literally means porous bone. It is a disease causing both a weakening of the bones and a loss of bone mass. Many people are unaware they have osteoporosis until an unexpected strain or fall results in a fracture. Bones of the hip, spine and wrists are particularly vulnerable; however, any bone in the body can be affected.

It is known that about one in four women over the age of 60 have osteoporosis, and about 10 million Americans suffer from it, while another 18 million are considered at high risk. Hereditary factors are very important, but lifestyle issues may be even more so because they are circumstances you can do something about. For many people, this means eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, getting enough exercise, limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking.

Even though there still may not be a definite causal link between bone density and eating fruits vegetables, diets containing significant amounts of these can promote a more alkaline body, which may help reduce calcium loss though the kidneys. It's important to realize that while the amount of calcium you obtain is critical, your ability to hold onto it so the body can utilize it is just as vital.

Then, too, it is imperative for vegetarians and everyone else to eat at least the recommended daily requirements for calcium and vitamin D, and that can be a real challenge for people who don't eat dairy. So, keep in mind you can boost your calcium intake with broccoli, collard greens, oranges and beans. And you can get a lot of vitamin D from egg yolks and fish.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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