A prune a day will keep your bones strong, an apple won’t

prunes protect bonesBones are calcium, so they NEED calcium.

So health gurus tell us, the “secret” to having bones of steel, is a diet rich in dairy, preferably low fat. Failing that, swallowing a calcium supplement is the way to go, to avoid bone breaks and crumbling.

The recipe for STRONG bones

No bones about it – bones do need calcium, BUT… if you want a sturdy structure to keep you propped up, under all circumstances – you need more than just a regular coat of calcium paint, you need to make sure you’re also putting on some primer.

And the primer for bones, includes some odd ingredients…. silicon, boron and inositol, in addition to more routine items, like magnesium and vitamin C.

Bones need some pretty weird stuff.

Shopping for exotic nutrients

Now these odd ball ingredients are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables – which is why including broccoli, peas and carrots in your diet, is a good idea.

But … not everyone is doing it.

So is there a one stop shop for better bones, that tastes a little more pleasant than broccoli ?

On paper – prunes aka. dried plums provide silicon, boron and inositol.

A sweet deal ?

Prunes provide

Researchers from Florida State and Okahoma State University, explored the bone building benefits of prune consumption in a group of postmenopausal women.

To cover the basics, the women were given a standard bone building supplement containing 500 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D. In addition, to these standard bone ingredients, the women were randomly divided into two groups.

  • the first group, made up of 55 women, were instructed to consume 100 g of prunes each day,
  • the second group were told to consume 100 g of dried apples each day.

Pruning up those bones

A year later, when the team examined the participants bones, specifically the ulna bone, which is one of the two long bones in the forearm and the spine, prune eaters had significantly higher bone mineral density, than the apple eaters.

Milk and prunes

When you’re little – the ultimate comfort food is a glass of a milk and a cookie.

As you get older, it is probably prudent to lose the cookie, replacing it with a couple of prunes.

The milk will give you all the calcium you need and a few other goodies too, in quantities that don’t cause potentially dangerous overloads and those prunes will prime you for better bones. The “weird” ingredients in the prunes, will help protect you against osteoporosis and if you have a tendency to not be as regular as you would like, they fix this too.

Comparative effects of dried plum and dried apple on bone in postmenopausal women. British Journal of Nutrition (2011)  106(6):923-930.  Shirin Hooshmand, Sheau C. Chai, Raz L. Saadat, Mark E. Payton, Kenneth Brummel-Smith, Bahram H. Arjmandi. 
 

Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind building strong bones ? 

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Further reading

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Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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