Produce for Strong Bones


May is National Osteoporosis Month, a good time to evaluate what you?re doing to improve the health of your bones. That should include weight-bearing exercise, calcium and vitamin D. Now, a study suggests that eating fruits and vegetables might also be protective.

Researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston compared bone densities and dietary intakes of 229 men and 399 women enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study.

The researchers, reporting in the April American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found a correlation of bone density to fruit and vegetable intake, with a particularly strong link to dietary potassium and magnesium. That makes sense. A diet rich in potassium encourages the body to hang on to calcium instead of excreting it. A lack of magnesium results in brittle bones.

Fruits and vegetables are especially rich sources of potassium. Two of the best sources, bananas and orange juice, are also tops in magnesium. Milk is rich in both minerals, not to mention calcium (and vitamin D in fortified milk).

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