The Recipe Doctor

From low-fat recipes to recipes designed for persons with diabetes, Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, shares recipes and advice to create healthy meals that are guaranteed to please. [Editor's note: Elaine no longer contributes to Silver Planet, but we have made her archived blog entries available as a service to our readers.]



Eat Fruits and Vegetables to Boost Your Bone Density

Delicious and nutritious!

By Elaine Magee, RD, MPH

When we think of building strong bones, we automatically think of calcium and of foods like milk and yogurt, right? Well, anyone who is at risk of developing osteoporosis (the condition in which bones become porous and weak) has yet another reason to eat fruits and vegetables every day. The nutrient in produce that appears to be helping reduce the risk is none other than the already infamous vitamin C.

What does an antioxidant vitamin have to do with bone strength?

Oxidative stress in the body is linked to accelerated bone loss, and a high intake of vitamin C from food may help decrease this oxidative stress. At Tufts University, researchers from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging studied data from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study and noticed that during a period of four years, total vitamin C intake appeared to be protective against losses in bone mineral density in two areas of the hip among men with low calcium or vitamin E intakes.

Surprisingly, the researchers did not observe significant effects of vitamin C on bone density in women. Lead researcher Katherine Tucker, nutrition scientist with the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, explained that in general, they often find that women have better dietary quality and they may not have studied sufficient numbers of women with low intakes to detect a problem.

But earlier studies from this group of researchers have found that a higher fruit and vegetable intake, which generally increases the intake of an assortment of antioxidants, was protective against bone loss in both men and women. See what I mean? Here’s another reason to eat our fruits and vegetables!

By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
The Recipe Doctor Blog

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