Prunes Help Fight Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is often referred to as a “silent disease” because it usually doesn’t present symptoms until you are in the hospital with a broken bone or two. Though it can affect anyone from any race or ethnic group, women have a significantly higher risk for developing osteoporosis. Estrogen helps protect the bones, and menopause greatly decreases estrogen production, potentially resulting in bone density loss. Luckily, there are a few nutritional changes you can make today to help protect your body against osteoporosis, and one of them includes adding prunes to your diet!
You may turn your nose up at the idea of prunes, but they actually help your body more than just “keeping you regular” (which isn’t such a bad thing either!). While they are good for your gut, being high in fiber, prunes are packed with antioxidants as well as nutrients such as copper, vitamins A and K, and potassium. Researchers found a potential link between the antioxidants and nutrients in prunes that could help maintain bone health.
Additionally, prunes also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. All good things!
This doesn’t mean you need to go out and purchase a bottle of prune juice to have with your morning coffee. Try researching recipes that incorporate prunes. Sunsweet, one of the leading brands for prunes, has enough recipes on their website to fill a cookbook.
Other ideas to help protect your bones: eat foods high in bone-healthy nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, and try switching to a Mediterranean diet. A Mediterranean diet consists of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seafood, beans, nuts, and heart-healthy fats and does not include much red meat or processed foods and sugars. The Mediterranean diet is also beneficial in reducing risks of heart attacks, strokes, and type 2 diabetes, along with being good for your bones.
• Ball, M.S, R.D. Jessica. “This Anti-Inflammatory Food Could Help Prevent Osteoporosis, According to Research.” Eating Well. 22 Feb 2022. https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7948093/prunes-anti-inflammatory-bone-health.
• Gunnars, Kris and Rachael Link. “Mediterranean Diet 101: A Meal Plan and Beginner’s Guide.” Healthline. 25 Oct 2021. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mediterranean-diet-meal-plan.
• “Osteoporosis.” National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease. Dec 2022. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/osteoporosis.