Study: Eat Dried Plums for Bone Health

In the first five to seven years after menopause, women are at risk of losing up to 5 percent of their bone density every year.

Now there’s something women can do about it. And it’s ready available  at the grocery store.

Dried plums.

“All fruits and vegetables have a positive effect on nutrition, but in terms of bone health, this particular food is exceptional,” said Bahram H. Arjmandi, a Florida State University researcher.

“Over my career, I have tested numerous fruits, including figs, dates, strawberries and raisins, and none of them come anywhere close to having the effect on bone density that dried plums, or prunes, have,” Arjmandi said in a Florida State news release.

Just how effective is it?

Arjmandi  and other researchers tested two groups of postmenopausal women. One group ate about 10 prunes every day. The second ate 100 grams of dried apples daily. All of the women took 500 milligrams of calcium and 400 international units of Vitamin D.

Those who ate the prunes “had significantly higher bone mineral density in the ulna (one of the two long bones in the forearm) and spine,” the study found. Arjmandi said this is because dried plums suppress the rate at which bone breaks down.

Arjmandi encourages people to start eating prunes before they have bone problems. “Osteoporosis is not exclusive to women and, indeed, around the age of 65, men start losing bone with the same rapidity as women,” he said.

“Don’t wait until you get a fracture or you are diagnosed with osteoporosis and have to have prescribed medicine,” Arjmandi said. “Do something meaningful and practical beforehand. People could start eating two to three dried plums per day and increase gradually to perhaps six to 10 per day. Prunes can be eaten in all forms and can be included in a variety of recipes.

The research was published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

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