Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones: Women Find Fewer Fractures with Fruit and Veggie Diets

It’s a fact: Nobody wants to deal with the pain and inconvenience of a bone fracture. As we age, our bones naturally weaken, leading to an increased risk of fractures. But what if there’s a way to significantly reduce this risk, particularly for women?

New research suggests a healthy diet can help

Recently, researchers from McGill University in Montreal conducted an in-depth study examining the dietary and nutritional habits of 3,539 women and 1,649 men, all aged 50 and above. They carefully calculated the participants’ calorie intake from vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from sources such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish or beans. Participants were then followed for a total of seven years.

The results? Amazingly, the researchers found that women who increased their calorie intake from these healthy foods by 40 percent had a 14 percent decrease in fracture risk. Here’s the best part: these numbers specifically applied to fractures that occurred after they adopted this healthier diet. Basically, if you are what you eat, your bones are stronger when you eat healthily.

It’s important to note that the same benefits were not observed when participants consumed unhealthy foods like desserts, processed meats, or chips. So, while it is crucial to increase our intake of healthier options, it is equally essential to cut back on the unhealthy ones.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, an expert in nutritional medicine, told Reuters that this study is proof that individuals can take control of their health through careful food choices.

The real impact of fractures

Fractures are more than just an inconvenience; they can have lasting effects on your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year. Additionally, hip fractures, which happen to women 75 percent of the time, can lead to reduced mobility, increased dependence on assistance, and a lower quality of life.

Tips for a bone-healthy diet

If all it takes to reduce your risk of fractures is being more conscious of what you eat, it’s definitely worth the effort. To get started, try incorporating the following changes into your diet:

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of essential nutrients for bone health, such as calcium, potassium, and vitamin K. Aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

  2. Choose whole grains: Whole grains, like brown rice and whole-wheat bread, provide your body with essential nutrients, including fiber, which can help with digestion and weight management – both of which are important for bone health.

  3. Incorporate lean protein sources: Fish, beans, and tofu are great sources of lean protein, which helps to maintain strong bones. Aim for at least two servings of these foods per day.

  4. Cut back on processed foods: These usually contain high amounts of sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar, which are not beneficial to your bones. Opt for fresh, whole foods whenever possible.

By following these simple dietary guidelines, you can significantly reduce your risk of fractures and maintain strong bones as you age. Plus, these new healthy eating habits can help improve your overall health and well-being, which is always a win-win situation.