Researchers have yet to develop a really good solution to the epidemic of bone loss that plagues older Americans.
Thinning bones are a major health issue. When bone loss is combined with a general decline of balance, muscle strength, and movement skill, seniors have an increased risk of falling and breaking something.
Adding extra calcium to your diet seems like good common sense, along with extra vitamin D and other trace minerals. But unfortunately there’s little research to show that these strategies help build a significant amount of bone.
Pharmaceutical options have their limits, too, and introduce possible side-effects.
That’s why I was surprised to encounter an article from 2011 that tested an entirely novel strategy to combat potential bone loss – eating 10 prunes each day.
Two groups of post-menopausal women were tested. One group consumed ten dried plums (i.e. prunes) per day. The other group ate the equivalent amount of dried apples.
After a year, the women who ate prunes had increased bone density in their spine and forearm. And their blood had lower concentrations of the enzymes responsible for bone turnover.
Ten prunes a day can be rough on your digestive tract, especially if you’re not used to them. So increase your intake gradually. And don’t eat all ten prunes at the same time – spread them out throughout the day.