TORONTO -- Approximately 1.4 million Canadians are living with osteoporosis, a condition characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. Now, scientific research has found that simply eating a serving of five prunes a day may help slow and prevent bone loss.
Also read, Dried fruits are healthy but contain high amounts of sugar, experts say.
Research published in the journal Osteoporosis International, studied postmenopausal women with low bone density, who ate 5 to 6 prunes (50g) per day, for a six-month period. The research suggests that this level of consumption was as effective in preventing bone loss as a previous study where postmenopausal women consumed 10 to 12 prunes (100g) per day for one year.
"This research is extremely compelling, since women can lose 1 to 1.5 per cent of their bone density annually following menopause," says Dr. Shirin Hooshmand, PhD and lead researcher, of the study, at the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University.
In April 2017, a comprehensive review of 24 studies on prunes and bone health was published in Nutrients. The author found that prunes enhance bone formation and exert beneficial effects on bone mineral density.
California prunes are rich in nutrients that are vital for bone health including vitamin K and potassium. Naturally sweet and delicious, a serving of about five prunes is only 100 calories and is a source of dietary fibre.
"Healthy bones are vital to overall wellbeing," says Cara Rosenbloom, RD. "It's excellent news that prunes, a flavourful dried fruit and convenient snack may be helpful for bone health."
The evidence continues to grow and support the fact that incorporating prunes as a regular part of a nutritious diet seems to offer long-term bone health benefits, particularly in postmenopausal women. A larger clinical trial is currently underway, to further explore prunes' effect on bone density and estimated bone strength in postmenopausal women. Research continues to discover the potential mechanism and compounds in prunes that support healthy bones.
In addition to supporting healthy bones, prunes also help support heart and digestive health. Prunes have a low glycemic index, which along with fibre, helps manage blood sugar levels.
SOURCE California Dried Plum Board
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