The Fruit That Builds Better Bones

Prunes are the most bone-friendly fruit. Find out how many you need to combat bone loss.

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Talk about an image makeover. First prunes got a new name (they’re dried plums, if you please), and now it seems they offer a previously unrecognized benefit: They’re good for your bones. In fact, says nutrition researcher Bahram H. Arjmandi, RD, at Florida State University, midlife women who ate ten prunes daily for a year slowed their bone loss substantially. If ten sounds daunting, even three a day can make a difference, says Arjmandi, who adds that prunes are the most bone-friendly fruit he’s seen in decades of study. Since women can lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass in the seven years after menopause, that’s good news.

It’s especially welcome because hopes for a different natural fix were recently dashed. Soy supplements did nothing for bones in menopausal women who took a hefty dose for two years. (The supplements didn’t cool hot flashes either.) So eat tofu if you like it, but for your bones’ sake, start snacking on prunes. Unless the thought makes you feel old. In that case, have some dried plums.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest