According to the World Osteoporosis Organization, approximately one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 will suffer an osteoporotic fracture in their remaining lifetime. For women, the risk of hip fracture is higher than the risk of breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer combined. Luckily, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, you're never too young or too old to improve the health of your bones. And prunes are emerging as a dietary factor that may aid in building better bones.
Studies have shown that eating prunes may help to prevent bone loss from osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women. One small trial found that eating 10-12 prunes daily was associated with higher levels of protein related to bone formation in the blood, suggesting that prunes may promote skeletal health. Another year-long study from Florida State University found that eating 10-12 prunes per day significantly improved bone mineral density in women, which researchers suggest may help to prevent and even reverse bone loss. These findings are further supported by animal studies that suggest prunes may help to prevent age-related bone loss and may even help to restore bone mass.
"I'm very excited about the research we have conducted on prunes and bone health," says Shirin Hooshmand, Assistant Professor of Nutrition at San Diego State University. "Osteoporosis and weak bones is prevalent in such a high number in both men and women. We love to discover easy dietary changes, such as eating more prunes that may help to improve bone health."
Prunes have many key nutrients associated with bone health. Prunes are a source of potassium - a mineral associated with a decreased risk of bone loss and osteoporosis – which helps to increase bone mineral density while reducing bone breakdown. Prunes also contain magnesium - important for bone structure - and vitamin K, which plays an important role in bone mineralization. Additionally, prunes are filled with plant-based compounds, called polyphenols, which promote bone health by reducing bone mineral loss.
Sunsweet is continuing a third year of a partnership with the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), and will be helping to raise money for NOF at the upcoming Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Atlanta – the nation's largest annual conference on nutrition. Additionally, Dr. Hooshmand will present an update on exciting new research findings related to prunes and bone health, which she hopes to publish in 2015.
"As a company, we are committed to building awareness of the lifestyle factors that can influence strong bones, such as eating fruits and vegetables, especially prunes," says Brad Schuler, VP of Global Sales and Marketing. At Sunsweet we are extremely proud of the health attributes that prunes possess, they are truly "The Feel Good Fruit™." With a unique combination of nutrients and delicious taste they help make it easier to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
Sunsweet prunes provide 3 grams of filling fiber for only 100 calories per serving. Sunsweet carries a wide range of products, from individually wrapped Ones - a convenient, portable snack – to Plum Amaz!ns- diced prunes that make a great addition to a variety of foods, including salads, oatmeal and yogurt.
For more product information and recipe ideas, visit sunsweet.com/.
SOURCE Sunsweet Growers Inc.