Fruits and Vegetables For Stronger Bones

According to a study published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), revving up your intake of fruits and vegetables will not only boost your immune system, support your circulatory and digestive system, it will also benefit your bones.

In the study, 171 men and women aged 50 or older were randomly assigned potassium bicarbonate (alkaline), sodium bicarbonate (alkaline) or potassium chloride (neutral) for three months. The study found that bicarbonate had a favorable effect on bone resorption and calcium excretion, which suggests that increasing the alkali content of the diet may reduce bone loss in healthy older adults.”

Anything we eat leaves an "ash", a metabolic residue. Foods like meats, fish, dairy, sugar, flour leave a strong acidic residue. Most fruits and vegetables leave an alkaline ash (a bicarbonate), as they are metabolized. "Heredity, diet, and other lifestyle factors contribute to the problem of bone loss and fractures," said Bess Dawson-Hughes, M.D., of Tufts University in Boston, Mass. and lead author of the study. "When it comes to dietary concerns regarding bone health, calcium and vitamin D have received the most attention, but there is increasing evidence that the acid/base balance of the diet is also important."

It seems to be natural that people, unless their taste buds are trained otherwise, will loose their sensitivity for various tastes as they get older. Typically, the last two tastes to remain are the taste for salty and sweet foods. For that reason, most older people favor foods that are sweet and salty in nature. The problem is that those foods are typically those that leave an acidic residue, thus negatively impacting their body ph and consequently their bone density. With aging, people become less able to excrete the acid.

One way for the body to counteract the acid (if our blood was too acidic, we would die) is through bone resorption, a process by which bones are broken down to release minerals such as calcium, phosphates, and alkaline (basic) salts into the blood. Unfortunately, increased bone resorption leads to declines in bone mass and increases in fracture risk.

Not all fruits and vegetables have the same effect on the pH. Vegetables with rich amounts of minerals in particular green leafy vegetables have the most alkalizing effect on the body. However, in order to establish balance it is important to eat a diet consisting of all the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, and blue / purple and beyond that include all five flavors (bitter, spicy, salty, sour, sweet).

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