Dried plums can help prevent osteoporosis and improve bone health
09/15/2021 / By Tonie Benally / Comments
Dried plums can help prevent osteoporosis and improve bone health

As you grow older, you may start worrying about osteoporosis, especially if you’re a woman. But dealing with this dreaded disease may be as simple as eating more dried plums.

Osteoporosis, a skeletal disorder characterized by decreasing bone mass, tends to affect women as they grow older, due to the ovaries stopping the production of certain hormones. In America alone, around 8 million women experience osteoporosis during menopause. In addition, it’s estimated that around 2 million American men experience it as well.

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But a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition by researchers from Florida State University (FSU) and Oklahoma State University (OSU) found that eating dried plums could help women lose less bone density over time. This discovery could help make managing and avoiding the disease much simpler.

The study was funded by the Department of Agriculture and the plums were provided by the California Dried Plum Board.

Dried plums help suppress the breakdown of bone

The FSU and OSU researchers looked into whether or not eating dried plums could serve as a natural method to increase bone density and fight osteoporosis. To do this, they tested two groups of postmenopausal women over one year.

One group of 55 women was given the equivalent of 10 plums in dried form, about 100 grams, per day. Meanwhile, the second group of 45 women was given the equivalent amount of dried apples. In addition, both groups received 500 milligrams (mg) of calcium and 400 mg of Vitamin D per day as well.

At the end of the study, the researchers found that the group given dried plums had a much higher bone density in both their forearm and spine.

“Over my career, I have tested numerous fruits, including figs, dates, strawberries and raisins, and none of them come anywhere close to having the effect on bone density that dried plums, or prunes, have,” said FSU’s Bahram H. Arjmandi, corresponding author the study. “All fruits and vegetables have a positive effect on nutrition, but in terms of bone health, this particular food is exceptional.”

Arjmandi stated that this was most likely due to dried plums’ ability to suppress the rate of bone resorption, or the breakdown of bone. This is something that tends to exceed the rate of new bone growth as people age.

On average women lose about 3 to 5 percent of their bone density per year during the initial five to seven years of menopause. But men also face the deterioration of bone health and bone density beginning around age 65.

Making your own dried plums

Now that dried plums have been shown to help fight bone deterioration and osteoporosis, you may be wondering about how you can add more of them to your diet.

While you can find dried plums, also known as prunes, in stores, you can also make them on your own as long as you have access to plums. The good thing is that drying plums is easy, especially if you have a dehydrator. That said, you can also dry them in an oven.

Ingredients

  • Plums (Italian plums are best since they have the least amount of moisture)

Directions

  1. Wash the plums then slice them in half all the way around the pit.
  2. Grab each half of a plum and twist gently to separate the halves. Remove and discard the pit.
  3. Place halves cut side down on the dehydrator tray.
  4. If using a dehydrator, dry according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Depending on the size of the plums, start checking them in 4 to 6 hours, turning trays as needed for even dehydrating. Once they are looking drier, flip them over to complete drying.
  5. If you’re using an oven, you will need to alot more time. Preheat the oven to 180 F, then bake the plum halves for around 8 to 9 hours.
  6. Check every 2 hours, removing and packaging up any that are fully dry – showing no moisture when touched, but are still pliable – while leaving the rest to complete drying.

If you follow these instructions, you should be able to make your own supply of dried plums for you to eat.

Dried plums are a simple, natural way to improve bone health and stave off the onset of osteoporosis. Add this tasty dried fruit snack to your diet so you can help maintain strong bones even as you get older.

Sources:

NaturalHealth365.com

Cambridge.org

ScienceDaily.com

AnOregonCottage.com

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