LYCOPENE BONE BOOSTER
Eat More Tomatoes, Watermelon, Guava
Want to build stronger bones? Then eat more tomatoes, watermelon, guava and red grapefruit. All contain lycopene, the red-pigmented antioxidant whose long list of benefits include heart health and protection against various cancers. The latest evidence points to a lower osteoporosis risk.
Tufts researchers compared dietary intake data with measurements of bone mineral density (BMD) among 600+ elderly volunteers over the course of four years. Among various antioxidant carotenoids tested (e.g., beta-carotene, lutein, etc.), lycopene appeared to confer the biggest bone-boosting benefit. Women in the top third of lycopene intake enjoyed 66% less bone loss than those with lower intakes. While men did not share this association, lycopene offers them other gender-specific benefits, such as a 28% lower risk of prostate cancer.
Beyond red-hued produce, other research has found that doubling fruit and vegetable intake bolstered bone strength among both male and female adolescents. In particular, prebiotic Superfoods like bananas, asparagus, leeks, onions, garlic and artichokes support bone health by enhancing calcium absorption. Also, try top sources of vitamin K -- leafy greens, celery, broccoli, cabbage -- to reduce fracture risk. Fruit and vegetables also help you avoid excess fat mass, which has been linked to lower bone mineral density.