- Could this tiny fruit keep your bones strong? NASA thinks so. Find out more…
- Rats in space: how rodent bones and radiation led to this groundbreaking discovery
- Only a handful a day will keep the osteoporosis away.
Dear Living Well Daily,
Could a humble fruit be the key to warding off osteoporosis?
According to new research from NASA, maybe.
Recently, NASA and Texas A&M University discovered that eating a certain fruit may protect you from bone loss. And since bone density and osteoporosis are two major health concerns for aging folks, these small fruits just might be a game changer for those wanting to keep their bones healthy.
But what was even more incredible, this study showed that this fruit can help protect your bones, even when they are subjected to radiation! This means the fruit could even shield your bones from radiation during intense medical treatments or occupational exposures.
So what is this space-approved fruit?
Something your mom always told you to eat more of…
Prunes are dried plums and are chock-full of powerful antioxidants and have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can protect your bones — even in space!
NASA scientists wanted to find a way to help protect against bone loss caused by radiation.
Astronauts, cancer patients and people in certain occupations can be exposed to significant amounts of radiation, greatly increasing their risk for osteoporosis.
After exposing rats to simulated space radiation, the researchers investigated several interventions with anti-inflammatory or antioxidant properties that they thought could prevent the oxidative stress and bone damage that can lead to cancellous bone loss, or “spongy bone.”
These interventions included dihydrolipoic acid, ibuprofen, an antioxidant cocktail and dried plums.
Nancy Turner, one of the researchers and a Texas A&M AgriLife research scientist, explains further:
Dried plums contain biologically active components that may provide effective interventions for loss of structural integrity caused by radiotherapy or unavoidable exposure to space radiation incurred over long-duration spaceflight. From this study, we can conclude that inclusion of dried plums in the diet may prevent the skeletal effects of radiation exposures either in space or here on Earth.
While this study focused on the extraterrestrial powers of prunes, there are other studies showing that these tiny fruits are also good for the bones of Earth-bound and radiation-free folks as well.
In fact, a study from San Diego State University showed that eating just five to six prunes a day could prevent and reverse bone loss in animals and humans alike.
So if you’re out shopping this weekend, do your bones a favor and pick up some prunes!
Managing editor, Living Well Daily