For years at the Center for Better Bones, we have been touting the bone-preserving benefits of a diet high in alkalizing fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and spices. This important component of the Alkaline for Life® diet is a great way to create abundant bone-protecting alkaline reserves. And there are fantastic side benefits, too, because this wholesome eating pattern also provides an array of vital antioxidants, including essential carotenoids from yellow, orange, and even some green vegetables and fruits. Recent research confirms that these types of potent antioxidants reduce inflammation and, as a result, substantially reduce fracture risk.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research reports on the results of a 17-year follow-up study of nearly 1,000 men and women (average age: 75). Researchers correlated carotenoid intake with incidence of hip and non-vertebral fracture. Of the people they studied, those with the highest total carotenoid intake had a reduced risk of hip fracture compared to individuals with lower intakes of carotenoids. And even better, individuals with higher intakes of a specific carotenoid — lycopene — also had a reduced risk of both hip and all non-vertebral fractures. Note that lycopene content is particularly high in tomatoes and tomato products, and has been found to be generally protective against other disorders including prostate cancer.
So take it from these researchers: make sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of carotenoid-rich fruits and veggies. They’re good for just about every aspect of your health.
Sahni, S, Hannan, MT, Blumberg, J, et al. 2009. Protective effect of total carotenoid and lycopene intake on the risk of hip fracture: A 17-year follow-up from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 24(6):1086-1094.