Eat colourfully for bone health


You know you ought to eat 5 helpings of fruit and vegetables a day for optimum health, and now it seems that if you choose carefully both men and women could be improving bone strength and lessening the risk of osteoporosis. It’s the antioxidant pigments (carotenoids) from plants that may play a protective role in taking care of bones and protect against bone loss in older men and women.

Osteoporosis used to be thought of as exclusively applying only to women, and men were rarely diagnosed with it, but that is now changing. The lifetime risk for a woman to have a bone break through osteoporosis is 30-40 per cent and in men the risk is about 13 per cent. Researchers at Tufts and Boston Universities used data from the ongoing Framingham Osteoporosis Study and their findings have revealed that an increased intake of carotenoids, and particularly of lycopene, gave some protection against bone mineral loss. It was different for the men and women in the study; men gained bone mineral density at the hip but women gained it in the lumbar spine.

Another reason to have a colourful salad with red tomatoes, and eat watermelon and pink and red grapefruit to ensure a good source of lycopene in your daily diet.

Prostate Cancer and Diet

October 26, 2007 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition, Mens Health

There has been recent research reporting that advanced cases of prostate cancer have been helped by lycopene (a phyto-chemical and a member of the carotenoid family) which is found in high amounts in tomatoes and watermelon. But it is not just those two fruits that can have an impact, as the latest findings into the disease have revealed that eating a low-fat and plant-based diet could reduce the risk of prostate cancer or slow the onset of the disease. It is obviously important that anyone at risk pays real attention to their diet and eats as naturally as possible. Not wishing to state the obvious, but the benefits of such a diet which is high in fibre, vitamins and minerals and low in fat and saturated fat will not only help the health of prostate cancer patients but anyone who has a conventional western diet.

Sadly, the highest incidences of the disease do occur in the West, particularly in the USA and Sweden, while the eastern countries like China and India have the lowest. We might be complacent in the UK as our figures for prostate cancer show we have half the number of cases reported in the USA, but that may be because they have much higher rates of testing for the disease.