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Include This ‘Superstar’ Fruit To Build Your Bones

blueberries-bones

In the summertime, there’s nothing I love more than a refreshing fresh fruit salad, heaped with all my favorites and topped with a dollop of plain yogurt. Absolute heaven! And adding blueberries – one of the most popular fruits in North America – is more than just a deliciously sweet indulgence, because they can also help you increase your bone density.

Build Your Bones with Blueberries

If you are following the Save Our Bones Program, you know that polyphenols – an important class of antioxidants found in many fruits – have been shown to help increase bone density. So chances are you won’t be surprised about a recent study results linking blueberries to an increase in bone strength and density.1

Published in the prestigious Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, the researchers postulate that the polyphenol content in blueberries is most likely responsible for the increased bone strength shown in laboratory study rats.

This study further confirms what the Save Our Bones Program has been saying all along: that the answer to osteoporosis is in nature, not in synthetic chemicals.

The mere fact that researchers are seeking answers from natural foods is a move in the right direction and an encouraging sign. After all, they could have spent their time and resources searching for yet another ‘miracle pill’ or injection to ‘cure’ osteoporosis.

Instead, they’ve chosen to take their blinders off and look for bone health answers in natural foods. Mainstream science seems to be moving in the right direction.

But Blueberries are Acidifying!

Yes, they are. But here’s one of the best features of the Save Our Bones Program: it lets you enjoy all your favorite foods in the right balance; you don’t have to completely eliminate acidifying foods.

You see, a plethora of acidifying foods are loaded with nutrients that are important for bone health, and blueberries are the perfect example. So if you mix them with your favorite alkalizing fruits, you’ll end up with a healthy and delicious 80/20 meal or snack.

If you haven’t yet, you can read about other bone healthy acidifying foods and how they fit into The Save Our Bones Program in these recent blog posts:

The Truth about Eggs and Your Bone Health
Drink This, Not That for Better Bone Health
Eat This Nut, Build Your Bones

And of course, if you are allergic to blueberries or even if you just don’t like them, you don’t have to include them in your diet. This is true for any individual food I write about. No one food is responsible for bone health, and there’s such a wide variety of bone healthy foods that you don’t have to worry about eating anything you don’t like or have issues with.

More Bone Healthy Nutrients in Blueberries

Blueberries make it onto the Foundation Foods list for their Vitamin C content, a crucial antioxidant for collagen production and several other vital cellular tasks. They’re also a good source of manganese, a Foundation Supplement. Manganese is a trace mineral necessary for the synthesis of connective tissue in cartilage and bone. It’s involved in protein synthesis and fatty acid metabolism, blood clotting, and in many enzyme systems. It also plays a significant role in the formation of thyroxine, the main hormone of the thyroid gland.

And Blueberries Do So Much More!

Health is a continuum, and we shouldn’t look at bone health in a vacuum. That’s why I make a point to also guide you on the nutritional benefits provided by foods and supplements beyond their bone health benefits.

In that regard, blueberries are nutritional superstars. Not only do they have a healthy helping of beneficial fiber, current research is looking into blueberries’ effect on memory and age-related cognitive issues.

And thanks to their relatively low glycemic index numbers, blueberries have a normalizing impact on blood sugar, which can be quite significant for those with diabetes. Plus the antioxidants in blueberries have also been found to provide protection for the digestive tract.

Blueberry Tips and Facts

  • If possible, use organic blueberries. In addition to reducing the amount of pesticides you ingest, organically grown blueberries have significantly higher levels of total antioxidants than conventionally grown blueberries.
  • Most fresh blueberries are sold in ready-packed boxes. To make sure you’re getting the freshest berries, look for a uniform blue color. Shake the container gently to see if the berries move freely in the box. If they don’t, that could mean that the berries are moldy or otherwise damaged. If they’re in a clear container, be sure to turn the container over and inspect the berries on the bottom – often, the moldier berries end up there.
  • For a refreshing fruit salad, toss blueberries with cubed cantaloupe, bananas, and peaches. Of course, that’s just one idea – I invite you to experiment with fruit combinations to come up with your absolute favorites.
  • As is the case with most fruits, raw blueberries are best. When they are cooked, many of the nutrients are greatly reduced.
  • Frozen blueberries are fine! It’s good to know that freezing doesn’t diminish the level of antioxidants in blueberries. Studies have shown that blueberries could be frozen at 0 degrees F (-17 degrees C) for three to six months without any significant reduction in antioxidant power.

And here’s one of my favorite smoothie recipes with blueberries:

Berry Burst Smoothie

1 serving

Ingredients

½ cup of frozen blueberries (you can freeze them yourself or purchase them frozen)
1 banana
½ cup strawberries
¼ cup almond milk (substitute soy, rice, or coconut milk if you prefer)
½ cup fresh raspberries (you can substitute with frozen raspberries)

Directions

1. Thoroughly wash all fruits
2. Chop strawberries in chunks
3. Put all ingredients in a blender, adding liquid last
4. Puree until smooth.
5. Serve immediately.

Enjoy, and feel free to get creative!

References

1 http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2011/110621.htm

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35 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. atbsxoj July 10, 2014, 4:42 am

    バッグ

  2. Ariete February 10, 2012, 6:53 pm

    BEET RECIPE

    grate (use the large size)
    1 -2 medium size washed and peeled RAW beets
    1 green apple
    1-2 raw carrots
    Squeeze the juice of an orange for dressing. DELICIOUS and very appetizing!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 10, 2012, 8:57 pm

      Yum, that sounds delicious, Ariete! And for an extra “zing,” you could add a splash of rice or apple cider vinegar to the dressing. :)

  3. Nancy Hadley October 25, 2011, 3:52 pm

    Hi Vivian,when I go to the computer I look forward to your messages. I think we all feel like we have a special friend helping us. I like your food list and the exercises and follow both. It somehow feels better to do that than consider drugs which scare me half to death. I just came back from a trip to Italy with my daughter and while in Rome I climbed 114 steps,thee levels at one time in museums all day and I’m 78. I felt good about that. Thanks Vivian for your help.

  4. ElleHartlage(Age 71 yrs.) September 7, 2011, 6:53 pm

    Thank you, Vivian,
    for all you have done to help us bone-losing people. It is great that you have made this your life purpose. Still, even with all your advice from extensive research you have kept up with, what can we REALLY do to prevent further loss of bone. Once it has happened, it has happened & there is not much we can do about it. Don’t like to sound negative, but age has a lot to do with it too, which I’m sure you will agree. Personally, my opinion is that we have been subjected to a most terrible diet of food & drinks & prescription drugs that it has liquified our bones. God did not mean it to be this way. He provided the perfect food & everything for us in the Garden of Eden. The main thing I can’t understand is why humans did not take advantage of God’s great invitation to eat & drink the right things that would insure their
    untimate health. As has been stated before,
    Man is killing man! We were so much better off before electronics came into our lives. We lived a simple life, our children could play outside, we had gardens, etc. It is really pitiable that our early way of living has gone away. God Bless You, Vivian

  5. ElleHartlage(Age 71 yrs.) September 7, 2011, 6:11 pm

    SAVE our bones?????? No matter what we do, we cannot save our bones because we have already sabotaged our bones—–NOT because some of us have used prescription medicine—(because some of us have always refused to do that due to a very, very sensitive stomach. ) So, after all these years–my & OUR bones have been THINNED by the wrong foods (that is: diet drinks, preservatives,various names of sugar in disguise, hormones, growth hormones,
    nitrates, nitrites, sorbitol, aspertame, small amts. of antibiotics in meat, milk & who knows how many other food items???).
    Which causes MRSA because of resistance to the cure from antibiotics, due to overexposure
    from daily ingestion of antibiotics in small amts. But as far as our BONES, those of us who take Synthroid (without which we would die, because we need replacement since we have had surgery which completely removed our thyroid glands, & perhaps some parathyroid glands also) know that Synthroid (or generic) is very hard on the bones. So—that is a very hard problem to answer—-do you have any scientific knowledge of what to do when
    you have to take Snythroid or generic to keep
    your body going???
    Thanks for all you do to help us!!!!!

  6. Renee August 29, 2011, 8:52 am

    I have to eat quite a lot of fruit as get very constipated, I worry about been told
    Getting to be pre diabetic. I have already broke my hip, the right one was amazed as they said the left was bad. I had hurt In so many areas in my back
    They said had disc bulge, arthritis, was depressed, high anxiety. Took actional from 2004 till 2007 which then became sloppy with it. In 2008 was told 15 0/0 more chance of fracture, I fell a couple of times in June of 2009, my hip did not get fixed till may 2010 by then my leg was 3″ off, now 5/8. The hip still hurts and right knee, around tail bone area, and shoulders. I wear a Empi Tens for pain, when gets so bad take gel aleve. I was very bad anorexia would exercise five days a week, hardly eat. Since had problems with bowels was bad at taking my calcium and d. At one point I had just the opposite would not make it to the bathroom, then body changed. I eat straw berries, cantaloupe, honey dew, blue berries, cherries. I eat two pint size a day of fruit. They say if do not do the once a day fore to shorts will end up wheel chair. Or at least do once a year reclasp. I did the shots in 2010 14 out of 56 but did not do any more. Because of side effects, bone cancer, jaw issues, depression. I have one ovary which quit working. On hormone patch was years ago on premiun at a lost what to do. My niece going to do the iv reclasp she is bad too.

  7. Bonnie July 27, 2011, 7:12 pm

    Don’t concern yourself with whether to eat or not eat a food. God said “I made all food good” God didn’t give us bad food!.. Only man has adulterated the food God gave to us to sustain the Magnificent Human Body! Remember in the Garden of Eden, they only had plants , nuts and seeds to eat. No meat was eaten until after the flood. Man has so altered the food God gave to us that it is hardly recognized as food and certainly doesn”t taste like it either.
    Man is still altering food and adding reproductive control, disease causing chemicals. Also altering them so that they won’t produce from seeds of the plant, thereby causing famines.
    Research it, it is there. We MUST take control and protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors EDUCATE YOURSELVES!

  8. Bonnie July 27, 2011, 7:05 pm

    If we could get the chemicals out of our foods and stop killing them by over processing, we could eliminate many health issues. First of all get the growth harmones out of foods and the obesity would be lessened if not eliminated!!!!!
    If everyone would stop purchasing these deadly chemical laden foods, perhaps they would listen.. I refuse to buy them or consume them. Buy all organic. NOT USDA organic for that means nothing!!! Buy Certified Organic by the Organic association. Support the Organic Farmers!!! Health is worth the difference in Cost. You exchange good food for doctor and drug costs!!! Put the drug companies out of business!
    Thank you Vivian!

  9. Nicola Wood July 13, 2011, 10:16 pm

    Why are you now telling us to eat blueberries when you said they were acid producing previouslyu?

  10. Barbara July 6, 2011, 10:07 am

    Hi Vivian,
    Thanks for all your good advice and recipes.
    I just had a blood test done and my progesterone is very low (.5). My alternative doctor wants to put me on bioidentical progesterone. What do you think and are there any foods that will help increase my levels? I need your help.
    Thanks, Barbara

    • Joan July 6, 2011, 5:19 pm

      Hi Barbara,just watched a video on your problem go to yahoo put the name progesterone up then click on Definition from answers.com you will see the video a lady is explaining what she did regarding healing herself,hope this helps you.
      regards Joan.

  11. m. whitehead July 5, 2011, 1:16 pm

    There is a very informative but very scary special report called “Fractured” in the July issue of Good Housekeeping.
    mjw

  12. m. whitehead July 5, 2011, 1:08 pm

    I’m so discouraged by all the conflicting info. Do eat blueberries, don’t eat blueberries, yogurt is acid, yogurt is alkaline. You’re kind of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
    mjw

  13. Mike Donovan July 2, 2011, 11:55 am

    The fractures are complete ruptures or partial of the bones whose origin can be the osteoporosis, to fall, strong blows, and, sometimes, violent employ of to muscle. The sector with risk more elevated to undergo fractures is formed by the people who suffer the disease of the osteoporosis, although also get to be frequent in old children and because it’s bony composition is fragile. Findrxonline on your website indicates that treatment to control the pain of osteoporosis by its effectiveness are medications prescribed between the most common are vicodin and lortab hydrocodone. Although it is important that before taking these medicines should be consulted with the specialist because they have side effects which can harm the nervous system and the health of the patient.

  14. Judy July 1, 2011, 10:49 pm

    So happy to read this.
    I stopped eating Blueberries because they were on the “No List”.

  15. Rosemary Lambert July 1, 2011, 5:00 pm

    In making pie, I mix a few blueberries with nectarines, or you can use peaches. Those two are both alkalizing and they mingle so well together. I try and cut out part of the sugar and sometimes add a little honey, but watch it doesn’t run over in the oven!!. It’s an improvement anyway.
    Everyone loves my tapioca instead of flour for thickening in this pie. Receipe on tapioca box…enjoy!

  16. Rosemary July 1, 2011, 11:46 am

    Your recipe is wonderful and I love fruit; however, it is believed it can be problematic eating fruit; except lemons, grapefruit, limes and cantaloupe melons; see Dr. Young’s book the PH Miracle.

    • Susan July 1, 2011, 10:11 pm

      That is so contrary to Vivian’s plan where she lists all kinds of so-called alkalizing fruits, and I’ve been eating tons of them. If fruits are problematic then we’re all in trouble. I’m sticking to the plan, but then again I wouldn’t mind trying that blueberry nectarine pie either. Thanks for the tip. I’ll try the honey in an apple pie for the 4th.

  17. Nu Ly July 1, 2011, 6:32 am

    I like the simple way to make Berry Bust Smoothie.

    Thank you so much, you always renmind us to
    choose our foods and balancing them.

    • Karwan July 25, 2012, 6:01 am

      Ugh I love all of those, but DS reacted to them in my milk and/or when he was alergly tested so they are a no go. I used to eat butternut squash a few times a week prior to having DS. Love me some pumpkin :)

  18. Joyce Hall June 30, 2011, 9:00 pm

    Hi All my friends “saving Their Bones”…. Me too. I enjoy making smoothies. This gives me a chance to make yet another one for my dinner. I just got home. “Nobody Home”, good I’ll make my Smoothie while they are away. Just got in from work. I love all your newsy notes and your constant updates on “How To Save Our Bones” the fun and easy way! I’m attempting to start a little more aggressive weight bearing exercise. I am still seeing and feeling groves in my finger nails. I feel that with everything you suggest and everything I am doing I should begin to see something soon. I think I will get another DEXA Screening. Maybe eight months is to soon, but maybe not. For me “no change” would thrill me. I feel good, but I never felt bad when I was diagnosed. Vivian You will hear me shout from the roof tops if I see a change for the better. Of course no change would also be good news. I thank God everyday for sending you, Vivian. I was determined not to start those “OTHER MEDS”. Then I didn’t have to. You have shown me “How To” oreserve my bones and still enjoy life! WOW not bad I’d say…..My best to you Vivian, “Whatta a Woman”! Thanks again… Joyce Hall

  19. Marsha June 30, 2011, 3:01 pm

    Thanks for the yummie Berry Burst Smoothie. I’m going to give it a try, :)

  20. Sue June 30, 2011, 12:31 pm

    Vivien,
    I fully agree with all your recommendations for good bone health. My question is, why don’t you publish success stories of women who have actually improved their bone density tests by following your program? The absence of this information/news is disconcerting. Are women actually improving their bone density scores by following your program?
    Sue

    • Joan June 30, 2011, 3:01 pm

      I second that Question Sue it would be nice to know as i have just started Vivians program hoping it works.
      Joan

  21. sandy June 30, 2011, 10:58 am

    Vivian: Strawberies have the same ingredients and benefitsas blueberriesand are not acidifying—- Please resond to my statement via my e-mail –thanks

  22. Arlene Stevens June 30, 2011, 10:10 am

    Your advice WORKS keeps our bones in good shape. Keep up the Great Work. Thanks, Arlene

  23. Beth Basil June 30, 2011, 8:18 am

    Vivian, I get frustrated with this website because of the descrepancies between the “latest” information and what you have in your books. (as well as what is published in other alkaline diet books). Blueberries are listed as an acid in your books.. I would appreciate some direction on this.

    • Sheryl Ann July 1, 2011, 1:32 am

      Beth, the Save Our Bones program is not about eliminating every acid forming food from your diet. That would be very difficult to accomplish & ludicrous to expect compliance. Instead, the program is about reaching an approximate 80/20 ratio of alkaline to acid forming foods in a person’s diet. There would be no reason to perform pH strip tests if the goal was simply eat only alkaline forming foods. The program is about educating ourselves about proper nutrition, identifying what is alkaline & what is acid forming & making dietary changes to help our bodies rebuild themselves. Those changes may mean eating healthy, nutrient/antioxidant dense blueberries instead of greasy potato chips as a snack or add-on to a meal.
      Also, even though alkaline foods are good for you, keep in mind the principle of moderation. Too much of anything, even a good thing, can become bad for you. Eating only alkaline forming foods to the exclusion of all other foods could prove potentially dangerous. If a person’s body becomes too alkaline, they can suffer from alkalosis which is the opposite of acidosis. Hence, the suggested 80/20 split.
      It’s not all that hard to understand when you understand the concept of balance. Read more, educate yourself, eat well.

  24. Trudi June 30, 2011, 7:03 am

    can you send some info about gaining weight. Age related. I have always been thin,never skinny, and I do have bone loss. Is there something? (Food) i do not use any medication>

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 4, 2011, 12:19 am

      Hi Trudi (and Carolyn),

      There’s such a wide variety of foods you can eat on the Save Our Bones Program (and no limit to the amount you can eat) that you can easily adjust for either weight loss or weight gain. Try adding more complex carbs that pack calories, such as bananas, grapes, alkalizing beans, green peas, sweet potatoes, potatoes with peel, etc. And you can up the calories of the acidifying foods. For example, replacing chicken with beef. It can also help to have multiple snacks throughout the day.

    • carolyn July 1, 2011, 5:10 pm

      Thanks for asking this question Trudi. Most people laugh, but I have the same problem. Since I started the diet and increased my exercise, I have lost 10 pounds but I only weighed 98 to start (I am five feet tall), and now I need to gain some back.

  25. Mary June 30, 2011, 6:18 am

    Thank you for the Smoothie recipe…Sounds yummy!! I plan on freezing more fruits this summer for in the winter time…I enjoy nibbling at raw blueberries during the day….As usual, your articles are great and I look forward to them… I share alot of you articles on my FB page.. If I can help one person, like you helped me, then I accomplished something good..

    Mary

  26. LESLIE June 30, 2011, 5:52 am

    Hi! Vivian,

    Your Article Was GREAT AS USUAL! And I LOVED YOUR RECIPE “BERRY BURST SMOOTHIE”! SOUNDS YUMMY!

    LOVE, MS. L.

  27. Rowland Fujii June 30, 2011, 1:21 am

    I just cant get you off my mind. These helpful hints for greater bone health, actually with that 80-20 ratio of Alkalizing to acidifying is
    also good for your Brain. I got that from a book I read called 20 20 Brain Power.All your advice is
    good for your entire body. Not only the bones.
    Your are saving our lives.

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