Move over, dairy! New research suggests that eating more fruit and vegetables can increase bone mineral content. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that female seniors and adolescents of both sexes bolstered their bone strength by doubling their produce intake.

These results echo similar research we reported on three years ago: a University of Tennessee study in which girls (ages 8-12) who consumed more than three servings of fruit a day had greater bone mass (and less calcium excretion) than those who consumed fewer than three servings. Fruit and vegetables not only help the body hold onto calcium, they supply many of the other, oft overlooked nutrients — potassium, folate, vitamins K and C — which support bone health.

While both studies encompassed fruit and vegetable intake in general, Arugula and other greens supply particularly high concentrations of bone-healthy nutrients. Another veggie that deserves special mention: onions, which contain compounds that significantly inhibited the loss of bone minerals, including calcium, in one Swiss study.

Published March 1, 2007