Close the Phytonutrient Gap to Help Bones

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., May 10 (UPI) — A nutrition expert says closing the U.S. phytonutrient gap could help improve Americans’ bone health.

Keith Randolph of Nutrilite Health Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich., says those who fail to eat enough fruits and vegetables are likely not getting enough bone-building calcium and vitamin D as well.

Randolph and colleagues found Americans who met the recommended daily intakes of fruits and vegetables averaged 1,110 mg/day of calcium and 244 International Units/day of vitamin D. However, those not meeting fruit and vegetable guidelines averaged 880 mg/day of calcium and 184 IU/day of vitamin D.

Requirements vary for age, but minimum calcium intakes, says Randolph, should be between 1,000-1,200 mg/day and for vitamin D between 200-600 IU/day.

“It’s like a double impact — if you fail to eat enough fruits and vegetables, you are also likely not getting enough bone-building nutrients like calcium and vitamin D from all food sources in your total diet either,” Randolph says in a statement.

Randolph suggests eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and mixing up the colors to ensure plenty of healthy phytonutrients — including lutein in green foods such as spinach, lycopene in the red tomatoes, quercetin in white onion and yellow/orange beta-carotene in carrots.

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