For many, summer is the best time to be more active. The warmer weather and longer days allow people to get outside and enjoy their favorite activities. And it’s also a good time to increase bone strength in order to prevent future fractures and breaks. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, it is estimated that worldwide an osteoporotic fracture occurs every three seconds.
For many, bone mass will peak by their 20s. After reaching peak bone mass, both men and women start to lose bone mineral density as they age. Luckily, there are steps we can take to build stronger bones and help prevent bone loss. This summer, Sunsweet Growers is encouraging consumers to take care of their bones through targeted activities and nutritious snacks.
Check out these six bone-supporting ways to enjoy your summer:
- Backyard dance parties – Did you know that dancing is considered a weight-bearing exercise because you are working against gravity? Weight-bearing and resistance activities are the best for your bones so crank up the tunes and head to the backyard for a dance party. Get more information on bone health and exercise here.
- Add prunes to snacks and meals – Multiple studies suggest prunes may help to prevent bone loss. Prunes have vitamins and minerals that likely work together to protect the bone, including fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, boron, copper and polyphenols.1 Learn more here.
- Hit the trails – Hiking can help increase bone density. Before you head out, pack a portable snack, like a homemade trail mix featuring nuts and dried fruit such as prunes.
- Grab your yoga mat – Yoga can build bone health in your hips, spine and wrists. Consider targeting major muscles around the hip and spine at least 2 days per week.
- Brisk evening walks –Take advantage of the extra daylight and the pleasant evening temperatures and get in a sunset walk. Brisk walking four days a week for an hour can help lower the risk of hip fractures. Cool down and boost your nutrition with a glass of prune juice mixed with iced sparkling water to fuel your body with feel good benefits.
- Amp up your entertaining – Create a picture-perfect charcuterie board that the whole family will enjoy. Look to add bone-friendly foods that contain vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium and vitamin K. Foods like leafy green vegetables, yogurt, nuts and prunes contain many of these key nutrients. Learn how to make a charcuterie board using some of the best foods for bone health & osteoporosis prevention here.
In the meantime, try this recipe for Amaz!n Granola Bars from the folks at Sunsweet. They are a great snack to bake ahead and bring with you wherever you go this summer.
- 1/2 cup Sunsweet® Amaz!n™ Diced Prunes
- 2 oz (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 1/8 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325°F. Oil a 8×8 inch baking pan. Pour water from the tap over the Amaz!ns™ to cover and let them soak for 5 minutes. Drain. Heat the butter in a straight-sided sauté pan over medium heat.
Add the oats, coconut, flaxseed meal and sesame seeds and stir frequently until the oats have deepened to a light amber color, about 6 minutes. If the oats start to darken too quickly at the edges, lower the heat. Transfer to a large bowl.
In a small pot, bring the honey, maple syrup, salt and cinnamon to a boil. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken the syrup. Pour the syrup over the oats. Stir in the Amaz!ns™. Using a spatula, thoroughly mix the ingredients so that the oats are evenly coated in the syrup. Press the oats evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake until the top is a deep golden brown, 20 to 24 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Unmold onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Cut into 12 bars or 16 squares.