The positive link between bone health and fruit and vegetable consumption has been attributed to the lower renal acid load of a diet high in alkaline-forming fruits and vegetables.
Other important dietary determinants of bone health include micronutrients and bioactives found in fruits and vegetables.
Plant foods contain thousands of natural chemicals, which are called phytonutrients or phytochemicals ("phyto" means "plant"). These chemicals help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats. Phytonutrients are not essential, but they may help prevent disease.
More than 25,000 phytochemicals are found in plant foods, and six important phytonutrients are:
- Ellagic acid