Most people think protein is essential to building and maintaining muscles. While protein is a key ingredient, it turns out that vegetables and fruits are just as important. It's the high level of potassium in fresh fruits and vegetables that helps protect our muscles from aging and decline.
Researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston recruited 384 men and women, 65+ years old, to take part in a three-year study to determine the best ways to keep bones strong and reduce falls. Of course, strong muscles are key to keeping bones strong as we age. Researchers found a direct correlation between eating fruits and vegetables and lack of muscle decline. As the body breaks down proteins and carbohydrates -- the majority of the U.S. diet -- it leaves excess acid residues in the body that break down muscles. Fresh fruit and vegetable diets are rich in potassium, which helps buffer the breakdown process. So keep eating those fruits and vegetables to stay strong.
For more information on this research go to: Science News.
Article published on May 5, 2008.