Boron in Foods
Boron is a naturally occurring element. It is mainly found in oceans, coal, sedimentary rocks, and some soils, and is also present in plants, fruits, beans, and vegetables. It serves as a micronutrient that fulfills vital functions in the human body. It supports metabolism, maintains bone health, improves cognitive function, regulates hormones, and much more. A healthy diet with foods rich in boron can avert the complications that boron deficiency might cause.
Why is Boron Important for Health?
Recent studies and research has shown that boron is vital for several daily functions of the body. From wound healing to cancer prevention, boron’s applications are multiple.
Some research proves that boron can help boost cognitive function. For instance, one 1994 study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that the people who consumed 3.25 mg of boron in their diets performed better at the memory and hand-eye coordination tasks than people with low boron levels. Studies have also associated boron with brain activation. Boron deficiency can affect attention span, motor speed, alertness, etc.
Boron has been proven to maintain proper levels of testosterone and estrogen in the body. Consequently, these hormones regulate different bodily functions well. A balance of these hormones can even reduce and even eliminate the risk of different kinds of cancer. “Nothing Boring About Boron”—an article published in the “Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal” states that in a nutritional study with humans involving boron, 23 postmenopausal women first were fed a diet that provided 0.25 mg boron/2000 kcal for 119 days and were fed the same diet with a boron supplement of 3 mg boron/day for 48 days. The boron supplementation elevated the serum concentrations of 17 β-estradiol and testosterone.
Vitamin D plays an essential role in maintaining healthy bones and teeth. It does so by helping with the absorption of calcium. Boron comes into the picture here by enabling Vitamin D to work for more extended periods in the body. An article in The Open Orthopaedics Journal states that people with low vitamin D levels are more prone to have low levels of boron. This proves how the level of calcium in our bodies. Ultimately the strength and density of our bones depend on the boron.
Similarly, boron also has some control over the functioning of the hormone estrogen. Now, estrogen also plays a crucial role in sustaining bone health. Hence, it maintains bone density, protecting both men and especially women from osteoporosis and osteopenia, which essentially leads to brittle, weak bones and painful joints. This, in turn, can cause fractures to the bones even when the damaging force applied is minimal. Boron extends the time for which estrogen can work in our bodies; therefore, boron indirectly makes a significant contribution to bone health.
Some clinical evidence supports that boron supplements can help people with arthritis. Also, boron supplementation has been seen to reduce urinary calcium loss.
According to webmd.com, boron helps your body absorb and use magnesium. Magnesium is crucial for metabolizing carbohydrates, to the point where magnesium deficiencies can make insulin resistance worse. As a result, consuming enough boron can help boost your metabolism and improve your blood glucose levels.
The World Health Organization has shared that an “acceptable safe range” for adults is 1 to 13 milligrams (mg) of boron per day. Following the data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (1994–1996), the median dietary boron intakes ranged from 0.87 to 1.35 milligrams per day in adults. The adverse effects of excessive boron consumption are yet to be studied.
Foods with Boron
The Boron Nutrient Database (it represent 95.3% by weight of all foods consumed in the US Department of Agriculture 1989-1991 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals) estimates that the top 2 boron contributors were coffee and milk, which even being low in boron made up 12% of the total boron intake under the volume consumed. Among the top 50 boron contributors were peanut butter, wine, raisins, peanuts, and other nuts. Many other foods can be included in the diet to maintain the required levels of boron in the body.
Apple juice contains approximately 0.45 milligrams of boron, and a medium-sized apple would have 0.66 milligrams of it. A few apples can very well take care of your daily boron requirements.
The nutrition-rich avocado is also an excellent source of boron. 1.07 milligrams of boron is present in a half-cup serving of avocado (raw).
The greens on your plate are always extra nourishing. There’s a bonus with boiled broccoli as it supplements up to 0.40 milligrams of boron per cup.
Coffee has a very negligible amount of boron (0.07 milligrams per cup) in it. But in this caffeine-fuelled world, those multiple cups of coffee in a day supply a significant amount of boron to our bodies.
Grapes have a high amount of boron. One cup of pure grape juice provides 0.76 milligrams of boron. Raisins, which are made from grapes, compress this boron into a small volume. 0.95 milligrams of boron from one and a half ounces of raisins can efficiently fulfill boron requirements.
Peaches are a very healthy and delicious way to include boron in our diet plan. One medium-sized peach contains up to 0.80 milligrams of boron. A couple of peaches are sufficient to maintain good levels of boron in the body.
One ounce of peanuts has about 0.48 milligrams of boron. The best way to include it in your diet is to have peanut butter. One tablespoon of peanut butter contains almost 0.26 milligrams of boron. Peanut butter can be incorporated into our diet in many ways.
Potatoes may not contain very high amounts of boron, but being a staple, it provides a significant amount of boron. But instead of fried potatoes, one must opt for the healthier baked, roasted, or simply mashed versions of potato dishes.
Pears, which provide us with antioxidants, vitamins, etc., with meager calories, is also an excellent source of boron, with one medium pear offering up to 0.50 milligrams of boron.
Walnuts, red kidney beans (1.4 mg of Boron/ 100 g), prunes, Shiraz Cabernet Wine, lentils, chickpeas, celery, honey, olives, carrots, oranges, onions, bananas are all excellent sources of boron. They can be easily included in the meals.
Boron is available in dietary supplements. These might contain only boron, or there might be supplements containing boron in combination with other nutrients. Elemental boron in nutritional supplements may range from 0.15 to 6 mg.
In dietary supplements, boron is present in many different forms. It includes sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, boron amino acid chelate, boron ascorbate, boron aspartate, boron citrate, boron gluconate, boron glycinate, boron picolinate, and calcium fructoborate.