Fruits and vegetables are a key to good health in older men and women, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study. Their research shows the nutrients in fruits and vegetables helps preserve muscle mass in older adults. Researchers say that with aging increasing metabolic “acidosis” develops, triggering a muscle wasting response. Fruits and vegetables in the diet reduces “acidosis.” The study included nearly 400 male and female volunteers over age 65 for a three-year period.