When it comes to micronutrients (vital building blocks like vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds necessary in small amounts for overall health and proper body functioning), there are far more varieties that are essential to our well-being than you may think. For example, trace elements also fall under the umbrella of this nutrient group. And while plant compounds, including carotenoids and polyphenols, are the latest lesser-known micronutrient group to be highlighted in recent years, trace elements are starting to get the spotlight they deserve.

Boron is just one of these elements more than worthy of a feature due to its role in many bodily functions from nutrient absorption to immune system regulation.

What is boron?

Simply put: “Boron is a trace mineral that we need in small amounts for several different bodily processes,” explains Amy Davis, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian at FRESH Communications. This mineral isn’t just important for humans, animals and plants require it too.

While boron is an up-and-coming addition to a variety of dietary supplements, it’s naturally found in plenty of plant-based foods. This is because it serves as a structural element of cell walls in plants, aiding in seed development, plant growth, and pollination.

This mineral is highly bioavailable, meaning it’s easily absorbed by your body to be put to use, with the body absorbing anywhere between 85 and 90 percent of the boron we consume. Absorption takes place in the intestinal tract, though experts are not exactly sure where, curiously. Boron accumulates in only a few tissues throughout the body—namely the hair, nails, and bones. Because of this, your system can easily maintain internal homeostasis of this micronutrient through excreting excess boron primarily through the kidneys; however, some is also removed through the action of the large intestines, skin, and other pathways.

Health benefits of boron

So many body systems are positively impacted by boron because it supports the body in many different ways, including increased magnesium absorption, reduced inflammation, and improved antioxidant activity, according to Davis. These benefits result in some pretty impressive health outcomes.

Helps build stronger bones

One of the most notable health perks of boron is the impact it has on bone health. This is, in part, due to its positive impact on the absorption and activity of vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, estrogen, and testosterone, all of which play integral roles in bone health. In fact, one 2020 review examining data from over 500 participants found that daily supplementation of 3 milligrams (mg) of boron resulted in improved bone health.

Protects against heart disease

This is thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory properties. One study concluded that one of the most common forms of boron found in food, calcium fructoborate, was associated with lower c-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the blood. Over the years, CRP values have been pinpointed as very strong indicators of heart disease risk.

Boosts immunity

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of boron bode well for improved immune health too. Research shows that it can help lower the risk of developing cancer by not only inhibiting cancer cell growth but also protecting healthy cells from genetic mutations that can lead to cancer. These benefits have been demonstrated in lung, blood, and prostate cancers, among others. Plus, boron supports healthy wound healing, another tell-tale sign of its immune support. This mineral is even generally considered to be a broadly antifungal agent. That means that boron can be supportive in treating yeast infections, not to mention any other fungus-related health concerns.

Improves joint function

Our joint health also benefits from all the anti-inflammatory properties this element holds. In fact, one review found boron intake to be associated with not only arthritis pain management but also improved joint mobility and flexibility.

Champions brain health

This is partly related to its support of the central nervous system, as well as its ability to reduce inflammation in the body. Evidence even shows that low boron levels have been associated with cognitive decline.

How much boron do you need daily?

Davis says the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 1–13 mg per day to be an acceptable range for consumption,” says Davis, though many strive for around 3 mg.

The tolerable upper limit, or amount above which negative side effects may occur, for this mineral is 20 mg per day. While this number is pretty difficult to reach or exceed on a regular basis, there are some concerning symptoms associated with toxicity including alopecia, fatigue, headaches, kidney injury, and digestive concerns like indigestion. However, toxicity really only becomes a concern when someone is consuming large amounts of boron through supplementation without professional guidance.

Alarmingly, some people turn to the household cleaner borax to boost their boron intake. We can’t discourage this practice enough as borax is not safe for human consumption and can result in serious health complications.

7 of the best sources of boron

Thankfully, boron is pretty abundant in the food supply. “Since boron can easily be found in a wide variety of foods, it’s not necessary to supplement,” Davis explains. And while the exact amount of boron in a given food will be dependent on the soil in which it was grown, here are some of the best natural sources, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Prune juice

Though often typecast as a beverage intended for keeping folks regular, prune juice holds many more health benefits for people of all ages. In fact, prune juice tops the list of high-boron foods, with 1.4 mg per cup.


Aside from being a perfectly delicious topping for toast, avocado is well-known for its health-promoting properties thanks to its fiber, unsaturated fat, vitamin, mineral, and plant compound content. But little do many know that it boasts one other important micronutrient, boron with 1.1 mg per half cup.


Regardless of whether they’re enjoyed in the fresh, dried, or juiced form, all grape products will offer a healthy dose of boron. An ounce and a half of raisins contains 0.95 mg, one cup of grape juice offers 0.8 mg, and 0.7 mg of boron can be found in one cup of whole grapes.


While the irresistible sweetness of a ripe summer peach may trick you into thinking it couldn’t possibly offer much nutrition, the opposite couldn’t be more true. In addition to the fiber and micronutrients they boast, peaches are an excellent source of boron with 0.8 mg in one medium piece of fruit.


As a famed pie ingredient and snack-time favorite, the beloved apple is another great source of boron. In fact, one medium-sized apple can offer up to 0.7 mg of health-boosting boron…just another way an apple a day can keep the doctor away.


The last fruit on this list of boron-rich foods is the humble pear. Regardless of the variety, you can expect a medium pear to contain about 0.5 mg of boron. These fall favorites are the perfect baked-good addition, oatmeal topping, or yogurt parfait mix-in.


A few different varieties of legumes also make the cut as fantastic sources of boron. While not often thought of as a legume, one ounce of peanuts will boast 0.5 mg. The same amount of boron can be found in half a cup of refried beans, whereas a half cup of cooked lima beans contains 0.35 mg.

So while this trace element is not often the first recommendation of many health-care professionals, boron certainly deserves a seat at the proverbial table as an important puzzle piece to total body health. But no need to worry about adding another dietary supplement to your daily routine as this mineral is so naturally abundant in a variety of foods, making meeting your needs simple and delicious.

Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.

  1. Rondanelli , Mariangela, Milena Anna Faliva et al. “Pivotal Role of Boron Supplementation on Bone Health: A Narrative Review.” Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, vol. 62, 2020, https://doi.org/doi.org/10.1016/j.jtemb.2020.126577.

  2. Khaliq, Haseeb et al. “The Physiological Role of Boron on Health.” Biological trace element research vol. 186,1 (2018): 31-51. doi:10.1007/s12011-018-1284-3

  3. González-Fontes, Agustín et al. “Is boron involved solely in structural roles in vascular plants?.” Plant signaling & behavior vol. 3,1 (2008): 24-6. doi:10.4161/psb.3.1.4812

  4. Mogoşanu, George Dan et al. “Calcium Fructoborate for Bone and Cardiovascular Health.” Biological trace element research vol. 172,2 (2016): 277-281. doi:10.1007/s12011-015-0590-2

  5. Kobylewski, Sarah E et al. “Activation of the EIF2α/ATF4 and ATF6 Pathways in DU-145 Cells by Boric Acid at the Concentration Reported in Men at the US Mean Boron Intake.” Biological trace element research vol. 176,2 (2017): 278-293. doi:10.1007/s12011-016-0824-y

  6. Pizzorno, Lara. “Nothing Boring About Boron.” Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.) vol. 14,4 (2015): 35-48.

  7. Arvanitis , Costa , et al. “Mechanism of Action of Potent Boron-Containing Antifungals.” Current Bioactive Compounds, vol. 16, 2020, pp. 552-556, https://doi.org/10.2174/1573407215666190308152952.

  8. Hunter, John M et al. “The Fructoborates: Part of a Family of Naturally Occurring Sugar-Borate Complexes-Biochemistry, Physiology, and Impact on Human Health: a Review.” Biological trace element research vol. 188,1 (2019): 11-25. doi:10.1007/s12011-018-1550-4

  9. Nielsen, Forrest H. “Update on human health effects of boron.” Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology : organ of the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements (GMS) vol. 28,4 (2014): 383-7. doi:10.1016/j.jtemb.2014.06.023

  10. Khaliq, Haseeb et al. “The Physiological Role of Boron on Health.” Biological trace element research vol. 186,1 (2018): 31-51. doi:10.1007/s12011-018-1284-3

  11. Pizzorno, Lara. “Nothing Boring About Boron.” Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.) vol. 14,4 (2015): 35-48.

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