So what how many prunes should I eat? There are lots of prunes out there, but should you eat them? It all depends on your why and how many. Let me show you the way. Too much information? You’re right. While most of us associate prunes with our grandmothers and their old world remedies, you might be surprised to discover that this fruit has many wonderful health benefits. Let’s explore some of the benefits of prunes and talk about how they can help your body in ways you never imagined.
How Many Prunes Should I Eat
Prunes are plums that have undergone a dehydrating process for preservation. Prunes are deep reddish-brown in color, chewy in texture, and have a savory-sweet flavor. They are also known as dried plums.
Prunes, as opposed to fresh plums, can be stored in your cupboard for roughly six months. They can be kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a year.
The European and Japanese plums are the two primary types from which the numerous plum variants are descended. Fresh Japanese plums range in color from yellow to medium red and are larger and more juicy. Fresh European plums have darker blue or purple-red coloring and are smaller and denser.
Both kinds of plums were transported to North America by settlers and used to grow the well-liked variety we have today.The various health advantages of consuming these dried plums are now supported by research.
Prune Nutrition Stats
Serving Size: 4 Prunes (38g)
- 90 calories
- 0g total fat
- 0g saturated fat
- 0mg cholesterol
- 0mg sodium
- 24g total carbohydrate
- 3g dietary fiber
- 14g total sugars
- 0g added sugars
- 1g protein
- 20mg calcium (2% DV)
- 0.4mg iron (2% DV)
- 280mg potassium (6% DV)
- 23mcg Vitamin K (20% DV)
- 0.1mg riboflavin (8% DV)
- 0.9mg niacin (6% DV)
- 0.1mg Vitamin B6 (6% DV)
- 0.2mg pantothenic acid (4% DV)
- 15mg magnesium (4% DV)
- 0.1mg copper (10% DV)
- 0.1mg manganese (4% DV)
Prune health benefits:
Prune superpowers go far beyond the bathroom! Here are some reasons to start incorporating prunes into your diet:
- Can support bone health: Dr. Hooshmand has been conducting research in the area of bone health and prunes for the past 15 years. In a recent clinical trial, Dr. Hooshmand and her team found that osteopenic postmenopausal women who ate 5-6 prunes per day for six months was effective in preventing bone loss. “Previous research also found that eating 10-12 prunes per day for one year was associated with increased bone mineral density and improved indicators of bone turnover in postmenopausal women,” she says. Additionally, Dr. Hooshmand shares that interesting new animal research suggests that prunes may help prevent bone loss in people exposed to radiation, such as astronauts in space.
- May promote heart health: A serving of prunes meets 11% of the daily value for fiber, which plays a role in lowering blood cholesterol. Initial research from the University of California, Davis found that men with moderately elevated cholesterol were able to reduce both total and “bad” LDL cholesterol after eating about 12 prunes daily.
- Support healthy digestion: The fiber content of prunes may be to thank for their laxative effect, but scientists point to the combination of fiber, phenolic compounds and sorbitol within prunes that are likely what does the trick. Research supports that prunes can significantly increase stool weight and frequency, making them a great natural alternative to promote healthy bowel function.
- May have anti-inflammatory properties: Since prunes are rich in polyphenols, these antioxidants can help decrease inflammation and protect against DNA damage. Compared to fresh plums, prunes dried at 60 and 85°C may actually have a higher antioxidant activity.
Potential Risks of Prunes
While the potential health benefits of eating prunes are encouraging, there are also risks. Consult your physician and consider the following before making dried plums a regular part of your diet:
Increased Risk of Diarrhea
Eating too many prunes and other dried fruits, like raisins and figs, can lead to or worsen diarrhea due to their high fiber and sorbitol content. Both can have a laxative effect on the body.
Increased Risk of Gastrointestinal Distress
In some people, ingesting polyalcohol sugars such as sorbitol can also lead to intestinal bloating, gas, mild nausea, moderate to severe stomach cramps, or vomiting. Prunes have 14.7 grams of sorbitol per 100 grams, with as little as 5 grams of sorbitol potentially causing bloating. Consuming 20 grams or more of sorbitol could result in severe cramping.
Increased Exposure to Acrylamide
Acrylamide is a chemical that can develop naturally in foods when they’re heated at a high temperature. It forms from the interaction of sugars and a certain amino acid called asparagine. The chemical acrylamide, when ingested, can increase cancer risk. You can reduce exposure to acrylamide by reading labels carefully or choosing prunes dried at lower temperatures.
And what about prune juice?
Contrary to other fruit juices, the majority of well-known brands of prune juice do in fact include a healthy amount of fiber per serving. Additionally, warm prune juice has traditionally been used as a natural diuretic.Although we only have data from clinical trials looking at the impact of whole prunes on bone health, I believe that drinking prune juice may be somewhat useful in terms of bone health.
How to add prunes to your diet:
You may incorporate the prune into your diet in a variety of ways, from smoothies to salads and soups to savory dinner preparations. Prunes can even be substituted for sugar and fat in baked dishes, according to Dr. Hooshmand.
Enjoy this yummy dried fruit by itself or try it in a variety of different ways:
- Use prunes alongside your favorite variety of nuts in a healthy homemade trail mix
- Add chopped prunes as a topping to oatmeal or yogurt
- Incorporate prunes in stews or tagine for a sweet savory twist
- Add a prune or two to your morning smoothie
- Toss chopped prunes into salad alongside your favorite veggies and vinaigrette
- Use prunes for natural sweetness and fiber in energy bites
How Many Prunes is Safe
For a balanced diet that can include fruit juice, the U.S. Department of Agriculture advises eating two servings of dried fruit per day. While a serving of prune juice is one cup, a serving of prunes is half a cup, or 10 to 12 prunes. If you are not used to a diet high in fiber, California Dried Plums advises starting with a smaller dose of four to five prunes and gradually increasing your intake to prevent digestive adverse effects.
If You Eat Prunes Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Body
Eating prunes every day should be considered if you’re looking to regulate your digestive system and get things moving and grooving without resorting to medication.
These dried fruits might not look like much, but they are chock full of fiber. In fact, a one-cup serving has a whopping 12.4 grams of fiber, per LiveStrong. As explained by the website, insoluble fiber “binds water inside your intestines,” resulting in “larger, softer stools” that have an easier time moving through your bowels. In other words, prunes help you poop with ease and comfort.
Adding fuel to the cleansing fire, prunes also boast the sugar-based alcohol, sorbitol — an ingredient known to have a laxative effect. New York City dietitian Amy Gorin told Well + Good, “[Sorbitol] helps stimulate digestion by helping to move water into the large intestine.” So, if you’re feeling a bit constipated or more blocked-up than usual, turn to prunes before you head to the drugstore. Chances are you’ll be feeling relieved and back on track in no time.
Eating prunes every day can help aid in digestion
If you want to control your digestive system and get things moving and grooving without turning to medication, you might think about eating prunes every day.
Although these dried fruits may not seem like much, they are incredibly high in fiber. According to LiveStrong, a single cup of food contains a remarkable 12.4 grams of fiber. According to the website, insoluble fiber causes “larger, softer stools” that pass through your colon more easily by “binding water inside your intestines.” In other words, prunes make it easier and more comfortable to poop.
Prunes also contain the sugar-based alcohol sorbitol, which is known to have a laxative effect, adding fuel to the cleansing fire. “[Sorbitol] helps stimulate digestion by helping to move water into the large intestine,” New York City nutritionist Amy Gorin told Well + Good. So, before you go to the pharmacy, turn to prunes if you’re feeling a little constipated or more blocked than usual. You’ll probably feel relieved and get back on track in no time.
Eating prunes every day could cause diarrhea
Prunes provide numerous health advantages. But if you eat a handful of these dried plums every day, you might find yourself visiting the restroom more frequently than you’d want.
Prunes are a fruit that is effective — perhaps even too effective — if you’ve ever tried to use a baby food pouch full of pureed prunes to naturally cure an infant’s constipation. According to LiveStrong, the sorbitol in prunes, which has a natural laxative action, can backfire when ingested in excess and result in diarrhea and possibly even dehydration.
If you eat too many prunes, even if this sugar alcohol component doesn’t cause loose stools, you can still experience other uncomfortable stomach issues. Even though fiber is beneficial for your digestive system, it can occasionally cause gas, bloating, and discomfort (Mayo Clinic). According to LiveStrong, this is particularly true for those who are not used to eating foods high in fiber. In light of this, think about progressively incorporating prunes into your everyday diet. Keep your pace; your digestive system will appreciate it.
You’ll get lots of vitamins and antioxidants when you eat a daily serving of prunes
Prunes are loaded with healthy vitamins and antioxidants that support your immune system and all kinds of healthy cellular activity in your body. Prunes may be one of the foods that make you gorgeous, it turns out.
According to the National Institute of Health, dried plums, which are obviously prunes, are rich in vitamin A, a mineral that supports good vision, immunity, and the operation of your heart, lungs, kidneys, and other main organs. According to VeryWell Fit, the fruit also contains a sizable amount of calcium, potassium, and vitamin K.
Additionally, prunes are a good source of antioxidants, which protect cells from oxidative stress, a factor in early aging. By scavenging free radicals, these antioxidants reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. In other words, eating prunes will make you look and feel your best. Who would have guessed that eating a wrinkled, dried fruit would be the secret to looking and feeling young?
You’ll get a hearty dose of potassium when you eat prunes every day
For some who can’t bear the prospect of eating a banana every day, prunes may be a lifesaver.
The potassium included in bananas is a vital component for your body. The good news is that you may still receive your recommended daily intake of potassium by eating a handful of dried prunes every day if the prospect of eating the yellow fruit makes your stomach turn.
According to Medical News Today, a half-cup of prunes has 669 mg of potassium, which significantly reduces the adult daily recommended requirement. The Harvard School of Public Health states that men require 3,400 mg of potassium daily while women require 2,600 mg.
What does potassium do for your body, though? According to Harvard Health Publishing, the mineral supports the healthy operation of your cells on a fundamental basis.The nutrient “regulates the heartbeat, ensures proper function of the muscles and nerves, and is essential for synthesizing protein and metabolizing carbohydrates,” according to the specifics. Even though they are small, those prunes provide a powerful (and beneficial) punch!
Eating prunes every day may help to prevent anemia
People with an iron shortage, such as anemia, should think about eating prunes every day. It turns out that having good blood could depend entirely on eating the dried fruit on a daily basis!
Prunes, despite their diminutive size, are incredibly rich in naturally occurring iron. According to the Cleveland Clinic, iron in your body combines with protein during digestion to create hemoglobin, which carries essential oxygen to all of your body’s cells. Therefore, taking iron supplements and consuming foods high in iron can aid in preventing anemia, a condition marked by a deficiency of these healthy red blood cells in the blood. The Mayo Clinic states that severe exhaustion, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and other unpleasant symptoms can be brought on by anemia.
Health Benefit Of Prunes
1. May support bone health
Including prunes in your diet may be beneficial for maintaining healthy, strong bones. In fact, animal studies suggest prunes are effective at not only preventing bone loss but helping to reverse it too. This makes them especially relevant for mid-life adults who may be at risk of osteoporosis.
2. May promote a healthy heart
A plentiful source of fibre, prunes are especially rich in a soluble fibre called pectin, which may help balance cholesterol levels. However, it’s not just the fibre which is beneficial the protective antioxidant properties of prunes appears to also help lower blood pressure as does the vitamin and mineral contribution, particularly the high levels of potassium.
3. May reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
Eating fruit in its whole form, such as prunes, is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. There are a number of explanations for this including their high fibre content, their rich phytochemical levels and micronutrient contribution. Furthermore, despite their sweet taste prunes don’t actually cause the typical rise in blood sugar and insulin seen after eating sweet foods.
4. May slow the ageing process
Prunes have extraordinarily high antioxidant levels, which are estimated to be up to twice as high as those of other fruits and vegetables. As a result, they may help halt the aging process.
Studies on animals have indicated that giving diets high in these antioxidants appears to have a positive impact on reducing anxiety levels, which may in turn help to reduce oxidative stress in the brain and postpone its negative effects on cognitive performance.
5. Supports digestive health
Prunes are high in fiber, sorbitol, and phytonutrients, all of which help to support gastrointestinal function. As a result, prunes are a natural laxative that aids in promoting regular, healthy bowel motions because consuming them can improve stool volume and frequency. Additionally, they possess prebiotic qualities, which means they provide the food for the good bacteria that live in our intestines.
It is important to see your doctor if you are having constipation to be sure there are no underlying causes. However, there is some evidence to suggest that prunes may treat constipation and may even be superior to other organic foods like psyllium husks in this regard.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PRUNES
Prunes, which are dried plums, are known for their many health benefits. Here are some of the key health benefits of prunes:
- Digestive Health: Prunes are a natural source of dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help promote regular bowel movements and alleviate constipation. The fiber in prunes adds bulk to stools, softens them, and stimulates bowel movements, helping to keep the digestive system healthy and functioning properly.
- Antioxidant Properties: Prunes are rich in antioxidants, including phenols, flavonoids, and vitamin C, which help fight inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. These antioxidants can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can contribute to chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Bone Health: Prunes are a good source of several essential minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are important for bone health. These minerals play a crucial role in maintaining strong bones and teeth, and can help prevent conditions like osteoporosis.
- Heart Health: Prunes are naturally low in fat and sodium, and they contain potassium, which is an important mineral for heart health. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, and a diet that is low in sodium and high in potassium can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Nutritional Value: Prunes are packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins (such as vitamin A, vitamin K, and several B vitamins), minerals (such as iron and manganese), and fiber. They are also a good source of natural sugars, providing a quick source of energy.
- Weight Management: Prunes are relatively low in calories and high in fiber, which can help promote satiety and reduce overall caloric intake. Including prunes as part of a healthy, balanced diet can help with weight management and weight loss goals.
- Blood Sugar Control: Prunes have a low glycemic index, which means they are digested and absorbed slowly, resulting in a slow and steady release of sugar into the bloodstream. This can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent blood sugar spikes, making prunes a good option for individuals with diabetes or those who are looking to manage their blood sugar levels.
- Vision Health: Prunes are a good source of vitamin A, which is important for maintaining good vision. Vitamin A is essential for the health of the retina, and it plays a key role in promoting good vision, particularly in low light conditions.
- Convenience and Versatility: Prunes are naturally sweet, chewy, and portable, making them a convenient and healthy snack option. They can also be used in various recipes, such as baked goods, sauces, stews, and salads, adding natural sweetness, fiber, and nutrients to meals.
It’s important to note that prunes are high in natural sugars and can be relatively high in calories compared to other fruits, so they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. As with any dietary changes, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns.