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Health Benefits of Prunes

prune brune, dessin humoristique

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IN fact a prune is a dried plum, just like, a raisin is a dried grape. Most popular varieties of the fruit are made from dried European plums. To produce prunes, plums are dehydrated in hot air, at 90 degrees Celsius, for about eighteen hours.
Prunes proffer incredible health benefits, ranging from – promoting gastrointestinal health, keeping cholesterol levels in check and fighting osteoporosis.

Nutritional Features of Prunes

Prunes are an excellent source of pro-vitamin A and phenolic compounds. They are also rich in potassium, vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, boron and dietary fiber.

Health Benefits of Prunes

100 grams of prunes (about 10 to 12 prunes), provides 240 calories, 2.2 grams of protein, 0.4 grams of fat, 63 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of fiber. Prunes have a highly beneficial and therapeutic impact on metabolism and overall wellness. The following are the favorable health benefits, granted by the fruit :

  • Supports Gastrointestinal Health: Primarily, prunes help alleviate the most obstinate and chronic cases of constipation. The fiber content of prunes is high. This fiber adds bulk to the feces, softens stools and aids in the quick evacuation of the wastes, by decreasing the transit time. It purges the colon clean off all old accumulated sludge and toxic wastes, and also helps in the process of detoxification. Additionally, prunes help maintain a healthy balance between the friendly, beneficial bacteria and the harmful and disease-causing bacteria. The good bacteria utilize the fiber from the prunes, and produce butyric acid, which is the chief fuel that maintains a healthy and optimally functioning colon.
  • Diminishes Blood Cholesterol: The anti-oxidants present in prunes prevent free radical damage. The potent anti-oxidants ward off oxidation of the LDL or the bad cholesterol, and thus protect the heart, and help in staving off the development of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Banishes Symptoms associated with Menopause: Menopause is strongly associated with osteoporosis or bone demineralization. Clinical trials have proved that the adequate consumption of prunes by menopausal women, enhances the presence of enzymes and growth factors that cause bone growth.

Quick Serve Ideas for Prunes

When selecting prunes, ensure that they have a blue-black skin and are blemish free. They should be somewhat flexible. Prunes can be added to numerous dishes, both, confectionary and savory, and their addition makes the food scrumptious and nutritious.

  • Prunes make a wonderful and nutritious addition to yogurt smoothies.
  • Prunes can be added to home made cookies, muffins and breads.
  • They also make a delicious stuffing for poultry.

Reference :

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, M., P.E. Bowen PE, E.A. Hussain, Chemical Composition and Potential Health Effects of Prunes : a Functional Food, 2001

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