You might recognize it as a sugar substitute lurking in the ingredient lists of things like diet sodas and chewing gum, but it’s naturally found in prunes. It’s easy to side-eye fresh and dried fruit for being high in sugar, but prunes stray from the pack a bit in this category. Prunes help you maintain healthy digestion. Remember when your mom would tell you to drink milk every night for strong bones? Gorin and Bannan also note the fruit is rich in antioxidants like phenolic compounds (more than similar dried fruits like dates or raisins), which research has shown to decrease cardiovascular disease risk factors and lower blood pressure and total cholesterol in people who ate prunes on the daily. 1. These health benefits of prunes may be linked to their high concentration of the trace element boron which is postulated to play a role in prevention of osteoporosis and osteopenia. Delhi-based Nutritionist Anshul Jaibharat says, “Prunes are high in natural sugar, so too many may not be good for people watching their weight. Much of the antioxidant power of prunes can be attributed to the high levels of hydroxycinnamic acids (types of phenolic compounds) they contain. To appease your sweet tooth, top a fruity breakfast pizza made with granola crust with a cup of prunes, prep a whipped chocolate chia pudding to store in the fridge for grab-and-go moments, or blend them into a smoothie. Well+Good decodes and demystifies what it means to live a well life, inside and out. And if you don’t want to consume dried prunes, you can also take prune juice. Prunes and plums are high in soluble fibre that helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. Half of that is insoluble fiber, Bannan says, and it helps food move through the digestive tract faster to improve regularity. A good option is to keep a pack of Del Monte Prunes handy as your ready source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Whereas for babies and children is 1–2oz of prune juice. In fact, women ages 25 to 54 react so negatively to the idea of prunes that the California Prune Board pressured the Food and Drug Administration to change their name to the more appealing “dried plums” (which they technically are), and it worked! They contain 18 g of sugar, but the soluble fiber actually slows how quickly it is digested and absorbed, helping keep blood sugar levels from making a drastic jump. Prunes (or shall we call them dried plums?) And why are prunes good for constipation? All rights reserved. These are high quality prunes that are prepared from juicy plums and have the same nutritional composition as the fresh fruits, with the added benefit of easy storage and year-round availability. Nutrition facts for prunes (GI rating, GL rating, nutrient content, etc) are provided at the end of the article. Another nutrient prunes are rich in is magnesium, which is linked to better sleep; one serving has 41 milligram. Not a fan of prunes? “And fiber is what promotes motility and fights belly bloat.” Additionally, a serving of prune juice only contains 6 grams of sorbitol (remember, it’s largely this sugar alcohol you have to thank for prunes’ laxative effect), compared to 15 grams found in the whole fruit, according to the New York Times. Prunes are known to relieve constipation and may help protect against disease. Read up on how to avoid bloat when eating a high-fiber diet. “It helps stimulate digestion by helping to move water into the large intestine,” she says. The Amazing Health Benefits of the Aronia Berry, How to Use Fresh Turmeric Root (Top 10 Ideas), Comparison of the Best 'Plastic-Free' Electric Kettles, Grape Seed Extract Fights Yeast Infections in Mice, Study Shows. Bile is made from cholesterol in the liver in order to digest fat. Additionally, scientists at Texas A&M University found that eating prunes changes colon biochemistry, which is why they credit to it being so beneficial in this way. As a result, fiber remains in the colon where it absorbs water and softens the stool, thereby providing health benefits for those suffering from constipation. Firmly seated on the prunes bandwagon? Beyond the benefits to your digestive tract, and the fact that they offer a sweet hit for only 30 calories, plums and prunes have many other wonderful health properties. 4. have been sold as a popular digestive remedy for decades mainly because of these three components: fibre, sorbitol (a sugar alcohol that can loosen the stool) and a natural laxative compound called diphenyl isatin. A 2011 study found that prunes are more effective than psyllium at relieving constipation. And why are prunes good for constipation? But the sweet, chewy, wrinkly truth is that prunes—or dried plums, if you want—are little nutrient and fiber bombs. Soluble fibre slows the rate that food leaves the stomach and, as a result, delays the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. Soluble fibre may also inhibit the amount of cholesterol manufactured by the liver in the first place. 7. 5. You can chop them into fine pieces and add them to hot or cold In addition, prunes and prune juice contain sorbitol (14.7 and 6.1 grams per 100 grams, respectively). Prunes could help you sleep better. Yep, we’re confirming the old wives’ tale that prunes can help get things moving. Simply put, prunes benefits are largely overlooked. They help keep blood sugar from spiking. The hydroxycinnamic acids present in prunes include neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids, both of which appear to be highly effective at scavenging free radicals. And if you need more recipe inspo, try adding prunes to one of these plant-based breakfasts. “Assuming you’re eating other sources of fiber throughout your day, I wouldn’t go overboard,” Gorin says. But she notes that if your typical daily diet already includes a lot of fiber, meaning you’re eating a lot of fresh produce on the reg, “then adding in prunes shouldn’t really send you to the bathroom.” If not, then prunes will “up the fiber in your day, and more than 1 cup may result in extra bathroom runs.”. After all, excess of anything is stored as fat in your body. When the body excretes bile along with the fibre from prunes and plums, the liver must use cholesterol in the body to make more bile thereby lowering the amount in circulation in the body. Chop a few to garnish your go-to salad or side dish, or try a prune jam with onions for a sweet and savory option. Beta-carotene also protects and fixes the damage of free radicals on our cells, meaning it can help reverse the signs of aging. 5 Resistance Band Leg Workouts That’ll Burn Out Your Lower Body in 30 Minutes or Less, 3 Recipes That Turn a Can of Tuna Into an Easy Weeknight Meal in No Time Flat. Here are just a few: For an adult one-half cup of prune juice is enough. Julie Daniluk, R.H.N. Often, I’m asked about the sugar content of dried fruit as people tend to recognize the sweetness and concentrated flavor. Potassium controls the signals regulating muscle contractions and a healthy heart rhythm, so getting enough in your diet is definitely important—especially before and after hitting the gym. Bet you've never thought this much about your urinary tract. “When eaten frequently, prunes contribute to the overall intake of dietary fiber and many important vitamins, minerals, and phenolic compounds, which function as antioxidants,” Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, says. Turns out dried plums are a power player in the vitamin K game, “a key nutrient in the process of bone mineralization,” Bannan says. “Too much fiber can cause cramping, which can be unpleasant to say the least.” No one wants that, so start with a handful of prunes and see how you feel before reaching for seconds. This is because “prune juice, like all juice, does not have the fiber that eating the whole fruit or veg will give you,” she explains. Get it daily. Because prunes contain potassium, they’re a good snack to add to your gym bag. Short answer: You bet! Read our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. Updated January 13, 2020. Soluble fibre also increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Another nutrient prunes are rich in is magnesium, which is linked to better sleep; one serving has 41 milligram. A clinical study conducted at Florida State University (FSU) and published in Aging Research Review suggests that dried plums may be able to reverse osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Prunes have such a bad rap that, in 2000, plum growers got permission from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market their fruit “dried plums” instead of “prunes.” It makes sense: How appetizing can a fruit be when it conjures images of wrinkled fingers after a too-long, too-hot bath or a grandparent padding to the bathroom? “If you’re eating prunes to help alleviate some constipation, then you want to eat—read: chew—your prunes, not drink them,” says Brigitte Zeitlin. “Give them a chance,” Bannan says. Gorin also recommends using pureed prunes in brownie batter (yes, really) to make the tray bake more moist and to bring its sugar content down a notch. Let’s talk sorbitol, a sugar-based alcohol. Vitamin K works in conjunction with beta carotene to fight the signs of aging by helping reduce bone loss and improving circulation. Using a laboratory analysis called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity), the researchers found that prunes had more than twice the antioxidant capacity of other high ranking foods such as blueberries and raisins. Here are more of their amazing health benefits. So if you’re looking for a healthy pre-bedtime snack, this is one that can work in your favor. If eliminating constipation isn’t your goal, Zeitlin still recommends you fill a bowl rather than a glass because most Americans currently aren’t getting enough fiber in their diet. Cholesterol in Shrimp – How Bad Is It, Really? There’s some scientific evidence—at least with rats—showing that eating prunes on a regular basis could lower the risk of colon cancer. So, when it comes to picking, what are the pitfalls? Prunes — or dried plums — are considered one of the healthiest foods there is, but exactly why are prunes good for you? Prunes — or dried plums — are considered one of the healthiest foods there is, but exactly why are prunes good for you? The soluble fibre in prunes helps you feel satisfied after a meal, which can prevent overeating and subsequent weight gain.