Natural Health Journals

Prunes: More than Meets the Eye

Dried plums, more commonly known as prunes, contain an abundance of health and nutritional attributes that are essential for good health. While once thought of as a fruit that primarily the elderly consumed for the purposes of intestinal regulation, prunes have established themselves as a bona fide super food.

What Prunes Can Do for You

Because prunes are packed with antioxidants and other important nutrients such as potassium and Vitamin A, they are considered to be a high-energy snack that is healthy for anyone.

Prunes also contain a host of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are plant chemicals with protective properties that can prevent disease in humans. Research is showing phytochemicals to be specifically beneficial for preventing diseases that are commonly associated with the aging process such as cancer and heart disease. Some of the phytochemicals that can be found in prunes include the following:

  • Aromatic acids
  • Carotenoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Pectins
  • Polysaccharides
  • Sorbic acid
  • Sugar alcohols
  • Sugar

Aside from containing powerful nutrients to help us fight cancer and heart disease, the vitamin and nutrient packed content of prunes can also help us with other serious health issues.

  • Digestive regulation – Because prunes contain soluble as well as insoluble fiber they are an ideal food choice for regulating our digestive systems. Even people who already suffer from digestive issues can benefit tremendously from consuming a diet consisting of prunes.
  • Osteoporosis – The boron that is found in prunes is an essential nutrient for the prevention of osteoporosis. The potassium in them is also a great contributor for optimal bone health.
  • Iron deficiencies – Iron carries oxygen throughout our bloodstream to our muscles. Consuming prunes gives our bodies a much needed boost to aid us in being able to absorb iron.
  • Maintenance of electrical balances – Potassium, chloride, and sodium all combine to help maintain the electrical balances within our bodily fluids and cells. They also play a significant role in maintaining the smooth, healthy function of our muscles and nerves.
  • Regulation of blood glucose metabolism – Even though prunes are high in carbohydrates, they actually have a very low Glycemic Index. This means that prunes are also a healthy choice for diabetics.

Prunes for Weight Management

It may seem that prunes are too good to be true, and with all of the outstanding health benefits they have to offer us, it is a bit amazing to think about just how packed with nutrients they are. Not only can this small fruit offer us an abundance of protection against disease, it also contains the power to help us control our weight.

Prunes are fat, saturated fat, and sodium free, which makes them the perfect snack for those of us who are trying to watch our weight. Consuming too much fat doesn’t just lead to weight gain, however; it can also lead to the development of heart disease, insulin resistance, and raise our LDL (or bad) cholesterol. If you are looking to keep your fat and sodium intake to a minimum, prunes are the perfect snacking choice. They will also keep you fuller longer, making you less likely to binge on foods that are bad for you.

By Marc Courtiol

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