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What are Prunes?
Prunes are dried plums that come from different plum species. They’re known for their sweet taste and chewy texture. Often, you can find them in supermarkets in their packaged, dried state, though you can also consume them as prune juice. Regardless of how you prefer your prunes, they are a powerhouse of numerous health benefits that might just surprise you. Let’s take a closer look.
The Nutritional Profile of Prunes
A serving size of 50g of prunes contains:
- 120 kcal / 500 kJ
- 1g protein
- 0g fat
- 31g carbohydrates
- 3.8g fiber
- 12mg calcium
- 17mg magnesium
- 0.43mg vitamin E
- 3mcg folate
- 16.5g of natural sugars
This makes prunes not only a great source of energy but also an excellent source of dietary fiber and various essential vitamins and minerals. However, it’s not just about their nutritional content. The health benefits of prunes go far beyond their vitamin and mineral content.
Top 6 Health Benefits of Prunes
1. Support Weight Loss
Are you trying to shed a few pounds? Prunes can be a helpful partner on your weight loss journey. Research has shown that incorporating prunes into your diet can help manage weight, mainly due to their high fiber content. This fiber can help you feel full for longer, reducing the temptation to snack and helping you control your overall calorie intake.
2. Promote Heart Health
Prunes are high in potassium, a mineral that helps regulate heart rhythm and blood pressure. A study published in the “Archives of Internal Medicine” found that a diet rich in potassium might help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. As a prune enthusiast, you’re already taking strides toward better heart health.
3. Enhance Digestive Health
If you’ve heard of prunes before, it’s likely in the context of aiding digestion. Prunes, being high in dietary fiber, can help increase the size and weight of your stool, making it easier to pass. So, if you’re struggling with constipation, prunes could be your natural remedy.
4. Strengthen Bones
Did you know prunes are good for your bones too? They are rich in nutrients that support bone health, like vitamin K and manganese. Some research suggests that consuming prunes and prune juice can improve bone mineral density and may even reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
5. Boost Eye Health
Your vision could also stand to gain from the regular consumption of prunes. They contain vitamin A, a vital nutrient for maintaining good eye health. It plays an essential role in maintaining the surface of the eye, and an inadequate intake can lead to difficulties seeing in low light.
6. Maintain Hair Health
Yes, you read it right! Prunes can even contribute to healthier hair. They’re a good source of iron, which is vital for hair growth and shine. If you’re experiencing hair loss or dull hair, adding prunes to your diet may make a noticeable difference.
Are Prunes Safe for Everyone?
Just like any other food, prunes should be consumed in moderation. Overconsumption might lead to digestive issues due to their high fiber content. Also, since prunes have high sugar content, those who are diabetic or pre-diabetic should incorporate prunes into their diet carefully and monitor their blood sugar levels regularly.
As you can see, prunes are a small food with a significant impact. From weight loss to bone health, prunes can bring you a multitude of health benefits. So why not add a handful of prunes to your diet today? You might be surprised at just how much you enjoy these sweet and chewy treats.
Further Reading: The 7 Awesome Benefits of Eating Salmon