Did you know that you can improve your bone health with prunes? And this is only the tip of the iceberg regarding the health benefits this sweet, juicy nugget of nutrition has to offer it’s consumers.
We want to share this vital information with you, our consumer, in support of healthy living and empowering ourselves by gathering essential information in order to make good decisions. Knowledge is power.
The internationally-renowned California Prune Board (CPB) has defined prunes as “a superior quality ingredient that delivers exceptional nutritional and health benefits”.
Prunes and bone health:
Prunes are an important source of the mineral boron. Boron can help build strong bones and muscles and may also help to improve mental acuity and muscle coordination.
These nutritional nuggets may have potential as a treatment for osteoporosis. They can prevent loss of bone mass in postmenopausal women who are prone to osteoporosis. Only five to six prunes a day are necessary to see the benefits of prunes on bone density.
The CPB rolled out its largest clinical trial ever last year. This trial is hoped to provide more evidence to explain the link between prunes and bone health. Interestingly, research in 2016 indicated that prunes may be beneficial to countering the effects of space radiation exposure on bone. This further supports the relationship between eating prunes and preserving bone health.
10 Healthy Prune Facts:
- A source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre.
- Low in fat.
- Low in sodium.
- Low GI (great for sustained energy).
- Rich in anthocyanins (a type of flavonoid used in herbal medicine for treating high blood pressure, colds and urinary tract infections).
- A great natural laxative as a result of at least two different ingredients, fibre and sorbitol. A single prune provides an incredible 3 percent of your recommended daily intake of fibre. Sorbitol is a natural sugar that functions as a laxative because it pulls moisture into the digestive tract and facilitates bowel movements.
- A good source of potassium which assist in various vital bodily functions.
- Prunes can also improve digestion, it can assist with heart rhythm, nerve impulses, muscle contractions and blood pressure.
- Prunes contain a high amount of vitamin A which promotes good eyesight.
- Packed with antioxidants that boost your immunity by soaking up free radicals. The fruit has twice the amount of antioxidants found in raisins and blueberries.
Where in the world do prunes originate from?
Prunus domestica (plums) is believed to have originated in the area of the Caucusus (situated between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea) and Asia Minor. The first findings of primitive cultivars were reported to have occurred in Central Europe about 500 BC. The fruit was subsequently distributed to countries in central Europe by the Romans. Plums are now cultivated globally in mild to warm temperatures regions, ranging from Central, South and South Eastern Europe, to North Africa, West Africa, Australia, India, New Zealand, South America and right here at home in South Africa.
Resources: (Links to articles included in blog copy)
Montagu Dried Fruit & Nuts internal training document making use of the following documents:
Lim T.K. (2012) Prunus domestica. In: Edible Medicinal And Non-Medicinal Plants. Springer, Dordrecht
South African Department of Health. (2010). Regulations relating to the labelling and advertising of foodstuffs (R146). Government Gazette.
South African Department of Health. (2014). Regulations relating to the labelling and advertising of foods: Amendment (R429) (Draft document for comments). Government Gazette.
Wolmarans, P. et al. (2010) Condensed Food Composition Tables for South Africa. Medical Research Council, Parow Valley, Cape Town.