Health Benefits: Prunes

Next to apple, prune is the largest grown fruit in the world. It is a very concentrated form of dried plum. The fruit has a wrinkly texture and filthy look because of which it is not consumed by many people. However it has some amazing health benefits.

Treats constipation

Prune is very rich in fibre. If taken regularly, it removes the bowel movement problem completely. But you should have adequate amount of water to avoid dehydration since the fruit fibre tends to absorb fluid from the digestive tract.

Preserves bone mass

Prune has the unusual capacity of preserving bone mass. Animal studies have shown the positive effect of prunes on increasing the bone mass in animals. Researchers are hoping that the same effect can be seen on humans as well.

Benefits for the heart

The antioxidants found in prunes may help preventing oxidation of cholesterol in the blood stream. Also, the high potassium content of prunes helps normalize blood pressure. The soluble fibre in the fruit promotes heart health. The fibre also helps to lower cholesterol by binding to bile acids and removing the same from the body through feces. Bile acids are used to digest fats that are manufactured by the liver from cholesterol. When fats are excreted, the liver must produce new bile acids and use up more cholesterol. This leads to lowering the amount of cholesterol in circulation.

Prune is also a source of two uncommon phenol anti-oxidants known as chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid. These anti-oxidants help in our daily fight against the free radicals. The free radicals come frequently inside our body and are extremely harmful for health. They travel in our system in search of missing electrons till they steal one from a healthy cell. The cell is damaged and dies eventually. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine also confirms that eating prunes help in preventing heart diseases.

Rich source of vitamins

Prune has rich content of Vitamin A and C. The vitamins help to maintain healthy hair and skin. A serving of the fruit serves almost a quarter of a day’s vitamin requirement. This fruit is also rich in minerals. It contains potassium and chromium- essential for healthy blood. Studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of potassium-rich fruits like prunes in lowering blood pressure.

In a study, researchers and health specialists tracked total 40,000 American men and studied them over a period of four years. The results revealed that men, who adhered to a diet consisting of potassium rich fruits like prunes, had relatively lesser risks of strokes. Prune also contains Lutein which maintains good eye-sight. The sugar content of the fruit is quite high which keeps your energy level high.

A good dieting element

Prune is recommended by experts to loose weight – it should be eaten along with breakfast, lunch and dinner. These fruits naturally make you feel full, and by suppressing the appetite, you eat naturally less.

Try including prunes as a part of your daily diet. If you do not like to eat the raw fruit, you can add it to your desert, cake or other food preparations. There are endless benefits of this fruit.

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Updated: February 17, 2014 — 7:49 pm

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