Prunes are dried form of European plums. A prune is definitely a plum but all plums are not prunes. Plums and prunes belong to species Prunus domestica. Plums are dried in hot air for eighteen hours to produce prunes which can be further processed into juice or other products.
Prunes are native to Europe and now cultivated throughout Europe and California. The leading producer of prunes is now California.
These are very rich in fiber. Fiber in diet not only helps to have regular bowel motion but also gives protection from various diseases. Regular bowel movement is indication of healthy gut and proper absorption of nutrients in body and thus helps in improving overall health.
Prunes contain compounds that make them very effective in inhibiting free radical damage. These have highest oxygen radical absorbance capacity compared to any other tested food. If you eat 12 prunes then it gives you calories (240) with carbohydrate (63.9 gm), fiber (7.1 gms), protein (2.2 gm), potassium (732 mg), boron (3 mg) sugar (38.1 gm) and phenolic compound (184 mg).
Benefits of eating prunes
- High in dietary fiber
- Helps in preventing and curing constipation as these give bulk and movement to stool
- Maintains healthy colon by flourishing healthy bacteria in large intestine
- Protects from cardiovascular diseases
- Helps to reduce blood pressure
- Increased bone formation, stronger bones as prunes contain boron which helps in bone metabolism.
- Protects from osteoporosis
- Post menopause it helps to keep stronger bones and reduces loss of bones
Good source of vitamin A, B6, C, thiamine, riboflavin, and phenolic compounds
Good source of minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron
Antioxidant that prevents free radical damage and acts as anti ageing
How much prunes to eat in a day
You may eat 10 -12 prunes (100 gms) a day. Prunes should be kept in air tight container. If you keep them in fridge then these remain fresh for longer duration.
If prunes are very dry you may soak them in hot water for 5 minutes.