Your grandmother might have mentioned prunes “back in the day” but these days you do not hear much about them and that is a shame.  Prunes can help with your digestive system, but they are full of other health benefits as well.

Simply put, prunes are dried plums. After harvesting, plums are dehydrated and are packaged semi-dried, canned in juice or syrup, or processed into juice.  One serving size, which equates to two prunes, provides 42 calories mostly coming from the 10g of carbohydrates. If you eat prunes packaged in juice or syrup, the calories will be higher with the added sugar in the can.  These two prunes also provide close to 1 gram of protein, virtually no fat, and 2.3 grams of fibre.  This will also give you 228 mg of potassium and almost 1 mg of iron.  Let us look at some specific health benefits that prunes can provide you.

Support Bone Health:

Prunes can play a role in maintaining healthy, strong bones, as they are a good source of bone building, nutrients, including boron, and vitamin K.

Promote a Healthy Heart:

Since prunes are a good source of fibre, they can help balance your cholesterol levels. Prunes also have protective antioxidant properties (polyphenols) that help to lower blood pressure.

Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes:

Thanks to the high fibre content and their protective antioxidant properties prunes can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. As well, despite their sweet taste, prunes do not cause an increase in blood sugar and insulin.

Slows Aging:

Thanks to their high polyphenol, levels prunes may help slow the aging process.

Supports Digestion:

Prunes are rich in fibre and contain a type of sugar called sorbitol.  This combination increases the amount of fluid that your gut absorbs which helps to soften your stool making your GI system function more regularly.  Prunes also have prebiotic properties, which aid in growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Support Cognitive Health:

Thanks to the high level of polyphenols, prunes can help alleviate levels of anxiety, which can help brain function.

Alleviates Anaemia:

Being a good source of iron, prunes can be an important food for anyone with iron deficiency anaemia.

Steady Source of Energy:

Because prunes do not create a sugar spike, they are good at providing a longer, steady supply of energy.

Drinking prune juice does not provide the same amount of fibre, but it still has many of its vitamins and mineral content. Despite the decrease in fibre, prune juice is still effective in treating constipation.  You are best to choose 100% unsweetened, prune juice, and limit what you drink to one glass per day.