Prunes are known as a great food to keep your gastrointestinal system regulated but they may have other benefits that should not be ignored. A new study has found that prunes might be key to better bone health and countering the impacts of inflammation that contributes to osteoporosis. The polyphenol extracts found in prunes lowers levels of oxidative stress and inflammation in bone cells, which is linked to osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is referred to as “the silent thief” as bones lose their density slowly over years without showing any symptoms. As we get older, the process of replacing old bone cells becomes less effective resulting in loss of bone tissue. This recent research has found that inflammation plays a role in this diminished process of bone rejuvenation.
In 2015/2016, approximately 2.2 million Canadians over the age of 40 were living with osteoporosis. About 80% of those were female. Older women are more susceptible to osteoporosis as their bones are less dense than men’s bones and as women age they lose estrogen which is a bone protecting hormone.
This resent study found that women who consumed six to 12 prunes per day showed a reduction in inflammation in bone cells that may contribute to bone loss.
Other benefits of eating prunes:
Promote Heart Health:
Eating a serving of prunes (4 prunes) give you 11% of your daily need of fibre which helps to lower cholesterol.
Prunes have a laxative effect, which can help keep things moving through your GI tract.
It is not just in bones that a prune’s antioxidants can help keep inflammation in check. Prunes can help decrease inflammation and protect against DNA damage.
How many prunes should you eat a day?
Research recommends eating 50 grams of prunes a day, which is about 5-6, prunes. If you are not used to eating prunes, start slow with just 1 to 2 prunes per day and work your way up.
Add prunes to oatmeal (chopped up), your morning smoothie, in a salad (chopped up), add it to trail mix, or add it to your home made protein bites