Prunes are dried plums of various cultivar, such as Prunus domestica or the European Plum. The term is used for the fresh fruit has changed, but not when referring to certain varieties. While a number of prunes are considered “freestone cultivars,” other variants dedicated for fresh consumption have pits that are hard to remove. As a food, prunes have the following health benefits.
Prunes contain vitamins and minerals, just like other food choices. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, prunes are rich in vitamins C and K. Vitamin C is known for its power to boost the body’s defenses against infection and illness and it also boosts the function of the substance collagen, which acts as cement to bind loosely connected cells and tissues. Also, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant; thus, it also helps the body get rid of unwanted and toxic elements like free radicals, which cause cancer. Prunes also contain vitamin K, which contributes to wound healing through blood clotting. This way, the vitamin also prevents massive blood loss, in case of surgery or trauma.
In terms of other nutrients, prunes contain copper, fiber, and potassium. Copper aids in the body’s growth and development and it also promotes the metabolic process. Then, fiber, which is present in fruits and vegetables, act as sweep to help the body eliminate unwanted and harmful products. Fiber also promotes the digestive process and adds roughage to stools. Meanwhile, potassium helps regulate the body fluid levels by countering the water retention action of sodium. Also, the mineral plays a role in cardiovascular health by preventing hypertension through relaxing the muscles of the blood vessels.
Prunes and Bowel Urges
Prunes can help control an overactive bladder, as per Health Line. According to the publication, fiber found in prunes is responsible for managing the urge. According to The Cleveland Clinic, as cited by the publication, the person may combine three-fourth cup of prune juice, a cup of applesauce, and a cup of unprocessed wheat bran. Then, he takes two tablespoons of the mixture every morning to help regulate the bowel movement.
Prunes and Osteoporosis
Prunes also help prevent osteoporosis. According to Heal With Food, a clinical study in Florida found that women who ate dried plums per day had improved bone formation markers following three months, as compared to women who ate dried apples. As per the publication, prunes are linked to high boron levels which contribute to the prevention of osteoporosis and osteopenia. To add, prunes’ potassium content also supports the health of the bones.
Prunes can be added to various dishes, such as Banana Prune Muffins Recipe. According to All Recipes, the ingredients include half cup of white sugar, one-fourth cup of vegetable oil, one egg, a cup of mashed banana, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, one and a half cups of all-purpose flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, half teaspoon of baking soda, one-fourth teaspoon of salt, one-fourth teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and a cup of pitted prunes.
To prepare, as per the publication, the oven is preheat to 175 degrees Celsius. Then, a muffin pan is greased and floured; paper liners can also be used as alternative. Next, sugar, eggs, and oil are combined in a large bowl, and are beaten until the consistency becomes smooth. After that, the banana and vanilla are blended in, along with baking powder, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Once done, the ingredients are stirred into egg mixture until moist. Finally, the prunes are mixed in and the final mixture is spooned into muffin cups. Next, the muffins are baked in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean when pulled.