Impact of Consuming Plums & Prunes on Health
A plum is a sweet, juicy fruit that is mostly found in the market in the summer. A plum is quite juicy and one of the tastiest of all fruits we consume. To the best of your knowledge, this fruit is obtained from a small shrub plant that is vastly grown all over the world, mainly in China, Japan, the US, and Europe.
You might also be thinking about the dried prunes. They’re nothing but the dehydrated form of plums. Both the plums and prunes have numerous health benefits and are widely known for their high content profile of phytonutrients that function as antioxidants in the body. Extremely nutritious, plums are also rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, as well as antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, including constipation and osteoporosis.
Nutrient Values of Plums & Prunes
Plums are relatively low in calories but contain a fair number of important vitamins and minerals. One plum contains the following nutrients;
Carbs 8 g
Fiber 1 g
Sugars 7 g
Vitamin A 5% of the RDI
Vitamin C 10% of the RDI
Vitamin K 5% of the RDI
Potassium 3% of the RDI
Copper 2% of the RDI
Manganese 2% of the RDI
Additionally, one plum provides a small amount of B vitamins, phosphorus, and magnesium.
By weight, prunes are higher in calories than plums. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of prunes contains the following;
Carbs 18 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugars 11 g
Vitamin A 4% of the RDI
Vitamin K 21% of the RDI
Vitamin B2 3% of the RDI
Vitamin B3 3% of the RDI
Vitamin B6 3% of the RDI
Potassium 6% of the RDI
Copper 4% of the RDI
Manganese 4% of the RDI
Magnesium 3% of the RDI
Phosphorus 2% of the RDI
Overall, the vitamin and mineral content of one serving of plums and prunes differs slightly. Prunes contain more vitamins than plums and are somewhat higher in vitamins B and minerals. In addition, prunes are higher in calories, fiber, and carbs than fresh plums.
Summarizing the nutrient values of plums and prunes, the vitamin and mineral content in them differs slightly, but both are fully packed with nutrients. Additionally, prunes contain more calories, fiber, and carbs than fresh plums.
Did you know? Plums reduce the harmful effects of free radicals and protect against health conditions like asthma, arthritis, heart stroke, and even cancer. Other health benefits of plums include relief from indigestion, influenza infection, and anxiety-related problems. The antioxidant elements in plums may also greatly help in treating health disorders like osteoporosis, macular degeneration, diabetes, and obesity.
What do these antioxidants actually do? These antioxidants are mostly useful in cutting down the effects of the vicious oxygen radical called superoxide anion radical. Besides, these antioxidants are also known to keep away from oxygen-based damage to fats, such as fats that include extensive parts of the brain cells or neurons.
Antioxidants-enriched plums & prunes are helpful for reducing inflammation and protecting your cells from damage by free radicals. The reason behind such a protective characteristic of antioxidants is the fact that they’re particularly high in polyphenol antioxidants, which have positive effects on bone health. These polyphenol antioxidants may help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Effectiveness against Cancer Growth
Some studies indicate that plum is helpful against cancer. Plums have their efficiency against the development of cancer cells. This fruit mostly reduces the risk of breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and respiratory tract cancers. According to the studies, a reddish pigment in the fruit, anthocyanins, protects the person against cancer by eliminating the free radicals. It is to be noted here that the vitamin-A elements in the plums help fight against oral and cavity cancer as well.
Do you often complain about constipation? Well, consuming plums and prunes could help you get rid of this disorder. Preventing constipation is one of the major health benefits that plums and prunes have to offer. This is partly due to the high amount of fiber present in them, as a single prune provides 1 gram of fiber.
The fiber in prunes is mostly insoluble, which means it does not blend with water. This characteristic plays a role in preventing constipation by adding bulk to your stool and may speed up the rate at which waste moves through your digestive tract. It’s not over yet. Additionally, plums and prunes’ juice contain sorbitol, which is a sugar alcohol with natural laxative effects.
Always keep in mind that eating prunes has been shown to be more effective at treating constipation than many other types of laxatives, such as psyllium, which is a type of fiber often used for constipation relief. Moreover, one must not forget, that eating too many prunes at once may lead to undesirable effects, such as diarrhea.
Improve Heart Health
Cardiac conditions have become more concerning over recent times. To prevent ourselves from such a risky health condition, we must consume a healthy diet. In this regard, consuming plums and prunes on a regular basis have been found to have a protective effect on heart health.
It has been studied that plums and prunes have the potential to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are major risk factors for heart disease. The positive effects of plums & prunes appear to have on heart disease risk factors are likely due to their high content of fiber, potassium & antioxidants.
Promote Bone Health
Some studies have suggested that consuming prunes reduces the risk of debilitating bone conditions such as osteoporosis and osteopenia, which are characterized by low bone density. Not only have prunes been shown to prevent bone loss, but they may also have the potential to reverse the bone loss that has already occurred.
Additionally, research also suggests that consuming prunes may also increase the levels of certain hormones that are involved in bone formation. Prunes also contain several vitamins and minerals that have bone-protective effects, including vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. It is evident that if compared to other fruits, prunes appear to be the most effective at preventing and reversing bone loss.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Knowing about the risks of diabetes and its long-term complications, it would be the last chronic condition you would ever want to suffer from. With the incorporation of fast food into our diet, the number of patients suffering from diabetes all over the world has risen considerably.
It should be our top priority to consume not only a healthy diet but a such that doesn’t appear to cause a substantial rise in blood sugar levels. In this regard, plums and prunes, despite being fairly high in carbs, do not cause a rise in blood sugar levels after they’re eaten.
This is attributed to their potential to increase levels of adiponectin, a hormone that plays a role in blood sugar regulation. Additionally, the fiber in plums may be partly responsible for their effects on blood sugar.
Fiber slows the rate at which your body absorbs carbs after a meal, causing blood sugar to rise gradually, rather than spike. This is why consuming fruits like plums and prunes is associated with a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes.
Rich in Antioxidants
The properties of plums & prunes being rich in antioxidants, are helpful for reducing inflammation and protecting your cells from damage by free radicals. Because of the high amount of polyphenol antioxidants, plums have positive effects on bone health and may help reduce the risk of several chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Great Source of Iron
Anemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough red blood cells, which iron helps to make. Shortness of breath, irritability, and fatigue all are signs of mild anemia. Drinking prunes’ juice is a great source of iron and can also certainly help to prevent and treat iron deficiency.