To escape the negative connotations as an effective relief from constipation, organic pitted prunes are often referred to on product packaging as ‘dried plums’. Indeed that’s exactly what they are – dried versions of the Prunus drupe fruit. Exceptionally sweet and succulent, yet extremely low in saturated fat, organic pitted plums are bursting with beneficial nutrients including fibre, vitamins (such as vitamins A, C and K), minerals (potassium and iron), antioxidants, natural fruit sugars and sorbitol, the mild colonic stimulant that’s partly responsible for the super fruit’s old-fashioned reputation as a popular digestive remedy. However, organic pitted prunes are widely underestimated and not only provide important benefits for our bowels. Below we examine three other persuasive health reasons for adding organic pitted prunes to your daily diet.
Organic pitted prunes – 3 health benefits
Incorporating low calorie, organic pitted prunes into a healthy, balanced diet can offer the following three compelling health benefits:
1) Organic pitted prunes for strengthened immunity and a reduced risk of chronic disease
Organic pitted prunes are a valuable source of vitamin C, a vitamin also known as ascorbic acid, which cannot be stored in your body so must be obtained from your daily diet. Vitamin C is essential for protecting cells and keeping them healthy, for the maintenance of connective tissue (which gives support and structure for other tissue and organs) and for the healing of wounds.
Organic pitted prunes are also brimming with antioxidants that both combat the free radicals that damage your immune cells and strengthen your ability to fight infection and disease, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. In particular, organic pitted prunes contain the phytonutrients, neochlorogenic acid and chlorogenic acid, also known as phenols. According to scientific research conducted at the Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Illinois in Chicago, these phytonutrients ‘inhibit human LDL oxidation in vitro, and thus might serve as preventive agents against chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer’. The same study also revealed that their high potassium content might make organic pitted prunes beneficial for cardiovascular health. Another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates that eating high fibre foods, such as organic pitted prunes, helps to reduce the risk of Coronary Heart Disease by as much as 15 percent.
In addition, organic pitted prunes are a powerful tool in the fight against osteoporosis – research at the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at Florida State University, demonstrated that their high phenolic and flavonoid compound content makes prunes ‘the most effective fruit in both preventing and reversing bone loss’.
2) Organic pitted prunes for weight loss
Organic pitted prunes are exceedingly high in soluble fibre, the type of fibre that actively slows the movement of food through our digestive system, helping us to feel fuller for longer and preventing snacking between meals and the associated weight gain that inevitably follows. Incidentally, this soluble fibre not only helps to combat obesity it also increases the body’s insulin sensitivity and helps to manage blood sugar levels, making organic pitted prunes a useful superfood for diabetics.
3) Organic pitted prunes for reduced cholesterol levels
The fibre in organic pitted prunes also helps to soak up and excrete excess bile (which is made from cholesterol) in the intestines. As the body excretes this excess bile, the liver must use yet more cholesterol to manufacture additional bile, effectively reducing cholesterol levels in the body. And fibre is thought to limit the amount of cholesterol manufactured by the liver in the first place – indeed, animal studies have shown that the propionic acid produced from fibre inhibits HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme involved in the cholesterol production by the liver.
Plump for organic pitted prunes!
Organic pitted prunes are a versatile superfood that can be enjoyed as a sensible snack between meals, a delicious addition to breakfast cereals, raw chocolate, cakes and desserts or even as a wonderfully sweet contrast in a range of savoury dishes.