Prunes…what immediately comes to mind is images of old people eating them at bedtime to prevent constipation!!! So the name was changed to dried plum to encourage people of all ages to incorporate them in their daily diet and derive their antioxidant benefits. Research now shows that these dried plums have phytoestrogens that strengthen bones and help treat osteoporosis.
The health benefits of dried plums (prunes) and dried plum (prune) juice:
- Dried plums are an excellent source of energy. Since they are rich in fiber and fruit sugars- fructose and sorbitol, they do not cause a spike in blood sugars. In fact, their soluble fibre content helps stabilise blood sugar levels.
- Their high sugar content allows them to be dried without fermention…thereby preventing gas and acidity.
- Their high potassium content helps regularise blood pressure, heart rhythm, muscle contractions and nerve impulses. It also helps prevent cramps.
- They are rich in two phytonutrients – neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid which help prevent cellular damage.
- Dried plums and their juice help to prevent high blood pressure.
- They also help prevent atherosclerosis -the narrowing of arteries due to a build-up of plaque, leading to strokes and heart attacks.
- The mineral boron, found in plenty in dried plums, helps to build strong bones and prevent bone loss, to strengthen muscles and improve muscle coordination and also to improve mental agility.
- They are a good source of iron and vitamin C which is needed to convert this iron into a highly absorbable form. This combination prevents anemia.
- Their high fiber content helps in improving digestion, regularising bowel movement and preventing piles and haemorrhoids.
- The juice of dried plums is a good laxative. Simply boil 5 of them in a litre of water. When cool, blend well and drink this through the day. Works well with young children and older people too.
- This juice also helps prevent urinary incontinence and improves bladder function.
- They are a great snack food because they help you stay full for a longer period of time…preventing overeating and subsequent weight gain.
A Word of Caution:
If you are diabetic or have ulcerative colitis or IBS then please use dried plums judiciously.
Stay blessed with good health ….always!!!