Prunes have been used as a natural treatment for constipation. They are dried plums and are majorly popular for their laxative qualities. But recently, more and more researchers are looking for different areas where prunes can be helpful.
Any type of dried plum can technically be a prune, but typically the dried version of Prunus domestica, a popular European plum, is referred to as a prune. There are also various kinds of plums; the differences can be in taste, texture, and color.
However, two other types of plum, Prunus Americana and Prunus salicina are also very commonly referred to as Prunes when dried out. These three types of plums record the major part of the world’s production of prunes because all three are freestone plums, meaning that it is very conveniently easy to extract them from the pit.
This makes storing and drying them both accommodative and simple that makes the extractor free from worrying about keeping the prune whole throughout the process.
Today, we will list all the health benefits of prunes and the nutrition of prune juice.
Also Read: Onion Juice Benefits
So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
Benefits of Prune Juice
Traditionally, prunes have been used widely as an ingredient in medication for treating the following conditions:
- High blood pressure
There is a range of health benefits of prune juice or prunes, and some of them are explained below:
Prune juice for children and infants
Drinking prune juice can be god for you and your kids. The digestive system in infants and younger children does not develop fully until a certain age and requires additional assistance for its development.
As per an article in “Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition”, fruit juices like pear, apple, and prune juice can assist in curing constipation in kids.
However, when providing prune juice to an infant, you must be quick to cut back on it if you see any signs and symptoms of diarrhea.
Preserving liver health
There have been positive signs indicating that prune juice can be used to preserve liver health. Traditionally, prunes were used as an ingredient in medicines for the treatment of liver infection, hepatitis.
A study in 2010 also showed that many more liver-related issues could be preserved with prune juice by a reduction in some harmful chemicals that form up as a result of issues with the liver.
Regardless, we would admit that more thorough research is required to scale the complete potential of prune juice regarding liver health.
Protecting bone strength
There is a variety of plant compounds present in dried plums that may be highly effective in promoting bone strength.
A review in this matter conducted in 2017 found that prunes and all its different extracts, including prune juice, can be effective in assisting the body preserve mineral density in bones and prevent loss of bone structure in women who had been through menopause.
Despite the positive results of the review, more studies and research is required and is being conducted in order to associate this health benefit to the consumption of prune and prune juice.
Preventing high blood pressure
The main reason why blood pressure is elevated is the excess levels of sodium in the body. Prune juice contains a considerable amount of potassium content that assists the body in balancing sodium levels in our body.
This, in turn, prevents high blood pressure and a range of heart and circulation problems. It has been scientifically backed that people consuming at least 4700 mg of potassium every day are at significantly reduced risk of hypertension.
This is even more important because, as per estimates, almost half of the world’s ischemic heart disease cases are due to hypertension. Moreover, only fewer than 2 percent of American adults are consuming this level of potassium on a daily basis.
If you are trying to lose weight, then drinking prune juice can be really good for you. It can assist in prolonging satiety, meaning the feeling of being full for a longer time after eating something.
The main reason for satiety is the presence of soluble fiber content in prune juice. These are destined to slow down the process of digestion (not in a bad way). As you would learn later, the glycemic index of Prunes is very low, meaning they elevate the blood sugar levels at a slow rate.
There are a lot of other befits associated with a low GI, and these can be achieved by drinking prune juice.
As we have mentioned earlier in the article, prunes have been scientifically backed to be effective in promoting digestive health due to their laxative qualities. Consuming prunes or drinking prune juice can be very effective in mobilizing the bowels and reduce the time gap between bowel movements.
The main reason why prune juice is good for you if you are suffering from any digestive issues is the presence of high levels of sorbitol and fiber content.
If you are facing constipation issues, drinking prune juice (half to full cup) can assist you majorly in stimulating digestion. You can also drink another cup of prune juice about 30 minutes to an hour after a heavy meal, which will ensure smooth bowel movements.
Prune Juice Nutrition
Apart from offering a range of essential health benefits, prunes or prune juice also have excellent nutrition facts.
To be specific, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes that one cup (256 grams) of prune juice offers:
- no cholesterol or trans fats
- 207.97 g of water
- 8.7 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K
- 64 mg of phosphorus
- 31 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 2.6 g of dietary fiber
In general, prune juice nutrition also includes:
- B vitamins
- vitamin A
Prunes are also a great source of potassium that balances out the sodium content, maintaining a sound potassium-to-sodium ratio. We have already explained the importance of this ratio in staying away from cardiovascular issues.
Moreover, drying a plum for getting a prune also elevates the fiber level in this fruit. Approx. 60 % of the fiber in prunes is soluble fiber.
If you are heavily impressed by the various health benefits of prune and are looking to add it to your daily diet, you must be aware of its risks.
Prune juice is high in calories and is very sugary, and excessive consumption of prune juice can lead to too much sugar consumption.
And consuming excess sugar can deter overall health and can lead to diabetes. These risks are mostly associated with consuming excessive prune juice.
Prune juice is already widely known for its capabilities in curing constipation. However, over time, many additional health benefits of drinking prune juice have been identified.
These benefits range from lowering the risk of heart disease to aiding in weight loss. It is also very easy to add prune juice to your diet.
Despite its laxative effects, you must not risk substituting medications with prune juice if you are feeling constant constipation.
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