Prunes: Benefits And Harm

The modern selection of dried fruits lying on the shelves is simply amazing. However, among all this wealth, one stands out, which does not lose the respect and love of buyers. This is a well-known prune – a very tasty and very valuable product from the point of view of dietetics. Refined characteristic taste with sourness and the benefits of prunes have ensured its popularity all over the world.

How to choose the right prune

The best for drying are plum fruits of the Hungarian Italian variety, which is characterized by a high sugar content and firm flesh. It is these qualities that make it possible to dry the fruits of this plum without the use of any enzymes and obtain excellent prunes.

When buying prunes on the market, you should definitely pay attention to the appearance of prunes. A quality prune should be black in color and have a light, slight shine, should be fleshy, slightly soft, and elastic. But the brown shade of prunes shows significant violations during fruit processing. With such processing, prunes lose their beneficial properties and rich vitamin and mineral composition. The taste of such prunes is often bitter. Bitterness, even if it is very weak, is a consequence of improper drying.

Nutritional value of prunes

The exceptional benefit of prunes is due to a large number of valuable substances and vitamins contained in them: these are organic acids (oxalic, citric, especially a lot of malic), fiber, and pectin substances, as well potassium (35% of the daily norm), magnesium (26 % of the daily norm), phosphorus (10% of the daily norm), iron (17% of the daily norm). In terms of potassium content, prunes are 1.5 times higher than bananas. Prunes contain useful sugars – fructose, sucrose, glucose (at least 57%), and a whole set of vitamins – A, the whole group of vitamins B, C, PP, and E. The energy value of the product per 100 g is 231 kcal.

Useful properties of prunes

The benefit of prunes is mainly in their ability to normalize the work of the gastrointestinal tract, which provides obvious benefits for other organs and systems.

  • Gets rid of constipation. To solve delicate problems, prunes have been used since ancient times, it is a medium-strength laxative, used in doses.
  • Prunes are useful for atherosclerosis, and hypertension, due to the high content of potassium salts.
  • It has a diuretic effect, helps to cope even with severe edema, improves the work of the kidneys, and promotes the removal of waste products and toxins from the body.
  • Eating prunes helps to cope with a decline in strength, raise vitality, and increase work capacity.
  • Rich in antioxidants, the product fights free radicals, slows cell aging, and rejuvenates the body.

Prunes are used for constipation in several ways:

In the form of an infusion. To prepare the drink, 100 g of dried plums are placed in a thermos, pour 400 ml of boiling water, and infuse for 5 hours, you can leave it overnight. The prepared infusion is drunk before meals in several doses, and fruits are eaten.
In the form of a decoction. If there is no time to wait for the infusion, you can boil washed prunes in boiling water and drink it warm.

With kefir. 5-6 pieces of prunes are used for a glass of fermented milk drink. You can eat fruit and drink kefir. Or cut prunes, mix them with sour milk drink, and eat like that. You will get a very tasty and healthy yogurt.

The harmful effect of prunes

Any product can harm the body if it is not suitable, used incorrectly, or in unlimited quantities.

Absolute contraindications to the use of prunes are:

  • Stool disorders, diarrhea.
  • Diabetes.
  • Individual intolerance.
  • Kidney stone disease.

Limit the use of dried fruit in case of obesity due to its high-calorie content, reducing the amount of the product to 50 g per day. With caution and only if necessary, it is introduced into the diet of women during lactation, as prunes can cause diarrhea in infants.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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