Why You Should Try Prunes In The New Year

I am optimistic that 2018 will be a great year for each and every single one of you, but before we get to the good stuff (i.e. warm summer days) we are all faced with the harsh reality of the Canadian winter.

As much as I wish I could bring the California sunshine here to Toronto, spreading the good word on the health benefits of California Prunes will have to suffice.

For many of us, these prunes will be the closest we get to California weather for the next few months!

Why California Prunes?  The California Prune Board reached out to me to help spread awareness of the health benefits of prunes and shares some interesting new research that shows prune consumption supports bone health.

I was more than happy to oblige because, quite frankly, I am never one to shy away from promoting fruit intake and I don’t think that prunes get the recognition or credit that they deserve.

Prunes & Bone Health

In yesterday’s post I explained why prunes are a useful tool to fight constipation, but one of the most novel things about them is the body of research showing that eating one daily serving of 5-6 prunes supports bone health.

Hooshmand et al, for example, found that the daily consumption of 50 grams of prunes over a 6-month period prevented bone loss in post-menopausal women.

In a previous study by the same primary author, prunes were found to be superior to apples for maintaining bone density and reducing markers of bone turnover.

If you’d like to learn more about the total body of evidence available on the connection between prune consumption and bone health, I recommend having a look at the recent summative work of Arjmandi et al

What Else Does 5-6 Prunes Give You?

About 100 calories, which is the same as a medium-sized banana.

Nearly 300 mg of potassium, which most of us need more of and helps with blood pressure regulation.

3 grams of dietary fibre, including some soluble fibre which helps control blood sugar + cholesterol levels

Approximately 5% of your daily vitamin A & Magnesium requirement, two nutrients many of us need more of.

A natural constipation aid (i.e.: prunes can act as a natural laxative owing to their sorbitol content)

Best way to incorporate prunes?

Anybody who knows or who has worked with me is well aware of my thoughts on afternoon snacking.

I believe it is an important activity not only to hit your nutrient requirements but also to help control hunger at work or school so you don’t put yourself in the position of being starving (and potentially over eating) in the evening.

So I will say today, as I have always said, that a serving of fruit (which, for prunes, equates to 5-6) and a handful of nuts  or seeds is the ultimate healthy snack.

Looking for other fun ways to incorporate prunes? Have a look here for some inspiration.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to take your health to new heights in the new year, give prunes a shot.

Canadians need to eat more fruit and take better care of their bones (and just about everything else), so it just makes sense.

Until next time,

Andy De Santis RD MPH

DISCLAIMER: This post was sponsored by the California Dried Plum Board. All opinions are genuine.