In the second of my three part collaboration with the California Prune Board discussing the connection between prune intake and bone health, I want to put the emphasis today on the New Year.
The holidays and New Year period are a time of celebration, but also of reflection and thinking ahead to the twelve months to come.
In other words, they are a great opportunity for me to convince you to give prunes a shot.
- New Year = New Recipes, a great time to try something different
- People may devote energy re-focusing on their health as they head into the new year
- Canadian’s vitamin D status is low due to weak sun rays and overall lack of sun exposure.
I could talk about the health benefits of prunes, or any food for that matter, all day long but unless I offer you some practical ways to introduce them into your diet, it really isn’t that helpful is it?
Take a look at some of the following delicious dishes for inspiration this holiday season:
#2 Winter, Prunes & Bone Health
During the winter months approximately 40% of Canadians have circulating blood levels of vitamin D below the level that is considered optimal for good bone health.
Although prune’s do not contain vitamin D (found in fish, eggs, fortified milk/alternatives), there is a growing body of research suggesting that a serving of prunes a day can improve markers of bone heath in postmenopausal women ( who are at increased risk of osteoporosis as compared to the rest of the population).
I discussed this research at greater length in my previous Osteoporosis Month feature and urge you to take a look to learn more.
#3 New Year, More Fruit
Last time Health Canada checked, very few Canadians were consuming anywhere close to the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
As a result, there are a significant number of Canadians who may not be getting enough of important nutrients found in these foods ( including fibre, potassium and vitamin A).
Incorporating a serving of 5 prunes a day provides between 5-10% of the daily requirement of each of these important nutrients and will go a long way to helping you balance your overall intake if you struggle in this category.
The New Year is a great time to familiarize yourself with prunes can offer, not only in terms of enhancing dishes, but also your health.
Remember that there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that a serving of prunes a day enhances bone health in vulnerable populations of post menopausal women, and pretty much each and every one of us can benefit from the fibre, potassium and vitamin A that they have to offer.
Until next time,
Andy De Santis RD MPH