At a time when some people are guilty of spotlighting fruit as something to be avoided, I’m so thrilled to be working once again with the California Prune Board to help identify why the regular inclusion of prunes may help protect you against osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis has emerged as an increasingly legitimate threat to public health. As Canadians live longer and our population continues to age, concerns over bone health have come to the fore.
This concern is especially relevant to women, who are more likely than men to suffer from osteoporotic bone fractures and are at their highest risk of doing so after they reach menopause.
There are no warning signs, but there are preventative measures you can take.
California Prune intake, as an emerging body of evidence suggests, is one of them.
A 2016 randomized controlled trial in the Osteoporosis International Journal found as compared to post-menopausal women who ate no prunes, those who ate 50 grams of prunes per day showed greater resistance to bone loss had a decrease in specific blood markers responsible for bone resorption to support this finding.
Another 2016 paper, published in Disease Prevention, Progression and Treatment found some evidence that the protective effect of prunes, in those who initially eat them for up to a year, may extend for years after even when consumed less frequently.
Taken together, these findings suggest that California prunes deserve some extra attention in those looking to optimize their bone health.
So What’s So Special About California Prunes?
Scientists aren’t sure, yet.
But, as with all different types of fruit, there is certainly something that sets them apart.
Case in point, a 2011 study out of the British Journal Of Nutrition actually found prunes to be superior in their bone protective effects as compared to dried apples.
So what’s going on?
Like many other fruits, prunes contain a potent blend of dietary fibre, potassium and antioxidant compounds.
They also contain vitamins and minerals of specific relevance to bone health including vitamin K, magnesium, boron and copper which contribute to the maintenance of bone health.
As per this quote pulled from a 2017 article in the Nutrients Journal it’s likely the combination of these components that contributes to prunes bone protective effects:
“Considering that many of the bioactive compounds present in dried plum have been shown to modulate bone metabolism, it is likely that there are additive and/or synergistic effects among these compounds.”
Getting More Prunes In
And while it’s all well and good for me to share some of the science behind the beneficial effects of prune intake, I know that message is best supported with some recipes that will allow you to actually go enjoy prunes in your daily life.
Let’s take a look at what we have in store for you!
No-bake California Prune Power Ball
Courtesy of the California Prune Board
Andy The RD’s Holiday Prune Parfait
A perfect bone-building blend of yogurt, Kellog’s all bran buds and California Prunes.
For more information and delicious recipes please visit: www.californiaprunes.ca
Until next time,
Andy De Santis RD MPH