Prunes or Plums (Prunus domestica) belongs to the genus Prunus (Rosaceae). Originated in Eastern Europe or Western Asia. Commercially cultivated in many countries like the USA, Europe, Japan, China, and India. Prunes are eaten fresh, dried, in the form of jellies, jam, and frozen and candied fruits. The benefits of prune are prevented hypertension, anemia, and improves digestion.
Other benefits of prunes are it helps in preventing leucorrhea, irregular menstruation, miscarriage, intestinal regulation and constipation (1).
Nutritional value of Prunes (Prunus domestica)
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, plums have an abundance of various carbohydrates (sucrose, glucose, and fructose), minerals, vitamins, organic acids (citric and malic acids), and bioactive compounds such as phenolic acids, anthocyanins, carotenoids, tannins, pectins and enzymes (2, 3).
|Compound||Amounts per 100 g.|
|Total lipid ( Fat)s||0.28g|
|Dietary Fiber||1.4 g|
|Vitamin C||9.5 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.26 mg|
Health benefits of Prunes (Prunus domestica)
1. Brain development
Prunes are good for the proper development of the brain as it contains many memory enhancing compounds like Neochlorogenic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, flavonols, and flavonoids. Prunes are also useful as a supportive adjuvant in the treatment of impaired memory function (4).
2. Prevents Hypertension
Prune helps in the prevention of cardiovascular disorders. Due to the presence of potassium, prunes lowers blood pressure. Another benefit of prunes is helped in reducing LDL and maintain the body fluid level (5).
3. Weight loss
Prunes have a low glycemic index due to an adequate amount of fiber. Consumption of prunes adds the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, improves lipid and glucose metabolism, and reduces inflammation (6). This helps in weight loss.
The high fiber and low glycemic activity of prunes make prunes a safe snack for diabetic patients. Along with this prunes, especially the dried ones contain fructose and sorbitol which helps in lowering the blood glucose and insulin level of the body (7).
5. Antioxidant and anticancer
Antioxidant activity of prunes is higher than that of orange, apple, and strawberry (8). Prunes are rich in antioxidant compounds like vitamin C, carotenoids, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin.
Other important compounds of prunes are chlorogenic, chlorogenic acids, anthocyanins, and vitamin A. These compounds are effective against breast, colon, oral, and lung cancer (9).
6. Improves digestion
Prunes because of their high dietary fiber, hemicellulose, and pectin are also acted as a natural laxative (10). Along with this prunes also enhances the growth of gut bacteria thus adds up to digestion (6).
7. Healthy Bones
Dried prunes are rich in minerals like boron, copper, magnesium, and manganese which help in maintaining the calcium balance of the body (11). It also significantly increases bone mineral density in comparison with dried apples (12). It is also are good for postmenopausal women and prevents osteoporosis (13).
8. Prevents anemia
Prunes help in the production and absorption of iron in the body and prevent anemia. This ability is due to the presence of vitamin K, copper, and potassium which help in the formation of red blood cells. Further helping in the purification of blood and healthy blood circulation (9).
9. Healthy Hair and Skin
Prunes or plums as we know are rich in Vitamin A, C, and E thus are essential for healthy dandruff-free hair. Along with this prunes also helps in preventing hair loss. Vitamine A and E help in keeping face wrinkles, acne, and fine line free (14).
10. Prevents allergy
Studies done on the animal model suggests that eating prunes helps in the reduction of an allergy-specific immunoglobulin-E level. Thus prune may prevent allergy-like sneezing (15).
11. Healthy baby food
Prunes (Plums) are rich in many types of vitamins and minerals. Not only these prunes are also fortified with so many vitamins like A, C, and E. Therefore are good for babies (16).
How to eat prunes or plums
Prunes, as we all know, can be eaten fresh and in dried form. We can add prunes to a fruit salad or we can prepare juice.
1. In Salad
Plums can be used as a salad with spinach, basil, orange juice, and lemon juice
2. Prune Syrup
Prune syrup can be prepared by blending stewed plums and combine with yogurt and honey. It can be eaten with pancakes or shakes.