You might be eating prunes to deal with your hunger needs or cravings. Do you know the benefits of prune juice? Or do you know how to make delicious homemade prune juice? Tag along to get juicier things from prunes.
What is a prune?
Prunes are a result of dried plums. The same fruit that is known as plum is the one known as prunes when it is dry. However, not all the plums can be dried and become prunes.
Plums vs Prunes
There are different types of plums, but not all species can be turned into prunes. So, what is the difference between a plum and a prune? Prunes can be identified by pits that can be easily removed from the flesh.
In terms of colour, prunes can be blue or purple when they are ripe, while plums are red. Another way of differentiating prunes from plums is their shape. Prunes have an oval shape compared to plums, which are round or heart-shaped.
As much as the prunes are made from plums, they cannot be called plums. So prunes appear wrinkled. Prune can be eaten as a fruit and can be enjoyed as a juice.
Prunes Nutrition Facts
Prunes are packed with a lot of nutrition. Below are some nutrients in 100g or 3.5 ounces of prunes;
- Protein (2.18g)
- Dietary fibre (7.1g)
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B
Consuming 100g or 3.5oz of prunes gives your body various nutrients. You will get 64g of carbohydrates, and that is a good amount of energy. According to the American Food and Drug Administration, 300g of carbs per day is good enough for 2000 calories. So, 100g of prunes can cover 21% of your one-day needs of carbs.
Dietary fibre in 100g of prunes is 7.1g. That covers 33% of women and 23% of men’s daily needs of fibre.
Additionally, prunes also have 57% Vitamin K of the Daily Value. Vitamin K is needed to control excessive bleeding. Other Vitamins that you can get from prunes include Vitamin B which is good for preventing infections and improving brain function and more.
More so, prunes are nutrient-rich with various minerals. These include potassium, manganese, zinc, iron, calcium and many others. Minerals such as iron and calcium are good for strengthening your bones.
What Are The Health Benefits Of A Prune?
Prunes can be consumed in various ways. It can be eaten as fruit, or you can make juice. Prune juice is produced by boiling the fruit. And there are a lot of benefits to consuming prunes.
- Constipation Relief
- Suffering from constipation is not cool at all. You might feel traumatized when visiting the bathroom. But prunes can free your bowel movements. How is it possible?
- Prunes contain high fibre. High fibre is well known for lowering the chances of getting constipated. Hence, food that contains fibre can help with digestion.
- Additionally, prunes contain sorbitol. Sorbitol is good as a laxative. It draws water to the large intestines. This makes stools soft and increases bowel movement. As such, people who are suffering from constipation can consider eating prunes or drinking prune juice.
- It is advisable to drink your yummy prune juice in the morning. Alternatively, you can have prune juice at least 30 minutes after a meal. Prune juice for constipation really helps you to stimulate a healthy bowel movement.
- As much as prunes have this health effect, you should avoid binging on them. You might end up having diarrhoea. Make sure that you drink enough water when you eat prunes.
- Strengthen Bones
- Prunes are nutritious. They contain calcium, vitamin K, magnesium, iron, and more. All these nutrients are good at improving bone strength.
- Women going through the menopause stage can incorporate prunes into their diet. Prunes can help them continue having strong bones. To enjoy this benefit, 5 prunes or more are good enough.
- Suppress Appetite
- Whether you eat a handful of prunes or drink a glass of prunes, you can feel full for longer hours. Those who want to control their appetite can consider prunes.
- Lower Cardiovascular Risks
- Another health benefit of eating prunes is having a healthy heart. Prunes contain potassium. That is good for reducing heart diseases. In addition to that, prunes have antioxidants like cranberries that lower cholesterol and blood pressure. You are assured of not adding any cholesterol when eating this fruit because it does not have any.
- In addition to that, prunes have high levels of vitamin K. Vitamin K is good for lowering blood pressure. It also lowers the build-up of minerals in arteries. As such, prunes are good for your heart.
- Lower Colon Cancer Risk
- Prunes are regarded as a prebiotic food. Prebiotic foods are good for keeping your digestive system in good shape. According to a Texas A&M University scientist, prunes are good for activating biological compounds in the colon. And that minimizes colon cancer risks.
- Treats Liver Infection
- Prunes are good for treating a liver infection known as hepatitis. However, the treatment is done traditionally, there are not many official studies supporting this stance. Prunes are good at cleaning your liver by eliminating harmful chemicals.
- Control Sugar Levels
- Prunes are naturally sweet whether they are fresh or dry. However, the fruit is good for controlling sugar levels from going up. Those who are suffering from diabetes can consider prunes as a healthy snack.
- Gives Quality Sleep
- This fruit contains magnesium. Magnesium is good for regulating your nervous system. Additionally, magnesium plays a critical role in fighting depression. It improves your brain functionality. Therefore, lowering depression can give you a good sleep. You can have prunes or juice before going to bed.
Risks of Prune Juice
Prunes are superb regarding the nutrients that they have as well as their benefits. However, you should consume this fruit carefully. It has its side effects.
The fruit contains sorbitol, which can upset your stomach. Therefore, you should watch out for any stomach reactions. You can consult your doctor if the fruit makes you uncomfortable.
More so, sorbitol is good as a laxative. Consuming a lot of prunes may result in diarrhoea. Therefore, make sure that you avoid binging on this sweet fruit.
How To Make Prune Juice At Home?
There are many ways of enjoying prunes. You can buy or you can quench your thirst. Having a glass of prune juice daily is good, but buying it for daily consumption can be expensive.
However, you can always have homemade prune juice. The homemade prune juice is easier to make and safe to drink. You can have more fun with some prunes by trying the following simple recipe.
- 5 prunes
- 300ml hot water
- 5 ice cubes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Soak all the 5 prunes in 60ml of hot water for 20-30 minutes. Alternatively, prunes can be soaked until they are soft. Keep the container closed when soaking prunes.
- Transfer the soaked prunes into a blender. And then add 240 ml of water and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
- Blend until it is smooth. Note that you can drink it from this point.
- Place a mesh strainer over a glass. Then transfer the juice to a glass, pouring through a mesh.
- Pour lemon juice.
- Finally, add ice blocks into a clean glass and pour your juice. Mix and enjoy your homemade prune juice.
Prune is just dried plums, but not all plums qualify to be prunes. Prunes are sweet but packed with multiple nutrients. The high fibre contents can keep your digestive system healthier. This fruit can lower cardiovascular risks, colon cancer, clean your liver and more.
The vitamins in prunes can keep your immune system strong. Interestingly, you can eat prunes daily. Anyone can enjoy prunes, including pregnant women, children, seniors, and many others.
But you might risk upsetting your tummy if you binge on yummy prune juice. The fruit contains sorbitol, which is good as a laxative. However, the side effects of eating prunes are not that severe.