When’s the last time you ate a prune? If it’s been awhile it may be because you associate them with your grandma or another ‘person of age’ in your life.
Prunes aren’t just for mature audiences. They are a sweet, nutritious treat that can tackle a sugar craving and keep you from giving into some of the less desirables (like candy and pastries) as you work to reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet.
Dried plums, or prunes, are full of phenols that function as anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are effective in neutralizing potentially dangerous free radicals that can cause cell damage and over time lead to chronic disease.
The abundance of soluble fiber in prunes helps normalize blood sugar levels by slowing the rate at which the food leaves the stomach. Soluble fiber increases insulin sensitivity which plays a role in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. Eating foods that are high in soluble fiber also decreases the risk for colon cancer and provides food for healthy gut bacteria
Plus, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as prunes, helps prevent heart disease.
Prunes are also a very good source of vitamins A and B6, potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, and niacin.
A Sweet Swap
Try replacing the Fiber One bar that you eat for breakfast or the afternoon 100 calorie snack pack that holds you over until dinner (but offers nothing in the way of nutrition) with a serving of pitted prunes. The prunes are naturally sweeter and lower in calories yet higher in nutrients than granola and cereal bars. A fourth of a cup of prunes is only 104 calories.
Prunes have made a comeback because of their health benefits and versatility. Prunes can be added to brown rice, steel cut oats, Greek yogurt and salads. Use them as you would raisins or dried cranberries to add flavor, fiber and nutrients to your favorite dishes.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy one of the world’s healthiest foods?