Prunes are sweet and juicy, making them ideal for snacking and cooking. Your grandmother’s favourites are the best natural laxative on the market and has been proven to promote gut health.
Health benefits of PRUNES
- A high intake of fruits and vegetables contribute to heart health by reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer.
- Prunes have a low glycaemic index (GI value). Low GI foods, when eaten regularly in moderate portions at a time, generally provide a slow release of energy, improve blood glucose control, may elicit a higher feeling of satiety and may decrease the risk of non-communicable diseases in the long term.
- Prunes are high in dietary fibre. The soluble dietary fibre in the prunes plays a role in glucose absorption and maintaining a healthy blood cholesterol level, while the insoluble dietary fibre helps to keep the gut healthy and contributes to regular laxation, thereby helping help to treat constipation.
- Prunes (40 g serving) are a source of copper. Copper contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and to the normal maintenance of bones, teeth, hair, skin and nails.
- Prunes contain almost 300 mg of potassium per 40 g serving. Potassium is necessary for normal water and electrolyte balance. It also contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscle function, normal blood pressure and regular heart rhythm.
- Prunes are virtually free of sodium. Diets low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a disease associated with many risk factors, in some individuals.
- Eat them alone as a snack.
- Add chopped prunes to your hot or cold cereal.
- Mix them with nuts and other dried fruits for a healthy trail mix.
- Blend them in smoothies and shakes in summer as a sugar substitute.
- Add them to baked goods.
- Puree prunes to make a paste and eat them as “prune butter” or sugar-free
- Add them to savoury stews or use pitted prunes in your kebab this festive season.
- Another great hors d'oeuvre idea is to take a prune, wrap it in bacon and fry it in a pan together. Yummy!
DID YOU KNOW?
Prunus domestica (plums) is believed to have originated in the area of the Caucasus and Asia Minor. First findings of primitive cultivars were reported to occur in Central Europe about 500 BC. Subsequently the fruit was distributed to countries in central Europe by the Romans. It is probable that high-quality cultivars originated from Southeast Europe after the Middle Ages, and distributed throughout Europe by the seventeenth century. Plums are now cultivated globally in temperate to warm-temperate regions, predominantly in Central, South and South-Eastern Europe, further on in North Africa, West Asia, India and North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and in South America.