High in fiber, it is no secret that prunes can clear intestinal blockage and make for a healthier colon; however, there are many other health benefits for which the dried plum has not received its due credit.
For starters, prunes are at the top of the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) chart, leaving raisins a distant second place and making prunes the preeminent source of antioxidants available from any plant source. Antioxidants are your first line of defense against cellular break down and staying healthy at the cellular level.
Prunes can also assist in cosmetic matters, as antioxidants called phenols are present in prunes. Phenols are reported to help block oxygen based free radicals from damaging the body`s fats. This is important because your skin cell and brain cell membranes are composed of fat, staving off the aging process in both mind and body.
Its stores of vitamin A and potassium soar among the best foods! Potassium is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and assists in healthy muscle and heart function, while beta-carotene defends against free radicals from oxidizing our cells, preventing undue damage to cellular DNA, which can lead to cancer and a host of other diseases, including inflammatory conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Tale of Two Fibers
- Absorbs water and adds bulk, slowing rate at which food leaves stomach—keeps you full longer, less apt to snack
- Delays the absorption of glucose, which helps normalize blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity—helps prevent and treat type 2 diabetes
- Bonds to bile, requiring more cholesterol use for the production of bile in the liver to break down fats, reducing the amount of cholesterol circulating in your body
- Friendly intestinal bacteria metabolize this fiber, releasing short chain fatty acids that help absorb minerals and keep the large intestine and colon walls strong and supple
- Propionic and Aetic acid are also created in this process, used as fuel by cells of the liver and muscles
Fat free and low in calories, prunes are also simply a healthy source of fuel for your body, storing 26 grams of carbohydrates per quarter cup serving. Their size and easy storability also make an ideal snack on the go, so you can stop eating those high glycemic, processed sweets in between meals.
Sweet and delicious, it is clear that prunes should be a staple in your snacking habits. The dried plum is another superfood providing many deterrents and nutrients alike in equipping your body to stay younger, longer.