Prunes: The Nature's Powerhouse of Benefits

Prunes, the dried version of Plums from the Ente plum tree, is packed with goodness and boast numerous health benefits.

Prunes: The Nature's Powerhouse of Benefits
Prunes: The Nature's Powerhouse of Benefits

Prunes, the dried version of Plums from the Ente plum tree, is packed with goodness and boast numerous health benefits. The quality of prunes largely depends on the ripeness of the plums before drying. Once harvested, the fruits are washed in fresh water and dried naturally under the sun or industrially in ovens. Prunes can be enjoyed as a simple snack, paired with savoury dishes, or used in sweet desserts. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the characteristics of prunes, their incredible nutritional value, and the myriad reasons why incorporating them into your diet can be highly advantageous.

Table of Contents

Characteristics of Prunes. 1

The Benefits of Prunes: Why Incorporate Them into Your Diet?. 1

Nutritionist's Advice. 2

Choosing the Right Prune. 2

Differences with Related Foods. 2

Proper Storage of Prunes. 2

Preparing and Cooking with Prunes. 3

Prune Contraindications and Allergies. 3

Historical Journey of Prunes. 3

Conclusion. 4


Characteristics of Prunes


Prunes are renowned for their exceptional qualities, making them a valuable addition to any balanced diet. Some key characteristics of prunes include:


1. Rich in Fiber: Like other dried fruits, prunes are abundant in dietary fibre, making them a helpful remedy for treating constipation, particularly in the elderly. A 25g serving of prunes (approximately three fruits) provides 5% of the recommended daily intake of total fibre for men aged 19 to 50 and 7% for women in the same age group.


2. Low in Salt: Prunes have a low salt content, making them suitable for individuals on a low-salt diet.


3. Rich in Potassium: Prunes and prune juice are excellent sources of potassium, essential for those with potassium deficiency. Potassium plays a crucial role in balancing blood pH, stimulating stomach acid production for digestion, facilitating muscle contractions, including the heart, and participating in nerve impulse transmission.


4. Source of Iron: Prunes provide a source of iron, which is vital for various metabolic processes and red blood cell production.


5. Source of Vitamin E: Prunes contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by free radicals.


6. Laxative Properties: Thanks to their fibre content, prunes act as a natural laxative, supporting regular bowel movements and promoting digestive health.

The Benefits of Prunes: Why Incorporate Them into Your Diet?


Prunes are not only a concentrated source of energy but also a treasure trove of health benefits. Some of these incredible advantages include:


1. Laxative Virtues: The high fibre content of prunes, as with other dried fruits, proves helpful in treating constipation, particularly in elderly individuals. A small serving of prunes can provide a significant portion of the daily recommended fibre intake, supporting digestive health.


2. Prevention of Colon Cancer: The fibre and antioxidants present in prunes contribute to fighting against the onset of colon cancer, making them a valuable addition to a cancer-preventive diet.


3. Fight Against Osteoporosis: Prunes are a source of calcium, which could have positive effects on bone health, particularly in menopausal women, and help combat osteoporosis. Studies have shown that prunes can prevent a reduction in bone density in animals, and regular consumption may positively affect bone health in women during menopause.


4. Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases: Research conducted in mice has demonstrated a reduced risk of atherosclerosis through regular consumption of prune powder. These findings support the idea that fruits, particularly prunes, can aid in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cerebrovascular accidents. The fibre in prunes helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, further contributing to cardiovascular health.


Nutritionist's Advice


For those mid-morning snack cravings, opt for 2 to 3 prunes instead of reaching for a chocolate bar. The high fibre content in prunes will satiate you until lunchtime, providing essential vitamins and minerals that a chocolate bar lacks.


Choosing the Right Prune


Prunes are obtained by dehydrating large purplish-blue plums at harvest. This process concentrates the vitamins and minerals, making prunes a powerhouse of nutrients. When selecting prunes, consider the following identification card:


- Type: Plum

- Season: All year round

- Family: Prunus

- Origin: France

- Color: Black

- Flavor: Sweet


Differences with Related Foods


Prunes are simply dehydrated plums containing the same vitamins and minerals but in higher concentrations due to the absence of water.


Proper Storage of Prunes


To prolong the shelf life of prunes, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place. For further preservation, place the container in the refrigerator and ensure it is tightly closed each time you use it to prevent excessive drying out.


Preparing and Cooking with Prunes


Prunes add a sweet and energetic touch to various culinary preparations. When using prunes in recipes, consider soaking them in water if they are very dry. Here are some delightful culinary ideas:


1. Rabbit with Prunes: A classic of French cuisine, rabbit with prunes offers a delightful combination of flavours.


2. Prune Stuffing: Use prunes in a stuffing with rice to accompany poultry, adding a unique twist to your dishes.


3. English Plum Pudding: Revive the tradition of English plum pudding by replacing raisins with diced prunes in your recipes.


4. Prune-Stuffed Apples: Stuff prunes into apples and bake them in the oven alongside pork or veal chops for a delicious and wholesome meal.


5. Provencal Dried Fruit Compote: Create a delightful compote using prunes, dates, and pitted dried apricots cooked in tea, orange juice, cinnamon, and honey, served with pine nuts and ice cream or sweet cream.


6. Egyptian Prune Delight: In Egypt, prunes are soaked in strong tea, then stuffed with walnuts and served with sweetened tea reduced to a light syrup consistency.


Prune Contraindications and Allergies


While prunes offer numerous health benefits, they can cause adverse reactions in certain individuals:


1. Risk of Allergy: Prunes may trigger allergic reactions in people allergic to pollen or specific vegetable proteins.


2. Irritation of the Intestines: Due to their high fibre content, individuals with irritable bowel syndrome should exercise caution when consuming prunes.


Historical Journey of Prunes


Prunes were highly valued for their laxative properties in ancient Greece and Rome. In France, the famous Agen prunes have been cultivated since the Middle Ages and have evolved into luxurious treats, often stuffed or coated with chocolate.




Prunes, a concentrated energy source with a host of benefits, offer a wide range of advantages for overall health and well-being. Rich in fibre, potassium, iron, and vitamin E, prunes aid in preventing constipation, colon cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular diseases. Their low salt content makes them suitable for individuals on restricted salt diets. Adding 2 to 3 prunes to your mid-morning snack can satiate you and provide vital nutrients that sugary snacks lack. When choosing prunes, consider their purplish-blue colour, which indicates proper ripeness before dehydration. Store prunes in a cool, dry, and dark place, or prolong their shelf life by refrigerating them in an airtight container.



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