Prunes are dried plums. They are rich in fiber and phytochemicals and cholesterol-free. Prunes also give important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals,

including retinol, iron and potassium. When you eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you will lower your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The soluble fiber in prunes binds to “bad” LDL cholesterol particles in the intestine, preventing them from entering the bloodstream and carrying them out of the body as waste. Excess LDL cholesterol may clog your coronary arteries, which can put you at risk for heart attack and stroke. The cholesterol-lowering effects of prunes reduce the risk of cardiac events.

The consumption of low-glycemic index foods, such as prunes, appears to improve overall blood glucose control in people with diabetes. Soluble fiber in prunes pulls in water to form a gel in the intestine. This gel-like substance slows digestion and absorption so the glucose in food enters the bloodstream more slowly. This causes a slow and steady rise in blood sugar, explains M. Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, a professor of human nutrition and dietetics at the University of Illinois.

Potassium may protect you against developing hypertension, according to the American Dietetic Association. It maintains normal blood pressure by regulating fluid and electrolyte balance. Doctors often advise people trying to control hypertension to consume foods high in potassium. Prunes are rich in potassium, thought to have blood pressure lowering properties. They offer approximately 637 mg of potassium per half cup.

Constipation is infrequent or uncomfortable bowel movements. Prunes contain high amounts of soluble fiber. They act as natural laxatives that soften the stool and promote its movement through the intestines. Drink plenty of liquids to reap the benefits of fiber.


Posted on October 18, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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