Prunes are enjoyed the world over thanks to their natural sweet taste, but have you ever had prune juice? This delicious drink is not only nutritious, but also possesses beneficial effects on your health. Read on to find out why you should take advantage of this versatile juice.
What Are Prunes?
Prunes are effectively dried plums, belonging to the Prunus domestica variety of plants. You have probably enjoyed plums before, even though they were originally native to the cold Caucasus Mountains found in Eastern Europe. Today, they are cultivated throughout many parts of the world which is great for you since it means you can easily get your hands on some.
Prunes are very similar to fresh plums, except that as they are left in the sun to naturally dry, their sorbitol content increases significantly. Sorbitol is a natural sugar that is very sweet, and as you will see later, responsible for some of its effects.
To make prune juice, you add pitted prunes to water, blend thoroughly then strain the obtained mixture to remove all solid particles. After that you can store in your refrigerator. Prune juice keeps much longer than other juices because of the sorbitol which has preservative properties.
Prune Nutrition (per cup, 174g Pits removed)
Total Carbohydrate – 111 g 37% RDI
Dietary Fiber – 12.4 g 49% RDI
Sugars – 66.3 g
Total Fat – 0.7g 1%
Protein – 3.8g 8% RDI
Vitamin A – 1359-IU 27% RDI
Vitamin C – 1mg 2% RDI
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) – 0.7mg 4% RDI
Vitamin K – 104mcg 129% RDI
Thiamin – 0.1mg 6% RDI
Riboflavin – 0.3mg 19% RDI
Niacin – 3.3mg 16% RDI
Vitamin B6 – 0.4 mg 18% RDI
Folate – 7mcg 2% RDI
Pantothenic Acid – 0.7mg 7% RDI
Calcium – 74.8mg 7% RDI
Iron – 1.6 mg 9% RDI
Magnesium – 71.3mg 18% RDI
Phosphorus – 120mg 12% RDI
Potassium – 1274mg 36% RDI
Zinc – 0.8mg 5% RDI
Copper – 0.5mg 24% RDI
Manganese – 0.5mg 26% RDI
Selenium – 0.5mcg 1% RDI
13 Amazing Benefits of Prune Juice
1. Constipation Prevention
By far the most popular use and benefit of prune juice has to be its effects on treating and preventing constipation. While increasing fluid intake is an excellent way to address the problem of constipation, prune juice’s advantage is the fact that it possesses a large amount of sorbitol, a natural sugar that stimulates bowel motions.
The stimulation of bowel movement and enhanced water retention is able to address most cases of constipation. Use daily if you suffer from chronic episodes of constipation.
2. Reduces Cancer Risk
Prune juice does not necessarily retain its high fiber content, but it still has great promise in helping to fight cancer, owing to the abundance of natural anti-oxidants it contains, but in particular is excellent at reducing colon cancer risk. Much of its beneficial effects on reducing colon cancer risk are tied to it improving the abundance of beneficial probiotic bacteria in the intestines, which play a role in reducing one’s risk of colon cancer.
3. Promotes Heart Health
Prune juice is extremely helpful for promoting heart health via multiple mechanisms, but of particular note is the anti-oxidants it contains. These anti-oxidants reduce the likelihood of atherosclerotic plaques becoming deposited on the inside of blood vessels and when combined with a sensible diet act as a great remedy for safeguarding you from cardiovascular illness.
4. Natural Remedy For Anemia
Prune juice is a surprisingly rich source of the mineral iron, which is important to support your blood’s ability to carry oxygen to cells throughout the body. Anemia frequently occurs in people that do not meet dietary requirements for this mineral, though there are other contributing factors as well.
5. Supports Weight Loss
Prunes and prune juice are very effective for helping you lose weight, since they have a strong appetite suppressing effect, but it is one of those things that should not be overdone. Why? As you may have noticed, prune juice is very calorie dense, which means that consuming too much of it could end up hurting your caloric goals.
Prunes are also considered as low glycemic index foods, meaning that they have a less pronounced effect on blood glucose- and resultant milder insulin response.
6. Improves Skin Health
Consuming prunes and prune juice can also help to keep your skin healthy, as it contains small amounts of the big 3 vitamins, A, C and E. diets that get enough of these vitamins are positively correlated to better skin health, as they reduce oxidative stressors and promote collagen synthesis.
This is especially important if you spend a lot of time in the sun daily since the sun is unmerciful to skin.
7. Assists With Blood Pressure Management
Prune juice is loaded with potassium, a vital nutrient for preserving blood vessel health and flexibility, and in turn your blood pressure. Potassium deficiency can increase your risk of developing hypertension, so be sure to get prune juice in your diet.
8. Supports Bone Health
Prune juice is a treasure trove of bone friendly nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and an abundance of vitamin K. these nutrients, in addition to Vitamin D have the majority of roles in regulating bone cell synthesis and appropriate mineralization. Prune juice has to be one of the most underrated sources of these nutrients, and one you can start benefiting from now.
9. Can Reduce Levels Of LDL Cholesterol
Prune juice works to reduce LDL cholesterol levels thanks to the soluble fiber content it possesses. While it loses most of its insoluble fiber during preparation, the soluble fiber does a great job of increasing bile excretion so that active cholesterol recruitment is increased. The juice also contributes to reduced cholesterol deposition as previously mentioned.
10. Benefits The Eyes
Prune juice contains a good amount of vitamin A and its related family of carotenoids compounds, important anti-oxidants that protect the eyes from oxidative damage and even age related macular degeneration. Vitamin A also improves night vision and is essential for good vision.
11. Natural Remedy For Muscle Cramps
Prune juice is a great natural remedy for dealing with that pesky occasional muscle cramp, which is usually brought on by acute electrolyte imbalances that can cause hyper contractility of muscle fibers. Potassium corrects the electrolyte concentration across cell membranes, so that there is no excessive neuro-muscular firing.
12. Enhances Immune Function
If you are looking for immune support, look no further than prune juice. Given, it does not have the highest concentration of anti-oxidant vitamins, but it has a secret weapon under its belt. The soluble fiber it possesses is a great source of nourishment for the probiotic bacteria living in your gut, which incidentally is a large and primary part of your immune system.
Improving colony size of these helpful bacteria do positively affect your overall immune function.
13. May Improve Lung Function
Prune juice helps support lung health and function much in the same way that is helps bolster immune support, but also thanks to its antioxidants and other phytocompounds. This makes prune juice great for people dealing with asthma, emphysema or COPD. You should also add citrus juices to the mix as the bioflavonoids are also very helpful.
When last can you say you had prune juice? You probably had it as a child when your parents gave you to treat constipation, but now you’re an adult you probably overlook this delicious drink. Maybe it’s time you whip up a batch, how about it?