They're sweet, they’re satisfying, and they're one of those foods we usually pop when we're having issues with digestion. The fabulous prune, however, has benefits well beyond the bathroom and a new study proves it.
The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that prunes helped to improve bone health by reducing the incidence of fractures and osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. One hundred women participated in the study, half consuming prunes and half consuming dried apples. The prune-eating group had significantly higher bone mineral density in the ulna (one of two long bones in the forearm) and spine in comparison with the group that ate dried apples.
In addition to this, a study in 2007 at Florida State University found that prunes could actually play a role in reversing some of the bone damage that occurred in women who already had osteoporosis.
Beyond bone health, prunes can serve as a great source of antioxidants in the diet as well. A 2006 study found that prunes, when added to meat as a preservative (in place of unhealthier preservatives), helped in producing a healthier product by increasing total antioxidant value.
Finally, prunes provide a great source of fiber – the secret weapon to weight management by helping us to stay fuller, longer. They're easy to pack in the kids’ lunches and provide sweetness and moisture to baked goods. The prune, in fact, may be the perfect snack you've been looking for!