Sweet, delicious, and nutritious, dried plums really are the whole package. You may think the only thing dried plums are good for are keeping us regular. But don’t let their wrinkled appearance fool you into believing the best they can do is to be a laxative for your grandparents. There is so much more to these formally known as dried prunes than meets the eye.
Didn’t dried plums used to be called dried prunes?
For some reason women ages 25 to 54 prefer the name dried plums to dried prunes. It must be an age thing. This was discovered when research conducted in the United States showed that this particular demographic responded more favorably to the name dried plums over dried prunes. To confuse you even more, all prunes are plums, but not all plums are prunes.
Dried plums powerful nutrient package
Dried plums nutritional goodness is where they really shine as a fruit packing a lot more nutritional value than most of think. This healthy bite-sized snack food is quite the nutrition powerhouse – here’s why:
· Bone health
Research has shown dried plums help prevent bone loss by maintaining bone density in individuals with low bone density. Regularly consuming dried plums may contribute to bone strength and increased bone volume, thus reducing the risk of osteoporotic fractures. Eating 5-6 dried plums daily was shown to be effective in prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women in a 2016 study.
· Improves digestion and prevents constipation
Just 4 to 5 dried plums has 3 grams of fiber good for preventing constipation and good for overall digestive health. If you ever wondered why prunes or dried plums are good laxative aids, it’s because the fiber from dried plums passes on into the colon where it absorbs water and softens the stool making it easier to pass. Dried plums also contain sorbitol, a mild colonic stimulant that reduces the time our bowel movements hang around in the colon decreasing the risk of constipation, colorectal cancer and hemmorrhoids.
Dried plums have two powerful antioxidants known as phenolic compounds that are responsible for keeping us healthy and eliminate free radicals. The two phenolic compounds are neochlorogenic and cholrogenic acids.
· Excellent source of vitamin K
Vitamin K is an important nutrient helping improve calcium balance and promotes bone mineralization. Consuming 4 to 5 dried plums provides 30 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K.
· Aids in weight management
Eating dried plums can be a partner in contributing to weight management. Due to its fiber content, dried plums improve satiety leaving you with a fuller, satisfied feeling.
Home grown goodness
California is the place to be if you are looking for plums. The Gold Rush state is the world’s largest producer of dried plums, supplying 48 percent of the world’s supply and 99 percent of the supply in the United States. It was the Gold Rush that first introduced plums to the state of California. With its rich valley soil, steady supply of irrigation water, and a long growing season, it has the ideal conditions for growing plum making plums an important agricultural product in California.
For additional information and recipes using dried plums, visit www.californiadriedplums.org.