Daily Consumption of Prunes May Help Improve Bone Health
As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to losing bone mineral density, which may lead to increased fractures and osteoporosis. A recent study from Florida State University suggests that eating dried plums daily can keep your bones strong and prevent osteoporosis.
The findings were published in the British Journal of Nutrition on May 31, 2011.
100 postmenopausal women were recruited for the study. Over a 12 month period, one group of 55 women was given 100 g of dried plums (about 10 prunes) a day. The second group of 45 women was given a placebo of 100 g of dried apples. Both groups also consumed 500 mg calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D daily.
At the end of the 12 months, the dried plum group showed noticeably higher bone mineral density in the ulna and spine when compared to the placebo group. The researchers said this is due to the ability of the dried plums to reduce the rate of the breakdown of bone, which tends to exceed the rate of new bone growth as we age.
Dried plums also contain high amounts of fiber, vitamin A, B vitamins, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and some protein. They have been linked to relief from constipation, improved blood circulation and slowing the aging of the brain and body.
Dried plums can be eaten on their own or added to baked goods, salads, or taken in juice form. If you are interested in the bone health benefits of prunes, the researchers recommend eating two or three a day and gradually increasing your intake until your body is acclimated enough to consume ten daily.