*Prunes are dried fruits of various varieties of plums, especially the European plum, Prunus domestica.
*They are dark brown in color with a wrinkly outer skin and sticky chewy interior flesh.
*They are oval in shape with the pit removed.
*Prunes are eaten raw or used in making desserts or other dishes.
*Buying and storage: Select good quality of prunes, unsulphured if possible. Store in an airtight container ro a zip-lock bag at room temperature and they will keep well for several weeks.
Is it raw?
Yes and No.
*Yes, fresh prunes (dried or dehydrated plums) are raw.
*No, because sometimes prunes at the supermarkets are sulphured to extend the shelf life. Make sure you read the label.
1. Prunes are rich sources of polyphenols, the phytochemicals that are beneficial for our health.
2. Good source of the phytonutrients, chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid, which are the phenolic compounds that act as antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals from the body.
3. Very good source of Vitamin A and beta-carotene. They enhance the eye sight, fight against acne, and result in smooth radiant skin. Beta-carotene is also a natural anti-oxidant.
4. They are low in sodium and have good amounts of potassium. This helps to maintain the blood pressure and reduces water retention. Potassium is also important for active muscles and nerves.
5. Good source of magnesium. It helps in relieving fatigue, relaxing the muscles, nerves and blood vessels, thus relieving the symptoms of asthma, migraine headaches, tension and soreness in muscles etc.
6. Good source of copper, which reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, enhances the activity of enzymes that are needed to maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, ligaments and joints.
7. Good source of manganese, which is an essential cofactor in many enzymatic reactions in the body, especially in the production of energy and antioxidants defenses.
8. Good source of iron, which helps in respiration at the cellular level by synthesizing hemoglobin that helps to carry oxygen to cells.
9. Good source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Soluble dietary fiber adds roughage to the contents of the intestines, promotes satiety, promotes the health of the colon, and also helps in relieving constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticular disorders, etc. Prunes are well-known for their ability to prevent constipation.
10. Insoluble dietary fiber acts as a good natural probiotic that supports the growth of helpful intestinal bacteria.
11. High dietary fiber creates a sense of fullness in the stomach, thus it also aids weight loss.