Prunes not only improve digestion but also protect the bones and the heart.
If you have flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain, or heaviness, prunes are a good choice of food. Regular consumption of prunes can help prevent constipation.
“Fiber is just one of the many important benefits of prunes,” says researcher Christopher Moore.
In a study published in the academic journal Osteoporosis International, researchers found that eating five to six prunes daily could help prevent bone loss.
Consuming prunes, according to new research from the University of Liverpool in England, can help manage hunger and lower overall caloric intake, making them an excellent snack to put holiday cravings at bay.
“These studies demonstrate that dried fruit can both produce satiety and be incorporated into the diet during weight management,” says Professor Jason C G Halford, University of Leeds and President of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), who was part of the research team.
The research included two phases. In the first phase, researchers examined individuals’ feelings of fullness, hunger, and caloric intake after consuming a snack consisting of prunes, raisins, or jelly-bean-like candies, all of which were comparable in terms of calories.
After eating prunes for breakfast, the researchers discovered that those who did so had the fewest calories overall at their future meals. A reduction in hunger levels, an improvement in satiety, and a stronger perceived ability to eat less food at subsequent meals were also observed by the prune snackers.
During the second phase of the study, the researchers concentrated their efforts specifically on weight reduction. Participants were divided into two groups: those who participated in a 12-week weight loss program that included prunes as a snack, and those who participated in the same program but just received counseling on how to eat more healthfully while snacking.
When it came to pounds lost, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups; however, the prune group shed an average of more pounds than the group that merely got healthy snacking recommendations (-4.4 lbs. versus -3.4 lbs.).
Individuals who took prunes reported better levels of pleasure and greater ease in following the weight-loss program, in addition to the benefits of prunes.
“This study reveals that nutrient dense prunes can provide an advantage over other snack choices due to their favorable effects on satiety and appetite control,” adds Andrea N. Giancoli, MPH, RD Nutrition Advisor for the California Prune Board.
“These are the first data to demonstrate both weight loss and no negative side effects when consuming prunes as part of a weight management diet,” says Halford, who adds that people may be concerned about problematic side effects for their digestive system.
“The same amount of prunes (five or six) can help improve the risk factors for heart disease and inflammation. Prunes should always be in your diet,” says the researcher Moore.
According to the latest recommendations from the US Department of Agriculture, women are recommended to consume 22 to 28 grams of fiber, while men should consume 28 to 34 grams of fiber daily.
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