With their dark and wrinkled skin, prunes may not be the prettiest fruits in the fruit stand, but there is no doubt that they are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. Whether you are dealing with bowel movement problems or trying to lose weight, prunes are an ideal fruit that you should add to your diet. Here are the benefits that prunes can bring to your health.
Constipation is a common bowel movement that many people experience. If you have difficulty passing bowels and your bowel movements only occur about two to three times a week then you are probably constipated. Constipation is also accompanied with other symptoms such as bloating, stomach cramps, headaches and appetite loss. Needless to say, constipation can lead to more serious health problems when left untreated. So how do prunes relieve constipation? For one thing, prunes contain plenty of dietary fiber. Since the body cannot process fiber as well as it can digest other foods, the fiber usually stays in the colon where it bonds with the existing waste. The fiber adds bulk and weight to the waste, making it easier to excrete. Aside from this, fiber also helps the waste absorb water which gives it a slippery texture. This is why it's important that you also drink plenty of water if you are consuming prunes to relieve your constipation.
Protects the Heart
Aside from helping with constipation, prunes have also been found to protect the heart from diseases. Because of their high antioxidant content, prunes prevent cholesterol in the body from oxidizing, thus, preventing build-up of plaque in the arteries. Prunes also contain plenty of potassium that helps in lowering blood pressure. Scientists are also studying the presence of certain antioxidants in prunes that are not present in most foods.
Rich Source of Vitamin A
Prunes are also extraordinarily rich in vitamin A. In fact, two servings of prunes a day already make up half of the daily requirement for this vitamin. As you probably know, vitamin A plays an important role in skin health among other health aspects. As an antioxidant, vitamin A clears your system of certain toxins that can cause skin problems such as acne, wrinkles and fine lines. Getting plenty of vitamin A from your diet also helps your skin stay moisturized. Aside from its benefits to the skin, vitamin A is also known for improving vision and boosting your immune system against infections.
If you're a post-menopausal woman or someone who is just about to enter her menopausal years then preventing osteoporosis should start being one of your concerns. Studies conducted on animals showed that a regular supply of prunes can contribute to bone mass.
Helps with Weight Loss
If you are trying to lose weight then prunes should be part of your diet. Because of their high fiber content, prunes are able to give you that full and satisfied feeling, which prevents you from overeating.