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Prunes Pitted - Premium Quality (1kg)

PrunesPitted1kg
NZ$15.99
View Prunes Pitted - Premium Quality (1kg)


 

Prunes Pitted

Country of Origin - California, USA

Description

Prunes are nutritious fruits that are extremely fun to eat since they have a sweet, deep taste and a sticky, chewy texture. Prunes are actually dried plums, more specifically the dried version of European plums, including the Agen variety

Sweet with a deep taste and a sticky chewy texture, prunes are not only fun to eat but they are also highly nutritious. As with other dried fruits, they are available year round.

Prunes are actually the dried version of European plums and recently had its name officially changed to dried plum.

Tips for Preparing Prunes:

If you have prunes that are extremely dry, soaking them in hot water for a few minutes will help to refresh them. If you are planning on cooking the prunes, soaking them in water or juice beforehand will reduce the cooking time.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Serve stewed prunes with rosemary-scented braised lamb and enjoy this Middle Eastern inspired meal.

Serve stewed or soaked prunes on top of pancakes and waffles.

Combine diced dried prunes with other dried fruits and nuts to make homemade trail mix.

Prunes make a delicious addition to poultry stuffing.

Health Benefits

Prunes' Unique Antioxidant Phytonutrients

The fresh version (plums) and the dried version (prunes) of the plant scientifically known as Prunus domestica have been the subject of repeated health research for their high content of unique phytonutrients called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid. These substances found in prunes and plums are classified as phenols, and their function as antioxidants has been well documented. These damage-preventing substances are particularly effective in neutralizing a particularly dangerous oxygen radical called superoxide anion radical, and they have also been shown to help prevent oxygen-based damage to fats. Since our cell membranes, brain cells and molecules such as cholesterol are largely composed of fats, preventing free radical damage to fats is no small benefit.

Beta-Carotene for Even More Antioxidant Protection

Prunes' ability to deter oxygen-related damage to our cells is also related to their beta-carotene content. Prunes emerged from our food ranking system as a good source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene)-just a quarter-cup of prunes will give you 16.9% of the daily value for vitamin A. Beta-carotene acts as a fat-soluble antioxidant,eliminating free radicals that would otherwise cause a lot of damage to our cells and cell membranes. Only after cholesterol has been oxidized by free radicals does it pose a threat to artery walls. The build-up of cholesterol in the artery walls forms plaques that can either grow so large they block blood flow or rupture, releasing a clot that can impede the flow of blood, and triggering a heart attack or stroke. Free radicals can also damage cellular DNA, causing mutations which, if serious enough, can result in the formation of cancerous cells. In addition, by causing damage, free radicals contribute to inflammation, which is one way the body clears out cells or other substances that have been damaged. In this way, free radicals increase the severity of a number of different conditions. This is why beta-carotene, which shuts down free radicals, has been shown in studies to be helpful for the prevention of a variety of diseases, including atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease, and colon cancer, and why it has also been found useful for reducing the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Potassium for Cardiovascular Health

Prunes are a good source of potassium, providing 9.0% of the daily value for this mineral in a quarter-cup. Potassium is an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since a quarter cup of prunes contains a whopping 316.6 mg of potassium and only 1.7 mg of sodium, those diced dried prunes on top of your breakfast cereal may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis.

The effectiveness of potassium-rich foods like prunes in lowering blood pressure has been demonstrated by a number of studies. For example, researchers tracked over 40,000 American male health professionals over four years to determine the effects of diet on blood pressure. Men who ate diets higher in potassium-rich foods, as well as foods high in magnesium and cereal fiber, had a substantially reduced risk of stroke.

In addition to these cardiovascular benefits, the potassium found in prunes may also help to promote bone health. Potassium may counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the high-salt diets typical of most Americans, thus helping to prevent bones from thinning out at a fast rate.

Prunes are widely known as a good source of dietary fiber, a reputation that was confirmed in our ranking system in which prunes were found to supply 12.1% of the daily value for fiber in just a quarter-cup. The health benefits provided by prunes' fiber are substantial:

Normalizing Blood Sugar Levels and Helping with Weight Loss

Prunes' soluble fiber helps normalize blood sugar levels by slowing the rate at which food leaves the stomach and by delaying the absorption of glucose (the form in which sugar is transported in the blood) following a meal. Soluble fiber also increases insulin sensitivity and can therefore play a helpful role in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. And, prunes' soluble fiber promotes a sense of satisfied fullness after a meal by slowing the rate at which food leaves the stomach, so prunes can also help prevent overeating and weight gain.

Prunes' Fiber for Regularity, Lower Cholesterol, & Intestinal Protection

Prunes are well known for their ability to prevent constipation. In addition to providing bulk and decreasing the transit time of fecal matter, thus decreasing the risk of colon cancer and hemorrhoids, prunes' insoluble fiber also provides food for the "friendly" bacteria in the large intestine. When these helpful bacteria ferment prunes' insoluble fiber, they produce a short-chain fatty acid called butyric acid, which serves as the primary fuel for the cells of the large intestine and helps maintain a healthy colon. These helpful bacteria also create two other short-chain fatty acids, propionic and acetic acid, which are used as fuel by the cells of the liver and muscles.

The propionic acid produced from prunes' insoluble fiber may also be partly responsible for the cholesterol-lowering properties of fiber. In animal studies, propionic acid has been shown to inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme involved in the production of cholesterol by the liver. By lowering the activity of this enzyme, propionic acid helps lower blood cholesterol levels.

In addition, prunes' soluble fibers help to lower cholesterol by binding to bile acids and removing them from the body via the feces. Bile acids are compounds used to digest fat that are manufactured by the liver from cholesterol. When they are excreted along with prunes' fiber, the liver must manufacture new bile acids and uses up more cholesterol, thus lowering the amount of cholesterol in circulation. Soluble fiber may also reduce the amount of cholesterol manufactured by the liver.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as prunes, helps prevent heart disease. Almost 10,000 American adults participated in this study and were followed for 19 years. People eating the most fiber, 21 grams per day, had 12% less coronary heart disease (CHD) and 11% less cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily. Those eating the most water-soluble dietary fiber fared even better with a 15% reduction in risk of CHD and a 10% risk reduction in CVD.

Lastly, the insoluble fiber provided by prunes feed friendly bacteria in the digestive tract, which helps to maintain larger populations of friendly bacteria. In addition to producing the helpful short-chain fatty acids described above, friendly bacteria play an important protective role by crowding out pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria and preventing them from surviving in the intestinal tract.

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