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The virtues of prunes

California Prunes are nutritious and versatile..

Health and Mental Health

The virtues of prunes

New study adds to the research connecting prunes and healthier bones…

As women age, their bones can lose density and strength, but studies are showing how eating prunes every day may help make a difference. A newly published study in Osteoporosis International shows that postmenopausal women who ate prunes daily for a year preserved certain measures of bone structure and estimated bone strength as compared to women who didn’t eat prunes.

The study adds to an accelerating body of published research that demonstrates eating prunes daily can help mitigate bone loss in older age.

Lead study author Mary Jane De Souza, Ph.D:

“Prunes have a combination of minerals, vitamin K, phenolic compounds, fibre and anti-inflammatory properties that is unique among foods and in fact, unique among fruit,” said .,  “We’ve been studying prunes because their combination of nutrients seems to work together for a positive effect on bones. While medication and hormone therapies can help women maintain their bone density and strength as they get older, these often require lifelong management and come with some risks – so learning about impactful dietary changes can be a great help.”

These findings are part of The Prune Study, a large, single-centre, parallel-arm, 12-month randomised controlled trial completed with 183 postmenopausal women who ranged in age from 55 to 75, who were nonsmokers and not severely obese.

Authors of The Prune Study have noted “high compliance and retention” over 12 months in women who ate 50 grams prunes a day – in other words, the women who participated tended to enjoy eating the prunes daily and tended to remember to eat them each day, which isn’t always the case in nutrition studies when the dietary changes are too hard or don’t taste good.

Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN, a registered dietitian:

“Eating prunes is an easy thing to do – they’re sweet and satisfying, they fly under the radar for many people, but if you’re looking to add a healthy habit to your day, a serving of prunes is under 100 calories and easy to include at breakfast or paired with an easy protein source as a snack.”

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