Prunes are a type of dried plum that has been found to offer a variety of health benefits. They are high in fiber and antioxidants and have been linked to improved digestion, weight loss, and reduced inflammation.
While most prunes are preserved with sulfur dioxide (a preservative), there is a growing market for non-sorbate prunes. These prunes are preserved with other methods, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or citric acid.
So, are non-sorbate prunes better for you? Let's take a closer look.
What Are Non Sorbate Prunes?
Non-sorbate prunes are a type of dried plum that has been treated with an alternative preservative, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or citric acid.
Sorbates, such as sulfur dioxide, are commonly used to preserve dried fruits. However, some people believe that sorbates can cause adverse health effects, such as headaches and asthma.
As a result, the demand for non-sorbate prunes has grown in recent years. These prunes are often marketed as being “sulfite-free” or “preservative-free.”
Non-sorbate prunes may be more expensive than regular prunes, but they may be worth the extra cost for some people.
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Health Benefits of Prunes
Prunes are a good source of fiber and antioxidants and have been linked to a variety of health benefits.
1. Improves Digestion
Prunes are high in fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps food move through the digestive system more smoothly.
Fiber has also been shown to reduce the risk of constipation and other digestive disorders, such as hemorrhoids and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
2. Aids in Weight Loss
Prunes are a low-calorie food that is filling and satisfying. This may help you eat less overall and lose weight.
In addition, the fiber in prunes can help promote feelings of fullness and prevent overeating.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Prunes contain phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effects.
Inflammation is a normal immune response, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of diseases like heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.
4. May Protect Against Cancer
Some studies have found that the antioxidants in prunes may help protect against cancer.
For example, one study found that prune extract was able to reduce the growth of breast cancer cells in vitro.
While more research is needed, the antioxidants in prunes may help to protect against other types of cancer as well.
5. Improves Bone Health
Prunes are a good source of boron, a mineral that is essential for bone health. Boron helps the body absorb and use calcium, which is necessary for strong and healthy bones.
In addition, the antioxidants in prunes may help to protect against osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle.
6. Supports Brain Health
The antioxidants in prunes may also help to support brain health.
One study found that prune consumption was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease.
While more research is needed, the antioxidants in prunes may help to protect against other age-related cognitive decline.
7. Boosts Energy Levels
Prunes are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance, while insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water.
Both types of fiber are beneficial for the body, but insoluble fiber is especially important for maintaining regularity and preventing constipation.
In addition, the natural sugars in prunes can help to give you a boost of energy when you need it.
Possible Side Effects of Prunes
Prunes are generally safe to eat and have few side effects. However, eating too many prunes at once can cause digestive issues like gas and bloat.
Those with diabetes should be aware that the natural sugars in prunes can cause blood sugar levels to spike. As a result, prunes should be eaten in moderation if you have diabetes.
If you are allergic to sulfur dioxide, you may need to avoid prunes that have been treated with this preservative.
Sorbates, such as potassium sorbate, are commonly used to preserve dried fruits. However, some people may be allergic to sorbates and may need to avoid them.
Finally, prunes contain sugar alcohols, which can cause gas and bloat in some people. If you are sensitive to sugar alcohols, you may want to limit your intake of prunes.
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The Bottom Line
Prunes are a type of dried plum that is high in fiber and antioxidants. They offer a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and better bone health.
Prunes are generally safe to eat, but they may cause digestive issues in some people. Those with diabetes should be aware that the natural sugars in prunes can cause blood sugar levels to spike.
If you are allergic to sulfur dioxide or sorbates, you may need to avoid prunes that have been treated with these preservatives. Finally, the sugar alcohols in prunes can cause gas and bloat in some people. If you are sensitive to sugar alcohols, you may want to limit your intake of prunes.