Prunes are nothing but the dried form of plums. Quite well-known for their sweet chewy flavor, what most people don't know is about the calories that are present in this dried fruit. Provided here is some information about the nutrition facts and calories in the same.
Prunes are basically dried version of European plums, known not only for their sticky chewy texture but also for their nutritional benefits. Belonging to the plum species Prunus domestica, they are usually oval in shape and have an easy to remove pit.
The process of drying plums to produce prunes started somewhere in mid 19th century in California, which is also now the leading producer of the same. However, today prunes are grown worldwide and are savored by people across the world.
These dried fruits cannot be eaten raw but are commonly used in many desserts and sweet recipes. Like other dried fruits, prunes are available all around the year.
Their calorie count would mainly depend upon their serving size, as follows:
1 prune - 20
1 oz, with pits - 60
100 g - 240
1 cup, with pits - 386
1 cup pitted - 408
1 cup, NFS - 408
They contain various vitamins and minerals, especially, their juice, which is prepared by softening the dried fruit through steaming and then extracting the pulp to create a watery puree, is equally rich in a wide variety of nutrients.
Furthermore, their juice contains the natural laxative dihydrophenylisatin which helps in treating constipation and other intestinal problems. Also, being high in antioxidants and dietary fiber and low in saturated fat and cholesterol, this dried fruit has numerous positive effects on the body. Apart from these, listed next are some other nutritional facts.
Nutrients and their Nutritional Value per 100 gm
Vitamin A - 1,890 I.U.
Thiamine - 10 mg
Riboflavin - 16 mg
Niacin - 1.7 mg
Vitamin C - 3 mg
Calcium - 11 mg
Iron - 7 mg
Phosphorus - 85 mg
Potassium - 810 mg
Fat - 6 gm
Carbohydrates - 71 gm
Protein - 2.3 gm
Being a good source of antioxidants, phytonutrients (neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid), and carotenoids, they offer numerous health benefits of which some are given here.
● The antioxidants present in them benefit by preventing the free radical damage caused to the fats cells in the body. Since these cells are essential for normal brain development, these dried fruits are quite effective in neutralizing a particular harmful oxygen radical called superoxide anion radical, which can cause damage to these fat cells.
● Being high in vitamin A and beta-carotene, they help to maintain healthy eyesight and also fight various skin disorders like acne, early aging, spots, etc. hence, giving a clear, smooth, and radiating skin.
● They are also a good source of an essential mineral called potassium, which benefits by maintaining the normal blood pressure level and even reducing water retention in the body. They improve the cardiovascular health by preventing the risks of high blood pressure, stroke, and atherosclerosis.
● The soluble fibers present in them helps normalizing the blood sugar levels and controlling the body weight. These fibers reduce the rate at which the food leaves the stomach and slows down the absorption of glucose in the body. Hence, they also enhance insulin sensitivity and minimize the chances of type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, the soluble fibers in them gives a feeling of stomach fullness, which keeps the person from overeating and gaining weight. Apart from these, the soluble fibers also help lower cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids and excreting them from the body through feces.
● Their insoluble fibers help maintain a healthy colon and prevent constipation. Further, these insoluble fibers provide food for the healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
When these useful bacteria ferment these insoluble fibers, a short-chain fatty acid called butyric acid is produced in the intestine that acts as a fuel for the intestinal cells and helps maintain normal bowel movements.
● Being rich in dietary fiber and iron, these dried fruits help women against developing breast cancer, especially, those who are going through their menopause.
With a wide range of health benefits, including this dried fruit as a part of one's daily diet might prove beneficial and that too without bothering about the calories. However, it should be consumed in the right concentrations, in order to obtain the numerous health benefits of the same.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.