Prunes are dried plums that are usually used to make juice. Prunes are best known for their laxative effect that is great for preventing constipation. Learn more about prune juice benefits today!
There are various types of plums, and technically any dried plum is a prune, but prune juice is made from a specific kind known as Prunus domestic, also known as the European plum.
Prune juice is made by rehydrating the dry plums in boiling water then juicing them.
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Prune juice benefits:
This juice is rich in nutrients and offers numerous health benefits, including lowering cholesterol, boosting immunity, maintaining healthy bones, and fighting inflammation, among other benefits.
Prune juice can also make for a quick energy booster while promoting your fluid intake.
Here’s more on how prune juice can benefit your health.
1. It may lower your risk of high blood pressure
High blood pressure is among the most prevalent health conditions in the US.
About 1 in every 3 American adults have elevated blood pressure levels, but most of them don’t even know it. That’s why what you eat and drink should be of great importance.
Regularly consuming prune juice will provide sufficient potassium that the body needs to relax and dilate the blood vessels, causing the blood pressure to drop.
According to a 2010 study, people who drank prune juice or ate prunes daily were shown to have a decrease in their blood pressure with a reduced risk of developing hypertension.
Potassium is also essential for regulating fluid levels within the cells, balancing sodium levels, promoting muscle contraction, and promoting nerve conduction.
2. It may promote bowel movements
While whole prunes are high in fiber, their juice counterpart has more of its fiber removed; but it still does hold unto some of it, which keeps the bowels moving.
Also, prune juice contains sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that doesnt completely get broken down during digestion. Sorbitol helps draw water into the digestive tract, thus acting as a laxative, helping soften stool and prevent constipation.
The ability to prevent constipation also reduces the risk of hemorrhoids, a condition associated with swollen and inflamed veins in the anus and lower rectum often caused by straining during defecation, pregnancy, or obesity.
In addition to fighting constipation, research shows that prune juice may help lower the risk of colon cancer.
3. It may lower cholesterol
High cholesterol levels have been linked to an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis, which further increases your likelihood of developing high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, peripheral vascular disease, and heart disease.
The antioxidants and fiber found in prune juice may help lower cholesterol and prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which further increases your risk of inflammation and heart disease.
4. It’s rich in iron
Iron is an essential mineral needed for various functions, including the production of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen around the body.
Iron is also necessary for growth and development, increasing energy and focus, promoting various gastrointestinal processes, and boosting the immune system.
Consuming enough dietary iron can also prevent anemia.
A cup of prune juice can provide up to 3 milligrams of iron, about 17 percent of the daily recommendations.
This can be quite a boost, especially if you are on a plant-based diet.
5. It may promote strong bones.
Maintaining strong bones is essential to prevent or lower the risk of fractures and other bone conditions.
One way to ensure you’re keeping your bones healthy and safe is to drink prune regularly. This juice is rich in boron, an essential mineral that controls how your body handles other minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.
That’s to say, boron supports the build-up and maintenance of strong bones.
In addition, boron has been used to treat bone conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
According to studies, drinking prune juice could help prevent low bone density in postmenopausal women.
Besides supporting bone health, boron may fight inflammation, increase wound healing, and boost magnesium absorption in the body.
6. Promotes liver health
Traditionally, prune juice has been used to treat various liver problems, including hepatitis, a liver infection.
Liver issues often result in the release of some harmful chemicals, but the nutrients in prune juice like vitamins and antioxidants have been shown to reduce these chemicals, thus preserving liver health.
However, keep in mind that prune juice is not a treatment for hepatitis, and neither can it be a substitute. If you suspect a hepatitis case, you must seek medical assistance immediately!
7. It’s rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are essential for neutralizing free radicles in the body and preventing oxidative stress that may lead to disease formation.
Antioxidants also help protect against inflammation, the root cause of most chronic conditions.
Prune juice is particularly rich in anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that fights inflammation and lowers certain cancers’ risk.
Side effects and precautions
Although prune juice can be very beneficial, you should keep a few things in mind.
IT may cause abdominal discomfort – The high sorbitol levels in prune juice can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea. If new to the drink, introduce it gradually to allow your digestive system to adapt instead of starting with very large amounts.
It may worsen some health conditions –if you have an underlying medical condition like an overactive bladder or ulcerative colitis, consult your doctor before taking the juice.
Allergies –prunes contain some histamine and its juice alike. In case, you experience any allergies after taking it, steer clear of it.
Weight gain – prune juice is high in sugar, and even though the sorbitol controls the release of this sugar into the blood, too much of it can increase your calorie intake, which can trigger insulin to store the excess calories as fat around the body.
So enjoy your juice but everything in moderation!
Final thoughts on prune juice benefits:
Prune juice is the juice obtained from dry plums. It’s rich in nutrients and offers incredible benefits like maintaining a healthy digestive system, promoting healthy bones, supporting the liver, and preventing anemia.
That being said, too much prune juice can cause side effects such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. It can also trigger allergies and worsen various specific health conditions.
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