When you eat fruit, you might be aiming to satisfy a sweet hunger-related craving or be looking for a quick and healthy snack.
While apples and oranges are always a delicious choice—not to mention grapes, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries—you might want to consider grabbing some prunes on a regular basis if you want to feel younger and stay stronger as you get older. That's because while they're both tasty and convenient, prunes can also seriously benefit your bones, according to a new study.
Research conducted by the Integrative and Biomedical Physiology Program and the Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University which was presented at the American Physiological Society's Experimental Biology 2022 event took a look at postmenopausal participants who ate either zero, six, or 12 prunes each day for 12 months.
In the end, Janhavi Damani, MS, the first author of the study, explains, "Our findings suggest that consumption of six to 12 prunes per day may reduce pro-inflammatory mediators that may contribute to bone loss in postmenopausal women."
Damani adds that this tells us prunes might be a promising nutritional intervention to prevent a rise in inflammation.
"Fruits and vegetables that are rich in bioactive compounds such as phenolic acid, flavonoids, and carotenoids can help protect against osteoporosis. Prunes, in particular, contain polyphenols that may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which contribute to bone loss," Kelsey Sackmann, MS, RD owner of Kelsey P. RD, tells Eat This, Not That!.
Sackman adds that prunes "have many nutritional benefits such as minerals, vitamin K, phenolic compounds, and dietary fiber—all which may be able to help counter some of these effects."
Sackmann also notes that "while prunes may be known for their superfruit status, keep in mind they can be high in sugar. Pay attention to serving sizes and try a combination of prunes with a fat or protein to prevent a spike in blood sugar."
As for how to make prunes a regular part of your diet, Sackmann says, "Prunes are such a portable, convenient snack and you can enjoy them any time of day. Toss a few prunes into your favorite trail mix, add them on top of your salad, or even sprinkle them on top of your yogurt."
Beyond that, Sackman notes that you can "try adding prunes to your pizza with arugula, roasted butternut squash, red onion, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar."
For something sweeter, "puree frozen raspberries, prunes, and yogurt for an easy frozen yogurt dessert."
To find out more about how to keep your bones strong, be sure to read This Supplement Could Be Key For Your Bone Health, New Study Suggests