Feel It in Your Bones: How Prunes Can Help Boost Bone Health
The importance of maintaining good bone health, plus the numerous benefits of adding nutrient-packed California Prunes to your diet.
When looking after our well-being, we consider our heart health, oral health and skin health—but we often forget about our bone health. As we age, our bones become weaker, and they’re more at risk of breaking from little accidents. For women, this typically occurs around menopause when estrogen levels lower, and can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. But we can boost the health of our bones with simple everyday lifestyle tweaks—like resistance training exercises and incorporating more nutrient-rich foods into our diet.
According to Dr. Nanci Guest, a registered dietitian in Toronto, “Like muscles, bones are living tissues that become stronger in response to exercise. When we exercise, our bones experience mechanical stress, which prompts bone tissue to increase in density and strength. Resistance exercises (like weights, bands and power yoga) and concussive exercises (such as running, jumping, basketball, and even hopscotch) are effective in increasing bone density and strength. Eating more foods rich in micronutrients can also help proactively prevent bone loss and osteoporosis. Try consuming bone-boosting vitamin K, potassium and boron—which conveniently are all found in prunes.”
Now, you probably know that prunes (or prune juice) are particularly helpful to reach for when experiencing digestive woes. (Have constipation? They contain fibre, which will help keep things moving!) But here’s what you may not know: This naturally sweet, chewy dried fruit is loaded with vitamins and minerals that support bone and overall health. They’re high in potassium, which contributes to normal muscle function and contractions, and they also help improve digestion, heart rhythm, nerve impulses and blood pressure. Prunes are a source of manganese, which assists with the body’s formation of connective tissue, and is a good source of iron and copper, which helps transport iron throughout the body. Looking for more? Prunes help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, and decrease risks of cardiovascular disease and blood clotting.
To reap their many health benefits, a single serving of prunes (about five to six a day) per day should be all you need—and this can be enough to help slow and even prevent bone loss in post-menopausal women, including those with osteoporosis.
So, how do you find the best prunes? California is where you want your prunes to come from. The state has world-famous growing conditions for prunes and has some of the highest quality agricultural standards of any other state or country. So, it’s no surprise that California Prunes are the superior dried fruit for not just quality, but also taste and texture. Meaning, they’re everything you could want in a prune: they’re chewy, moist, sticky, and taste naturally sweet and earthy.
California Prunes contain all the aforementioned vitamins and minerals, as well as vitamin K and manganese, two nutrients that support the maintenance of healthy bones. They’re also rich in phenolic compounds, which may inhibit bone resorption and stimulate bone formation. Plus, California Prunes have no added sugar, cholesterol, sodium, or fat.
Prunes are extremely versatile and can seamlessly be integrated into your lifestyle. For example, you can:
- Eat them whole as a snack
- Add chopped prunes as a topping to oatmeal, granola, or salad
- Create a prune purée and use it as a swap for butter or sugar in baked goods
- Simmer them in sauces for a rich-taste and flavour boost
Looking for something sweet? For a bite-sized snack that works well as a pre-workout or afternoon treat, try No-Bake California Prune Power Balls. This simple recipe requires just six ingredients and features a sweet taste that’s teamed with a wonderfully crispy texture. The recipe calls for not just prunes but almond butter and sunflower seeds, too, which are a rich source of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus and calcium, offering further support of healthy bones.
Source: California Prunes
Prefer a savoury dish? Try an easy weeknight dinner recipe for California Prunes, Chicken & Butterbean Stew. This protein-rich dish includes flavourful beans and a handful of greens for an extra dose of vitamin K and calcium, which are also good for your heart. In other words, this is truly a heart-warming dinner!
For premium-quality prunes, look for packaging that says “Product of USA” or “Product of California” to ensure premium quality prunes. For more information, nutrition facts, and bone-building recipes visit californiaprunes.ca.