Prunes’a.k.a. dried plums’are in the spotlight due to their superior bone-building ability. Researchers at Florida State University showed that this often taken-for-granted dried fruit can improve bone health in people of all ages.
The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, tested postmenopausal women over 12 months. One group ate about 10 prunes per day, while a second group consumed an equivalent amount of dried apple. (All the study’s participants, also took calcium and vitamin D supplements daily.) The results showed that the women who consumed prunes had significantly higher bone mineral density than the apple-eating control group.
According to the researchers, this bone-maintaining effect is in part due to the ability of prunes to suppress the rate of bone breakdown. They suggest eating two to three prunes per day, and gradually increasing to six to 10 per day.
My favourite (unexpected) way to eat prunes is to add three or four chopped ones to a peanut butter on multi-grain bread sandwich’a quick-to-make, healthy lunch. You can also add chopped prunes to a fruit crumble or crisp, toss in a salad or mix into morning oatmeal. or use pureed prunes to replace up to a third of the fat in muffins or loaves. Prunes are also great stuffed into a pork loin roast or added to a lamb tagine.
What are your creative ways to use prunes?