A diet that has an abundance of fruits and vegetables may offer you some protection against certain types of cancer and other diseases. It has been established that a balanced diet should contain fresh fruits and vegetables. Here Dr. Joseph Mercola, Mercola.com, reflects on the many potential health benefits of prune juice:
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“When summer comes around, so do fresh and in-season plums.1 You can eat them on their own or with desserts, or you can consider drying these delicious fruits so you’ll have some prunes in stock. Prunes usually refer to dried European plums (Prunus domestica), although they can also come from other plum varieties.2
Prunes and prune juice have been linked to multiple health benefits, especially to your digestive system. Continue reading if you’re curious about their potential.
What is prune juice?
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Prune juice is a sweet beverage made from dried plums. It is available at supermarkets, but you can also try finding someone selling organic prune juice.3 Prune juice isn’t the same as newly squeezed or prepared juice, since it’s made from dried plums.
Manufacturers typically utilize the disintegration method to make this drink because it produces higher quantities of better-flavored juice compared to the diffusion method. The disintegration method involves the following steps:4,5
- Cooking in water — Washed prunes are immersed in water. This process can take as long as eight hours or as short as 10 minutes if a pressure cooker is used.
- Juice separation — This is done using high-speed centrifugation or a hydraulic press that discards the pulp.
- Clarification or additional filtration — Clarification involves letting the juice’s solids gather and then separating them from the resulting clear liquid. In other cases, the drink is passed through another filter press or centrifugation method.
- Juice concentration — The clear juice is placed in surge tanks and exposed to heat in open vats or under a vacuum so it will be further concentrated.
- Additional heating — Concentrated prune juice is heated in a heat exchanger at 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Manufacturers may also add citric acid at this stage to increase the juice’s tartness.
- Packaging — Prune juice placed in cans or bottles are either seamed or capped. The packaged juice is cooled, and passed through a tunnel with an air curtain to help dry the container and eliminate water that may be in the product. If the prune juice was canned, it goes through a washer to clean liquid that may be on the outside.
10 health benefits of prune juice
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You can find valuable nutrients in prunes, and some of them may carry over to prune juice, including amino acids, vitamins A and K, B vitamins, dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. A 2011 Journal of Medicinal Plants Research article highlighted that prunes are linked to anxiolytic and antihyperlipedemic properties.6 Researchers have also concluded that various forms of prunes (fruits, juice, powder or extract) may help:
- Address jaundice and hepatitis — In traditional medicine, prune juice helped relieve these concerns. To make the drink, prunes were soaked overnight in a glass of water, and then consumed the next morning.7
- Lower blood pressure levels — Consumption of prunes or prune juice was associated with decreased blood pressure levels, which may promote cardiovascular health.8
- Decrease atherosclerosis risk — According to results of an animal study, prune powder helped slow down the onset of atherosclerosis (arterial plaque build-up9) in mice.10
- Improve bone health — Animal and cell studies highlighted that prunes and their extracts may aid with bone development11 and help reduce bone resorption.12 The fruits’ boron content may also lower osteoporosis risk.13
- Promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities — Prunes contain phenolics,14 hydroxycinnamic acids, benzoic acids, coumarins, lignans and flavonoids that may work as reliable antioxidants.15 Another study revealed that prune polyphenols delivered antioxidative and anti-inflammatory abilities when exposed to heavily oxidized cells.16
- Manage weight — In a study conducted by University of Liverpool researchers, subjects lost weight and had slimmer waistlines after they included prunes in their diet.17
- Stimulate satiety and lower glucose levels — Subjects who ate prunes fared better than those who consumed cookies, since they had reduced glucose levels, and possibly, higher concentrations of satiety-promoting hormones.18
- Inhibit obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular conditions — These benefits are connected to prunes’ abilities to promote satiety and lessen your food intake.19
- Reduce risk for liver problems — Prunes may lower the amount of the liver enzymes serum alanine transaminase and serum alkaline phosphatase.20 High amounts of these substances may increase your risk of liver inflammation or damage.21
- Exhibit better outcomes against colon cancer risk factors — After rats were fed prune powder, their bodies had fewer amounts of substances that were considered precursors to colon cancer. However, the powder did not lessen the amount of cancer lesions that appeared.22
Is drinking prune juice ideal for constipation?
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People suffering from mild constipation may use prune juice to their advantage. Findings showed that drinking prune juice caused a mild laxative effect among adults and that it may serve as an alternative to conventional laxatives.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://foodfacts.mercola.com/prune-juice.html
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