Prunes are dried plums which have been used as a home remedy for digestive problems. This dried fruit helps with constipation due to couples of main contained substances; soluble fiber, sorbitol, and a laxative compound called diphenyl isatin. This is the reason why this dark-colored dried plums have been widely known and consumed for improving digestion in children and adults. In addition to promoting healthy digestion, prunes are said to assists the body in minimizing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and other chronic illnesses. Regarding this, prunes are believed to possess a close relation to blood cholesterol level.
Do prunes lower cholesterol?
Prunes and plums are loaded with high level of soluble fiber, a compound which is important to regulate blood sugar level. There are some ways wherein prunes help maintain cholesterol level in the bloodstream and prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases:
- Soluble fiber contained by prunes is helpful in keeping blood sugar level under control. Soluble fiber slows down the rate foods living the stomach—when it does, it is defined to have a low glycemic index. Foods with low glycemic index are processed gradually and thus, do not cause excessive elevation to blood sugar level.
- Soluble fiber promotes the production of insulin by the body. This is a response of body’s gradual process of the foods inside the stomach. Hence, cardiovascular disease can be avoided.
- Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol by binding with excess bile in the intestine and excrete it afterwards. Bile inside the bloodstream are made of cholesterol produced by the liver and taken from the foods we consumed. Since the excess bile is disposed by the soluble fiber from prunes and plums, the liver must use cholesterol existing in the body to make more bile. As a result, there is lower cholesterol level in the bloodstream.
- Soluble fiber inhibits production of cholesterol inside the liver better than cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as steroids. When the liver produces less cholesterol, high level of LDL and triglycerides are found in the bloodstream.
Other benefits of prunes
Considered as a super food, there are some other benefits derived from sufficient consumption of this dried plums, such as:
- Preventing type-2 diabetes, which is possible since the high level of soluble fiber regulates the level of insulin well inside the body. This dried plums also helps maintaining blood sugar level, which is crucial in diabetes sufferer.
- Reducing the risk of osteoporosis, as the fruit is loaded with high level of flavonoids and phenoics, in addition to high soluble fiber. These two compounds are essential in synthetizing calcium needed for bones health.
- Slowing down aging by protecting skin cells from free radicals—limited oxygen supply in skin cells, since prunes is loaded with beta carotene and vitamin K. these substances also play a role as a potent antioxidant, which is important for skin beauty and health and collagen production.
- Improving digestion, since the fruit is loaded with soluble fiber. It prevents severe constipation. In addition, high level of contained soluble fiber is also beneficial for weight loss, as it gives the feeling of full and prevents the body from craving for snacks and more foods.