A Plum Or A Prune? Which One Is Healthier For You?

First and foremost, although plums and prunes look very different, there isn’t much of a difference in between them. Plums belong to the genus Prunus that have single-seeded fruits like cherries, peaches, and plums. While a prune is nothing but a dried plum.

Which One’s Better, Nutritionally?

nutritional values of plums and prunes

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100g of plums contain:1

  • Calories- 46
  • Total Fat- 0.3g (0% of Daily Value)
  • Total Carbohydrate- 11g (4% of Daily Value)
  • Dietary Fiber- 1.4g (6% of Daily Value)
  • Sugar- 9.9g
  • Protein- 0.7g 1 % of DV
  • Vitamin A- 7 % of DV
  • Vitamin C- 16 % of DV
  • Calcium- 1 % of DV
  • Iron- 1 % of DV

Whereas, 100g of prunes or dried plums have:2

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  • Calories- 339
  • Total Fat- 0.7g (1% of DV)
  • Saturated Fat- 0.1g (0% of DV)
  • Sodium- 5mg (0% of DV)
  • Total Carbohydrate- 89g (3O% of DV)
  • Protein- 3.7g (7 % of DV)
  • Vitamin A- 35% of DV
  • Vitamin C- 0% of DV
  • Calcium- 7% of DV
  • Iron- 20% of DV

Comparing The Health Benefits Of Plums and Prunes

1. Effect Against Free Radical Damage

plums and prunes are rich in antioxidants

Raw plums are a rich source of vitamin C, beta-carotenes, and other antioxidants. The riper the plum, higher its antioxidant properties. Studies have proven that this property can help in protecting the body against free-radical damage and other oxidative stresses. This means having plums regularly can reduce the risk of cancer and delay the aging-related processes in the body.3

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Although dried plums are not rich in vitamin C, they are loaded with vitamin A and other polyphenolic compounds. Studies have also found that prunes also have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.4

2. Natural Laxative Properties

prunes have a higher laxative effect than plums

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Researchers have found that consumption of prunes can treat functional constipation better than psyllium husk. This is mainly because dried plums have high dietary fiber, sorbitol and polyphenol content. Although people with irritable bowel syndrome should not have prunes in excess as they can induce abdominal discomfort and bloating.5The higher sorbitol and dietary content in prunes when compared to plums, give them a more effective laxative action.

The high fiber content in both plums and prunes make them good choices for people on diets as they are more likely to feel full for longer periods.

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3. Cardioprotective Effects

plums and prunes are healthy for the heart

Both plums and prunes have been extensively researched for their effect on serum cholesterol levels. Studies have found that individuals who consumed both regularly showed a decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and a spike in HDL (good) cholesterol. Both atherogenic and pro-inflammatory agents were found to decrease, thereby preventing the onset and progression of cardiovascular disorders.6 7

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4. Bone Repair And Regenerative Abilities

alt text; plums and prunes are good for bones

Long-term studies have proven that dried plums can reverse bone resorption even in conditions like osteopenia and osteoporosis due to their high calcium, phosphorus and potassium content. Even in post-menopausal women, daily intake of dried plums significantly increased serum markers of bone formation like total alkaline phosphatase, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and insulin-like growth factors.8

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5. Maintenance Of Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

plums and prunes are low in glycemic index

Although many studies claim that plums are low glycemic index foods and can regulate blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetic, it should be eaten in moderation.9The American Diabetes Association recommends diabetics to consume fresh fruit instead of juice or sweetened varieties to avoid spiking their blood sugar levels.

Unsweetened dried plums, on the other hand, may not have added sugar but because they are devoid of water, they are concentrated sources of calories and carbohydrates.10

Finally, both plums and prunes fair equally well on all the above health benefits. Except for the fact that dried plums are better than fresh plums for constipation, there isn’t a significant difference in between them.

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