Prune power for bone health, and more

By Sari Huhtala

Move over kale! There’s a new superfood kid on the block – and it’s not just for grandpa any more, despite the fact researchers are touting its potential to slow the progression of osteoporosis and build better bones.

Behold the humble prune. The last time I heard anyone touting the benefits of prunes was in the maternity ward after childbirth, that is, until I walked into a health food store not long ago and a sign was shouting “Prunes are a superfood!” so I had to investigate.

Prunes had never even registered as a superfood on my radar until that day. As research revealed, they were right. Prunes deserve to be in the spotlight for their medicinal magic, and not just their laxative effect.

Three to four prunes provides you with: eight per cent of your daily fibre needs, essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, potassium, B6, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin A, Omega 3 and 6 and a hit of antioxidants.

Scientists published an article in Aging Research Reviews citing a three-month clinical trial that showed when postmenopausal women consumed prunes daily it “significantly” increased serum markers of bone formation, as well as alkaline phosphatase, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and insulin-like growth factor. Based on clinical trials and data, dried plum, or prunes, is the most effective fruit in preventing and potentially reversing bone loss, according to researchers.

A 2017 study in the medical journal Nutrients echoed similar findings. Researchers found, in their clinical trial, when postmenopausal women (who were not receiving hormone replacement therapy) consumed two servings of prunes daily (about 10 prunes per day) bone mineral density improved. This is due to the prune’s unique nutrient profile, they say.

Sari Huhtala is the publisher and editor of Alive and Fit Magazine. She is a mother of 3 adult children. She has spent over 20 years navigating a healthy path for her family, one health hack at a time, as a single mom feeding her kids healthy on a shoestring budget. She has over 15 years experience as a certified fitness specialist and personal trainer, 10 years experience as a reiki practitioner, as well as and over 25 years experience in journalism.

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