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Why Prunes Are Good For You

Emma Walsh Prune

Emma is a Prune (lets see if anyone ever reads this caption. Comment below)

I have just returned from California and like The Beach Boys said it’s a place of sunshine, beaches and bikinis, but what they forgot to mention is just how delicious the fruit is in the Golden State. Whole Foods Market is always on the top of my priority list when I visit the States and this time around was no exception. While getting lost in between the isles of my favourite grocery store I came across California Prunes and thought what better time to discuss their benefits.

If you’re like me and follow the Paleo diet you have probably been told at one point or another that you’re calcium deficient, or you’re on your way there at the very least. I’m constantly reminded by my own family how important calcium is for women. While I know there are [Paleo experts] who would have some evidence to suggest that the Paleo diet provides enough calcium for the body, I still can’t help but wonder if I am getting enough in my diet to maintain good bone density.

Cows milk is the most obvious source of calcium and is one of the main products consumed in western diets to maintain a healthy skeletal system. However, after my recent [article on almond milk] I think it’s pretty clear that drinking cows milk is out of the question. So the question remaining: how can we improve and maintain good bone density without compromising our diet?

Research from Florida State University found the answer in a stone fruit tree.  In a yearlong study, postmenopausal women who ate 100 grams of prunes each day were found to have a significantly higher bone density than those who didn’t consume any prunes in the control group. Prunes were also found to help people of all ages maintain bone strength. This is no doubt great news, especially for women doing Paleo. The only issue remaining comes down to taste.

I’ll admit prunes are not exactly the first thing I reach for when I’m at the grocery store. Having said that I don’t mind eating them from time to time. Prunes are very sweet and have a raisin like texture and they’re also a great source of fibre. Now I know some people just can’t tolerate the taste so I would suggest adding them into a trail mix with almonds, pecans and pumpkin seeds to balance the strong flavour.

An important side note is that prunes along with many other dried fruits have been known to remedy constipation. So a little forewarning: if you eat too much they may have a laxative effect.

The side effect of eating too many prunes is less than appealing but for the ladies among us, if you are willing to experiment and slip them into your diet you may just reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.

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