PrunesOf all things, really?
Now that you’ve picked up a spoon, and added some prunes! Soak them down, and eat them up :-D
What’s with the stigma? Afterall, prunes are just dried out plums lol and they’re just what your body needs for your second day of “Breaking the Fast.” Why? Prunes are a good source of energy! And possibly due to their high fiber, fructose, and sorbitol content, they don’t give rise to a rapid hike in blood sugar concentration, helping your body to regulate the sugar-intake coursing through your system from the watermelon you had yesterday lol
1. Digestive Aid
Now that you’ve cleansed your GI tract, it’s time to start packing that colon with the healthy, highly digestible fiber found in prunes! This will also keep you feeling fuller, longer, as you begin to transition back into a whole-food diet. Prunes are a type of plum. They differ from other plums because of their high sugar content, which allows them to be dried without fermenting. For this reason, prunes retain a significant amount of vitamins and minerals that the whole fruit provides!
2. Controls the Urge
An overactive bladder can be embarrassing to deal with, especially after drinking an entire gallon for three days, followed by increasing your daily water intake to half your body’s weight in ounces. Adding fiber to your diet can help. Oftentimes, constipation from lack of fiber can have a negative effect on bladder function and increase the frequency of urination.
3. Aids Normal Body Function
Prunes are a good source of potassium, an electrolyte that assists in a variety of vital bodily functions. This mineral helps with digestion, heart rhythm, nerve impulses, and muscle contractions, as well as blood pressure. Since the body doesn’t naturally produce potassium, consuming prunes can help you lay a solid foundation in building your body back up.
4. Good Source of Iron
Anemia occurs when the body doesn’t have sufficient healthy red blood cells, which iron helps to make. Shortness of breath, irritability, and fatigue are all signs of mild anemia. Prunes can help prevent and treat iron deficiency.
5. Good for Bones and Muscles
According to studies, dried prunes are an important source of the mineral boron. Boron can help build strong bones and muscles. It may also help with improving mental acuity and muscle coordination. Prunes are also a good source of vitamin K and beta carotene! A 2013 study showed that an increased intake in beta carotene can actually make people happier. Beta-carotene also protects and fixes the damage of free radicals on our cells, meaning it can help reverse the signs of aging. Vitamin K works in conjunction with beta carotene to fight the signs of aging by helping to reduce bone loss and improving circulation.
6. Reduce Plaque Buildup
Plaque build up in the arteries causes atherosclerosis, a narrowing of the arteries, which can result in a shortage of oxygen and blood to the tissues of the body. If left untreated, this can lead to heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. Fortunately, research suggests that dried prunes may help slow the development of atherosclerosis. Scientists have shown that eating prunes and drinking prune juice can significantly reduce blood pressure.
7. They protect against diseases like cancer
Plums and prunes not only protect the brain from free radical damage but can also help to prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Prunes and plums contain high levels of phytonutrients called phenols. They’re particularly high in two unique phytonutrients called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid. Numerous studies show that these phytonutrients help to prevent damage to cells particularly when it comes to the oxidation of fat molecules in the body. Since all of our cell membranes, as well as our brain cells, are largely made up of fat, these are important phytonutrients to have in the diet. These compounds have also been found to inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the body making them an important factor in the prevention of chronic diseases.
8. Prunes and plums help to lower cholesterol
Soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol by soaking up excess bile in the intestine and then excreting it. Bile is made from cholesterol in the liver in order to digest fat. When the body excretes bile along with the fibre from prunes and plums, the liver must use cholesterol in the body to make more bile thereby lowering the amount in circulation in the body. Soluble fibre may also inhibit the amount of cholesterol manufactured by the liver in the first place. A 2011 study found that prunes are more effective than psyllium fiber at relieving constipation.
9. Regulate Food Intake
Prunes are high in soluble fiber that helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. Soluble fiber slows the rate that food leaves the stomach and, as a result, delays the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. Soluble fiber also increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Prunes can also help you manage your weight by keeping you feeling fuller, longer. One study found that eating dried plums as a snack can suppress hunger for longer than a low-fat cookie :-)
Now you see why it’s important to include prunes in your second day, transitioning back to eating whole-foods: it’ll put a cap on those cravings, while reducing the (sometimes) overwhelming tendency to overeat that often comes naturally at the end of the fasting period. And if that’s not enough, it packs a ton of health benefits to aid in the overall building back up of your body. Glory to God in the highest!