Did you know March is Nutrition Month? It’s the one month of the year that us dietitians find even more reasons to celebrate food and share our passion for nutrition and healthy lifestyles. With this year’s Nutrition Month theme ‘Unlock the Potential of Food’, I’ve had the opportunity to partner with the California Dried Plum Board to learn more about a food that I will be the first to admit I’ve not given enough attention to – prunes! Traditionally known to support digestive health (I can still remember prune juice being a staple on my late grandmother’s grocery list because it “helped her go”..lol!), prunes are now being considered “The Whole Package” when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. During my research about this powerhouse food, I discovered a few crave-worthy facts:
- Eating just one daily serving of 5-6 prunes supports bone health by providing a source of important bone building nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin K1. In fact, several studies have shown promising results about how adding prunes to your diet can help prevent age-related bone loss2,3. Click here to check out more details about the research that shows how adding prunes to your diet can help your bones.
Did you know, eating just one daily serving of 5-6 prunes supports bone health?
2. Prunes are high in dietary fibre and low on the glycemic index (a rating system for how quickly foods containing carbohydrate will raise your blood sugar) – combined, these nutritional nuggets help manage blood sugar levels and keep your energy steady through a busy day.
3. Prunes are actually dried plums! As a dietitian and fan of both fresh plums and all dried fruits, I can’t believe I didn’t know this! This fascinating fact has spurred my creative culinary juices to add prunes into my diet more often. Keep reading for tips and ideas on how you can unlock the potential of prunes (aka dried plums) along with me.
3 Easy Ways to Fit Prunes (aka Dried Plums) into your Day:
In the past month, I have experimented with prunes in a number of ways and discovered these top three craveable ways to fit them into my day:
1: Pack-Ahead Portable Snack
In less than 30-seconds, I was able to pack some prunes into a small reusable container and throw them in my snack bag. A source of dietary fibre, a serving of 5-6 prunes (40g) is only 100 calories (not to mention they are naturally sweet and contain no added sugar).
2: Mix up your Meals
Prunes add rich flavour and texture to a variety of foods. I gave them a try a few ways this month – as a topping on salads, cereal, yogurt, and chopped into baked goods. I am happy to report that my taste buds were satisfied with every bite.
3: Anytime of Day Parfait!
Without a doubt, my favourite prune recipe is the Anytime of Day Parfait. To me, parfaits are one of the best food inventions around – yogurt, fruit, granola in a multitude of combinations – yum! My newly founded love for prunes had me craving this parfait a few times throughout the month and I was happy to receive some enthusiastic thumbs up when I shared it with coworkers and clients. I made a few tweaks to create this recipe version with fresh mango, vanilla coconut granola, and pure maple syrup.
WHAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE?
I hope you enjoyed learning how to unlock the potential of prunes as much as I have! Without a doubt, these tasty nutrient-packed morsels that support bone, heart, and digestive health are becoming a staple in my diet (my grandmother would have been proud to hear this!). I’m on a mission to create even more recipes including California prunes. Be sure to ‘Like’ our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter page to be the first to see when new recipes are posted.
Please note: This blog post is sponsored by California Dried Plum Board. All opinions are my own.
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1. Health Canada (2018). Canadian Nutrient File. https://food-nutrition.canada.ca/cnf-fce/report-rapport.do
2. Wallace, T. C. (2017). Dried Plums, Prunes and Bone Health: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients, 9(4), 401. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu9040401
3. Arimandi, B.H. et al (2002). Dried plums improve indices of bone formation in postmenopausal women. J Womens Health Gend Based Med, 11(1), 61-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11860726