Prunes are a nutrient rich, natural dried fruit now backed by research showing they can aide in reducing bone loss and in-fact preserve bone density in post-menopausal women.
We all know delicious prunes can assist in keeping you and your family regular with their natural fibre content which is also great for generating healthy gut bacteria. But, prunes also have been found to reverse the effects of bone loss and promote bone formation in post-menopausal women.
Lisa Yates Advanced Practising Dietitian & Consultant Dietitian for the Australian Prune Industry Association (APIA) who reviewed the research says “Prunes contain bone-building nutrients: vitamin K, potassium, boron, sorbitol and polyphenol antioxidants, and these nutrients are different to those found in dairy. The combination shows some unexpected yet positive effects on bones.”
Clinical trials have studied the impact of post-menopausal women eating 50-100g of prunes a day for 6-12months. Post-menopause is a time when women are prone to accelerated bone loss and osteoporosis.
One particular study from 2016 found when 48 osteopenic women aged 65-79 years ate either 50g or 100g (6-12) prunes a day for 6 months – interesting changes to their bones occurred. Researchers found:
- 50g or 100g of prunes a day prevented the loss of total body bone mineral density compared to those that didn’t eat prunes at all
- biomarkers of bone resorption were decreased indicating prunes can inhibit bone breakdown.
Other studies found biomarkers of bone formation increased from regularly eating prunes.
APIA Chairperson Grant Delves states “This new bone health story is fantastic news for the Australian Prune Industry. We have always known prunes are a healthy snack for young and old alike but now they benefit both bone and digestive health.”
“Just 6 prunes (less than 100 calories) a day as a snack or a versatile ingredient in meals is enough to boost bone building nutrients and positively impact bone health, and most people found there’s no abnormal effects on bowels from eating prunes every day either,” Delves say.