Prune juice: It’s not just for granny anymore! This thick fruit juice can treat digestive problems, protect your heart and liver, and even strengthen your bones. That’s because prunes are simply dried plums, which means prune juice contains amazing plum benefits and more.
When you look at the staggering number of vitamins and minerals in one cup of prune juice, it’s no surprise why it’s so good for you. Prune juice is beneficial not only because of its individual nutrients, but also because of the presence of fiber along with the combination of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins found in this power juice.
Whether you’re looking for a constipation remedy or just a yummy juice to add to your diet, prune juice is the way to go.
Benefits of Prune Juice
1. Has Mild Laxative Effects to Relieve Constipation
Prune juice has long been regarded as an effective fighter against constipation, especially in the elderly population. However, constipation is a condition experienced by people of all ages, and pharmaceutical laxatives can be very dangerous if used in higher quantities. If you regularly suffer from constipation, try using natural laxatives, like prune juice, in your diet to keep your digestive system properly.
A 2008 study in the Korean Journal of Community Nutrition found that “supplementation of prune products is effective to provide energy, dietary fiber and water, and to relieve constipation symptoms for constipated adults.” Prune product supplementation helped to soften stool, increase bowel movement frequency, decrease the length of each movement and decrease the pain involved.
In addition, the Cleveland Clinic recommends drinking prune juice daily as part of a constipation-prevention diet.
At least one reason for this improvement involves the fiber in prune juice. This insoluble fiber fuels the healthy bacteria in your digestive system responsible for digestive health, known as probiotics. These bacteria must exist in large quantities within your gut in order to maintain a healthy immune system, as well as digestive tract.
Constipation is especially prevalent in the elderly, and one geriatric center in New Jersey investigated the effects of natural constipation remedies in their patients in 1980. The researchers introduced healthy dietary fiber in three forms, including prune juice, and found that they could almost completely eliminate the need for pharmaceutical laxatives in their residents. In fact, the center saved $44,000 in pharmaceutical expenses that year.
2. May Help Halt the Growth of Colon Cancer
While there’s not a huge body of research on the effects of prunes and prune juice on cancer, one study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology did find a significant effect of prune juice on colon cancer cells. The juice completely stopped the growth of one common colon cancer and induced apoptosis (cell death) in those cells. Thus, it may be a natural cancer treatment for at least one type of cancer.
3. Prevents Heart Disease
Because they’re rich in antioxidants, prunes have a great potential to prevent and slow many diseases, including coronary heart disease. Phenolic compounds in dried plums have been shown to inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (usually referred to as “bad” cholesterol), which can lead to cardiovascular disease. The potassium level in prune juice is also beneficial to long-term heart health.
Atherosclerosis is a common heart condition involving the buildup of plaque, cholesterol and other substances on the artery walls. A 2009 study from the University of Minnesota found that consuming dried plums may be an effective way to slow the spread of atherosclerosis.
Dried plums lower cholesterol by more than just antioxidant impact — the soluble fiber found in plums and dried prune products interferes with the body’s absorption of dietary cholesterol. These fibers bind to bile acids that the liver creates to help your body digest fat, which are then carried out by the fiber compounds in prunes in your stool. When your body recognizes the loss of these bile acids, the liver creates more, which results in a higher use of the cholesterol in the body.
Other methods by which prune juice is good for your heart is the high level of vitamin K, a heart-healthy vitamin that helps prevent the calcification of arteries.