Understanding Osteoporosis: The Benefits of Dried Plums

Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint. It was originally published March 27, 2017.

Understanding Osteoporosis and the Benefits of Dried Plums

If you know anyone with osteoporosis, you may be familiar with some of the more overt signs, such as broken bones, weak grip strength, or back pain. People with this condition may develop a “stooped” posture or even become shorter because their bones are literally being compressed.

However, there’s good news on the horizon. A study revealed dramatic and positive effects from dried plums. Scientists found that “dried plum not only protects against but more importantly reverses bone loss in two separate models of osteopenia,” another name for bone loss and the forerunner of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis affects both males and females, although more women than men. One study describes it as a “debilitating disorder” exacerbated by age. Aside from existing drug therapies, certain lifestyle and nutritional factors are known to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

A three-month clinical trial indicated that the consumption of dried plum daily by postmenopausal women significantly increased serum markers of bone formation. Researcher Bahram H. Arjmandi, Ph.D., from Florida State University, highlighted the exceptional bone health benefits of dried plums, stating that no other fruit he had examined had a similar effect on bone density.

Plum History and Description

Closely related to apricots, peaches, and almonds, plums are an ancient fruit believed to have originated in China. Prunes, which are dried plums, offer concentrated nutrients and antioxidants. The high sugar content in plums allows them to be dried without fermentation, retaining essential vitamins and minerals.

A Comparison of Nutritional Attributes Between Plums and Prunes

Prunes contain significantly higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals compared to fresh plums. They are also rich in antioxidants, beneficial for skin health and vision.

Fiber: Good for Gut Health and Colorectal Cancer Prevention

In addition to promoting bone health, dried plums can lower the risk of colon cancer due to their fiber content and natural chemicals that aid digestion. Prunes are more effective than psyllium as a laxative and contribute to gut microbiota balance.

More Benefits From Plums and Prunes

Regular consumption of stewed prunes can help alleviate constipation, prevent stomach pain, and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Studies have shown that dried plums maintain good gut bacteria, which plays a role in colon cancer prevention.

Fructose in Plums and Prunes

While plums and prunes offer numerous health benefits, moderation is key due to their high sugar content. Prunes are high in natural sugar and should be consumed in moderation to avoid weight-related issues.

Overall, plums and prunes provide a range of health benefits, from improving bone density to supporting gut health and preventing colorectal cancer. Incorporating these nutrient-rich fruits into your diet can have significant positive impacts on your overall wellness.

For the full article, visit: Dr. Mercola.

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