Are Prunes Good for Your Bones?  

Yes! Prunes are good for your bones for many reasons. Recent studies show that prunes protect your bones by helping to preserve their bone density.   

Prunes are good for bones because of their combination of nutrients, such as vitamin K1 and potassium, and the phenolic compounds they offer. These phenolic compounds appear to block the pathways involved with losing minerals, namely calcium, from your bones. Prunes contribute to stronger bones and your gut health.  

Additionally, prunes contain more fiber and vitamins A and K and have better free radical fighting ability than prune juice.  

Prunes positively affect the gut microorganism environment, which in turn helps preserve the strength in your bones. If you are a prune lover, keep on reading to learn more!  

Are Prunes Good for Your Bones? Infographic

Are Prunes Good for Your Bones? Infographic  

Prunes and osteoporosis

The risk for osteoporosis increases after menopause in women due to the loss of bone-protecting estrogen.   

recent study on 235 postmenopausal women found that a 50-gram serving of prunes, about six prunes, helped to preserve bone mineral density after six months of treatment, and the benefit continued after 12 months of this nutrition intervention.   

This is encouraging because the average rate of bone loss in postmenopausal women is 1% per year. You can split the six prunes into two three-count servings to have during the day.   

If that sounds like too many prunes for you, but you still enjoy them, have them as often as you like. And there are many other fruits that are beneficial for your bones!  

Prunes for bone health  

Like many fruits, prunes are good sources of potassium. Prunes contribute 7% of the RDA for potassium. Prunes contain 15 grams of carbs in a three-count serving but no added sugars.  

If you are wondering if plums have the same benefit on bones, they do not. Prunes have more phenolic compounds than fresh plums. Still, plums are good for your overall health, so there are plenty of reasons to eat plums, too.  

Fiber in prunes   

The fiber content in a serving of prunes is 2 grams, comparable to other fruits. Many articles say prunes are high in fiber, but that is based on a 100-gram portion, which is four servings, or roughly twelve prunes!   

Since a fruit serving is based on 15 grams of carbohydrate, we used data for three prunes, which contributes 15 carb grams. The mild laxative effect of prunes may be a combination of fiber, sorbitol (a sugar alcohol) and the phenolic compounds found in prunes.  

Like prunes, prune juice may help relieve constipation. Prune juice has half the fiber that prunes do per serving; however, both prunes and prune juice have sorbitol at roughly 4 and 7 grams per 3-count and ½ cup serving, respectively.  

Women should not be too concerned about prunes causing a significant stool-softening effect unless they consume four or more servings of prunes each day, based on this review of four studies.  

An unrelated benefit to women from eating prunes regularly is that while they contain carbs, the rise in blood sugar is slow. This helps maintain a constant level of blood glucose.  

Is prune juice helpful for bones?  

Potassium and boron are two nutrients that help keep bones strong, and both are found in prunes and prune juice.  

Conclusion  

Prunes and their juices are good for your bones. They provide energy, phenolic compounds, and potassium, boron, and small amounts of other micronutrients.  

Discover other healthy bone-building foods for women in our blog. You can also check out our *free* 5-day course on 5 Staples for Quick Meals to Keep Your Bones Strong! 

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Stephanie Turkel is a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Texas. She has 30 plus years of experience in the nutrition field. She now takes her gained knowledge and shares it with you to explain science articles into easy-to-understand information.

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Grace Rivers, RDN, CDCES

Grace is a registered dietitian nutritionist residing in Texas. She has over 30 years of experience in nutrition. Grace loves translating science articles into easy-to-understand information for you.

 

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