Prunes vs Dates – Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, Side Effects

Prunes

These fruits belong to the plum family and they are usually sold in the form of dried fruits. They can be eaten dried as-is, however, these fruits are occasionally processed into prune juice or are stewed to make a dessert.

Nutrition Facts

They are an excellent source of essential nutrients, including – vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin K, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, riboflavin, boron, potassium, selenium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, copper, protein, magnesium, and dietary fiber.

Health Benefits

Atherosclerosis Prevention

Atherosclerosis (or hardening of the arteries) is a serious condition where the arteries become hardened or narrowed due to a build-up of plaque (usually made of fat, calcium, cellular waste, cholesterol, and fibrin) around the artery wall.

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is the main cause of mortality in the world. Many studies concluded that a regular consumption of these fruits may help slow the development of this condition.

Good For Diabetics

Diabetes, usually referred to by healthcare professionals as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic conditions in which the patient has high blood sugar levels. A large proportion of diabetes cases can be prevented by regular physical exercise, healthy diet (low-fat), avoiding tobacco use, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

The fiber content in these fantastic fruits increases insulin sensitivity, hence, it’s useful for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Colon Cancer

It is the 3rd most frequent form of cancer in the US. It occurs when tumorous growths develop in the colon. Most colorectal cancers are caused by lifestyle factors (a diet low in fiber and sedentarism) with only a small percent of cases due to genetic factors.

Intaking these dried fruits daily for 30 days completely stopped the growth of cancer and induced cell death in those cells, according to a study issued in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology.

Eye Health

These are a very good source of vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), a vitamin which is important for healthy vision. Carotenoids are a group of nutrients which are usually found in red or orange fruits and vegetable (as well as dark leafy greens) and include zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene.

Side Effects

There are no scientifically proven side effects regarding the consumption of these dried fruits. However, the presence of sorbitol makes them a natural laxative agent which can lead to the occurrence of diarrhea.

Dates

These fruits are not only a delicious treat but also a healthy addition to any whole food diet. In fact, there is archeological evidence which shows cultivation of the fruit as far back as the days of Mesopotamia.

Nutrition Facts

These dried fruits are an important source of iron, calcium, dietary fiber, natural sugars, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, magnesium, zinc, sodium, potassium, selenium, and phosphorus.

Health Benefits

Stroke

It happens due to problems with the blood supply to the brain: either a blood vessel within the brain ruptures or the blood supply is blocked, causing brain tissue to die.

Individuals at a high risk for stroke include people who have high LDL and total cholesterol, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and people who smoke tobacco. According to recent research, these fruits may lower the risk of stroke due to the high magnesium, potassium, and fiber content.

Osteoporosis

It is a bone disease which occurs when the human body makes too little bone or loses too much bone. Key risk factors for this bone condition include lack of physical exercise, a diet high in animal protein, genetics, excessive alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking.

Minerals like – manganese, selenium, magnesium, boron, and copper found in these fruits considerably contribute to healthy bone development, especially with the progression of age when bones gradually weaken.

Alzheimer’s Disease

It is a slowly progressive disease of the brain which is described by symptoms including – impairment of memory and disturbances in planning, reasoning, perception, and language.

Regular consumption of these fruits has been strongly associated with a lowered risk of neurodegenerative conditions and better cognitive performances in seniors.

Good Source Of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also referred as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin which is part of the B-complex vitamins.

Some studies concluded that sufficient pyridoxine levels are linked with improved brain performance as well as it may be able to prevent kidney stones. Moreover, vitamin B6 may reduce the risk of some types of cancer because it lessens inflammation in the body.

Side Effects

There are no scientifically proven side effects.

Prunes vs Dates – Which Have A Better Nutritional Profile?

Both these dried fruits are nutritious and healthy and should be included in your regular diet, but prunes have a better nutritional profile due to their higher content of vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin K, and copper.

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