As a dietitian, I try to provide guidance on food choices, meal timing, and quantities that fit within my clients’ salary and calorie caps. Being on the go, having minimal time to shop and prep makes foods that are non-perishable of great value. And if those foods have health benefits in addition to a long shelf life and great taste, it’s a home run.
That is exactly why prunes are in my kitchen and a recommendation for my clients shopping list. I spend a lot of time with active individuals who rely on their body to perform at an optimal level every day. In addition, I need to safeguard the health of my athletes, and protect them from products that may be banned, or cause adverse side effects. Foods that have therapeutic benefits are far more appealing and much safer. An athlete needs to have a strong and functioning core as well as supporting structure. California prunes have a role to play in helping with digestive health, and they are a food- not a supplement. Prunes also can help with heart health- helping to lower CRP- a measure of inflammation, blood glucose control in part due to the soluble fiber as well as having a low glycemic index resulting in a slower rise in blood sugar, help with satiety in keeping one feeling fuller for longer and have been shown to have a positive effect on bone health which is very attractive to active people. Plus, they are portable and quite versatile.
California prunes are a nutritional powerhouse providing sorbitol and fiber which may positively impact the gut microbiota, fructooligosaccharides( FOS) which function as prebiotics to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, bioactives- the polyphenols chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and rutin which may positively impact bone health, and the mineral potassium, boron and magnesium as well as Vitamin D which can all be beneficial for bone health.
Prunes can be added to oatmeal, a trail mix, rice pilaf and even a smoothie. But one of my favorite ways to use them is in the Fourpoints Bar - the ONLY bar whose base is made from the goodness of California prunes. . Portable, portioned and perfect for an active lifestyle. Macronutrient, micronutrient and phytonutrients in one delicious bar can give you the fuel to go far.
Leslie Bonci, MPH,RDN,CSSD
Owner- Active Eating Advice
Spokesperson- California Prune Board