When it comes to thinking about heart healthy foods, the humble prune is probably not at the top of your list.
But the fiber-rich prune (dried plums) should not be overlooked. While the wrinkly fruit may be the source of a few gastrointestinal jokes, they are high in nutrients and offer more nutrients than plums do.
With cardiovascular diseases one of the leading causes of death in the United States, one of the recommendations to help lower heart disease risk is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Prunes have no added sugar and can contribute to a heart healthy diet.
Two new studies sing the praises of prunes. The studies found that eating prunes every day can lower oxidative stress as well as information and also improve cholesterol levels.
The study was conducted in postmenopausal women and men aged 55 years and older. The study results showed that men had improved HDL cholesterol and total cholesterol to HDL ratio and also had a decrease in oxidative stress and the C-reactive protein, which is an inflammatory marker.
Women in the study had no negative effect on different metabolic measures related to heart disease risk including insulin levels, fasting glucose and total cholesterol levels.
These two studies build on prior research that has shown that prunes can support gut, and bone health as well as maintaining a healthy weight.