Prune juice – it is something you were probably given as a child, as a home remedy for constipation. Perhaps you haven’t given prune juice a second thought since becoming an adult…
…but really, you should, prune juice (if consumed in moderation) actually does have a plenty of benefits for the body, and especially for the digestive system.
In this article, we will see just why you should consider prune juice. But first,
Table of Contents
- 1 What is prune juice?
- 2 Health Benefits of Prune Juice
- 3 Prune juice is good for your digestion
- 4 It acts as a cure for anemia
- 5 It strengthens your bones and muscles
- 6 It helps you control your bladder function better
- 7 It helps build connective tissue
- 8 It prevents heart attack and stroke
- 9 Homemade Prune Juice Recipe
- 10 INGREDIENTS:
- 11 INSTRUCTIONS:
- 12 Side Effects and Caution
- 13 Frequently Asked Questions
- 14 Is prune juice good for you?
- 15 What’s the acidity of prune juice?
- 16 Can I give my baby some prune juice?
- 17 Is prune juice rich in Vitamin K?
- 18 Is prune juice good for detoxification?
- 19 Can prune juice give me gas?
- 20 Can I freeze prune juice?
- 21 Can prune juice cause dehydration?
- 22 Is prune juice good for diabetics?
- 23 What is the best brand of prune juice?
- 24 How fast can I expect prune juice to work?
- 25 Final Thoughts
- 26 Links and References for Further Reading:
- 27 Related Posts
What is prune juice?
Prune juice comes from prunes, which are basically dried plums.
The prune juice most of us are probably going to purchase is made from the plum variety called “prunus domestica”. This is the plum that is commonly grown in the west. Plums have an intensely sweet flavor and a chewy texture. Plums were first dried in the Middle East, but today dried plums are commonly produced in California.
Preparing your own home made prune juice is also not very hard. The prune is first squashed and dissolved in hot water, and then strained to get rid of the pits, seeds and seeds. There’s is a complete recipe further below.
A cup of prune juice has 182 calories, 1.56 grams of protein, very little fat and 45 grams of carbohydrates – which includes 42 grams of natural sugar and 2.6 grams of fiber.
I have to stop here and make a disclaimer. For many people, even for healthy people, 42 grams of sugar is way too much.
In particular if you are overweight, if you have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, this is simply a kind of juice to stay away from, or to drink small amounts of it.
Prune juice delivers 10 percent of your daily requirement for fiber, 17 percent of the iron, 11 percent of the vitamins C and K, and 20 percent of potassium that you need on a daily basis.
Health Benefits of Prune Juice
Despite its high sugar content, prune juice has several health benefits. Let’s consider some of them.
Prune juice is good for your digestion
Prunes are rich in fiber, which is why they are a natural cure for constipation. Prune juice acts as an excellent natural laxative because it is so rich in sorbitol. Prune juice is considered to be one of the best natural treatments for chronic constipation in both adults and children.
It acts as a cure for anemia
If you have mild anemia, you should definitely take prune juice (check also this post for some vegetable juices good for anemia). Anemia occurs when the body does not have enough red blood cells. Scarcity of red blood cells is associated with the deficiency of iron in the body. Prune juice is a rich source of iron. It is one of the best natural cures for anemia for this reason.
It strengthens your bones and muscles
Prunes are a major source of the mineral boron, which is so essential for strong bones and muscles. Boron improves mental acuity. It adds flexibility and control to the muscles. Boron is one of the medications given to those suffering from osteoporosis. For this reason prune juice is given to those who lack strength in their bones and muscles.
It helps you control your bladder function better
One of the most embarrassing conditions that many people have is an inability to control their bladder. This makes them the butt of all jokes at the office or at school. Often, the inability to control the bladder function is because of constipation. Taking prune juice on a regular basis helps to clear the bowel movement, which in turn allows you to control your bladder function better.
It helps build connective tissue
Along with liver, shellfish, green vegetables, and nuts, prune juice is one of the best sources of natural copper. Copper is needed for stronger connective tissue and bone production, as well as for melanin creation in the skin. It also helps eliminate free radicals and is an element necessary for iron absorption, blood cells production, heart rate regulation, prevention of prostate inflammation, and overall good immune function. As a trace element, you won’t need it much, but it is essential.
It prevents heart attack and stroke
One of the biggest causes of heart attack and stroke is the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque buildup results in the narrowing of the arteries, which affects the flow of blood to the heart. When the blood does not flow easily to the heart, the heart does not receive enough oxygen. When this occurs, heart attacks and stroke are but a natural consequence. Scientists believe that eating prune or drinking prune juice slows down the buildup of plaque in the arteries, a process called atherosclerosis. Drinking prune juice is also believed to lower the blood pressure. That’s why it may be surmised that drinking prune juice can help prevent heart attacks and stroke.
Homemade Prune Juice Recipe
Making prune juice at home is not very difficult. Here is a set of simple instructions for two liters of home-made prune juice.
- 2 cup dried prunes
- 10 cups water
- Get rid of the pits from prunes.
- Boil the prepared 10 cups of water.
- Pour some of the boiled water over the prunes in a heat-proof container. The prunes should be well covered with water. Allow them to soak in it for 24 hours.
- The next day, use a blender to make a smooth mix of the prunes together with the water they were soaking in.
- Pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the pulp and larger pieces.
- Add the remaining water to the juice and stir well.
- Congratulations! You have prepared a homemade prune juice. Keep it in the fridge for up to 30 days, and you will have an excellent source of quality prune juice for your daily needs.
Side Effects and Caution
In addition to the concerns related to higher sugar content, prune juice has a couple of other possible side effects.
Prunes contain some amounts of histamine. It is not likely that you will develop allergy to prunes just from drinking the juice. But, if you already have allergic reactions of any kind, consuming foods with histamine is not the best choice.
Dr Thomas Amrein from the Zurich’s Institute of Food Science and Nutrition suggests that a carcinogen substance called acrylamide, which is routinely found in potato chips and French fries, is also present in dried pears and dried prunes. The amount can be surprisingly large. This is good to keep in mind, but it may be of little significance if you eat a diet of fresh whole foods. If you, however, feast on potato chips and French fries, limit your consumption of prune juice.
One obvious and logical sign of warning, is never to drink prune juice in those cases where you experience diarrhea.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is prune juice good for you?
Yes, in small quantities, especially if have constipation. If you are overweight, the sugar content might be a problem.
What’s the acidity of prune juice?
With a pH level of around 4, Prune juice can be considered an acidic drink. While most of the fruits we normally eat are alkaline, plums, prunes, and cranberries and their juices are acidic. So, beware the possible acid reflux if you are sensitive to it.
Can I give my baby some prune juice?
Any type of juice, including prune juice shouldn’t be given to babies until they are at least 6 months old. Prior to that age, their digestive system isn’t ready to digest prune juice.
Is prune juice rich in Vitamin K?
Not overly rich. Based on a 200 calories serving, canned prune juice contains about 10 micrograms of Vitamin K. For example, the same serving of Blackberry juice contains 8 times the amount of Vitamin K.
Is prune juice good for detoxification?
The prunes as such may help with detoxification more, primarily due to their fiber content. But the juice is not that rich in fiber, as the part of the pulp is removed from the juice.
Can prune juice give me gas?
Yes, the fiber content can cause intestinal gas, and unwanted cramping in some people.
Can I freeze prune juice?
Yes, you can keep your prune juice frozen for up to a month.
Can prune juice cause dehydration?
Only if you are on a prune juice diet. This type of cleansing diet may cause dehydration. It may not be the healthiest diet of all, so talk to your doctor before trying it. Otherwise, moderate consumption of prune juice is not a problem.
Is prune juice good for diabetics?
No, definitely not. Fruit juices in general are not good. Prune juice contains quite a bit of sugar, so it should be avoided in case of diabetes.
By far the best is your own homemade prune juice. Especially if you can make it with quality mineral water and organic prunes. Otherwise if you have to buy it, try the Sunsweet brand.
How fast can I expect prune juice to work?
How long it will take depends on your body. It could take an hour or who, Warm prune juice could be even more effective. Experiment with the quantity to find out how much is enough for your body type. Too much could be counterproductive.
We have discussed the most important health benefits of prune juice. This juice obtained from the prune fruits, has more than 20 important nutrients and an one of the kind combination of minerals and antioxidants.
You should make your own juice or buy organic juice without added sugar.
It may surprise you to know that it tastes great too. Use it in moderation though. Because of its high sugar content, I don’t recommend making a habit of taking prune juice every day.
Links and References for Further Reading:
Laxative Effect of Sorbitol
Copper in prunes
Why is copper good for you
Prune juice can slow the development of atherosclerosis
Acrylamid in prunes and other dried foods
Photo 3 by HannahWebb