Prunes Nutrition Facts

Calories in Prunes and Their Health Benefits

Holding a prune between two fingers
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Prunes are made from plums, and in exchange for the word prune are often referred to as "dried plums." While dried plums are naturally rich in fiber, like all other dried fruit, they are high in calories and sugar because they are so concentrated. One dried plum, which is tiny in size, contain about 23 calories whereas one whole fresh plum contains only 30 calories for a much larger volume of fruit.

Therefore, it's important to be careful when consuming dried plums and make sure you stick to one serving.

Approximately 99 percent of the U.S. supply and 40 percent of the world’s supply of dried plums are produced in California. California has more than 46,000 acres planted-to-prune plum trees. There are several varieties of dried plums, the most common of which is Petit d'Agen. Dried plums are an economic food choice because they do not spoil quickly. They are available all year long and can be purchased in any grocery store.

Prunes Nutrition Facts
Serving Size about 5 prunes (47.5 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 121 
Calories from Fat 2 
Total Fat 0.2g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 368.93mg11%
Carbohydrates 32.2g11%
Dietary Fiber 3.6g14%
Sugars 19.2g 
Protein 1.1g 
Vitamin A 8% · Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 2% · Iron 3%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

One serving of dried plums is equivalent in calories to that of about two servings of fruit. Five prunes contain about 30 grams of carbohydrate (equivalent to two slices of bread). If you are following a low to moderate carbohydrate diet, it'd best to cut your serving in half (about 2 to 3 prunes).

Eating dried plums with a serving of protein can help to slow down how quickly blood sugars rise, something that is of importance for people who have diabetes.

To maximize your portion, chop your dried plums.

Prunes (Dried Plums) Health Benefits

Although dried plums are high in calories, they do contain high amounts of pectin, which is a soluble fiber. In fact, about 60 percent of the dietary fiber found in dried plums is pectin. Studies have shown that increasing intake of soluble fiber can help to lower cholesterol. In addition, dried plums contain insoluble fiber, which acts like a sponge in the large intestine, drawing in water and increasing transit time which helps to regulate bowls and reduce and treat constipation.

Dried plums are an excellent source of vitamin K and a good source of potassium, all of which support bone health. Vitamin K is also an important fat-soluble vitamin that helps to clot blood and potassium rich diets are associated with lower risk of high blood pressure.

Dried plums are also a good source of antioxidant chemicals such as phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds have been associated with lowered incidence of heart disease by protecting low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad" cholesterol) from oxidation. Phenolic compounds may also inhibit bone resorption and stimulate bone formation as well as function as antioxidants.

Common Questions About Prunes (Dried Plums)

How are dried plums produced?

Dried plums are harvested by machines to maximize efficiency. A mechanical shaker grabs a tree's main limb or its trunk and shakes the fruit onto a fabric catching frame. Next, the fruit is driven to the the dehydrator.

Freshly harvested fruit is moved to the dryers, where three pounds of fresh fruit become one pound of dried plums. After thorough washing and placement on large wooden trays, the fruit is dehydrated. The drying process concentrates the fruits flavors and reduces most of its moisture, essentially maximizing its shelf life.

 

Picking and Storing Prunes (Dried Plums)

Dried plums are packaged in one-to-two pound packages for purchase. These products should be fine in their original package for 18 months if stored away from extreme temperature and humidity. Make sure to close the container tightly after opening as dried fruits may mold if exposed to both air and high humidity.

Dried plums can also be made into prune puree can last in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Prunes

Dried plums can be eaten alone or added to cereals, hot and cold, trail mix, salads, used in baked goods, stewed for chutneys or compote, or used as a stuffing for roasted meats or poultry. Stewed prunes can also serve as a cornerstone to a healthy meal; add them to yogurt or incorporate the into main meal recipes.

Recipes With Prunes

Learn how to include dried plums into your meal plan by using them to create breakfast, snack, lunch and dessert recipes.

Sources: 

California Dried Plums. Growing and harvesting. http://www.californiadriedplums.org/about-prunes-and-dried-plums/growing-and-harvesting

Labensky, SR, Hause, AM. On Cooking: A textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. 3rd ed. Upper Sadle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003: 809-810. 

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