The humble prune achieves superfruit status

From today, the prune can shake off any old fashioned associations and claim its rightful position as a modern day ‘Superfood’, following an announcement from nutritional consultant and Health Journalist of the Year, Michael van Straten – who originally coined the term ‘Superfood’ in the lates Compelling and conclusive scientific studies prove that prunes are packed with a powerful combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In fact, researchers* have discovered that prunes contain significantly more nutrients than any fresh fruit. Quite simply, the nation need only eat five prunes a day to get an optimum delivery of essential heath-enhancing nutrients. Sunsweet Prunes, the world’s largest handler - processing more than 100,000 tons of prunes a year, has welcomed the endorsement, believing it may finally help prunes shrug their previously unfashionable image and rightly give them the recognition they deserve. Prunes rank number one in antioxidant power with a massive score of 5,770*,
over all fresh fruit and vegetables. Importantly, unlike the much lauded antioxidants
found in caffeine-laden tea, prunes do not contain any traces of the stimulant, so pregnant women and insomniacs alike can safely tuck in. (Antioxidants help to fight the ageing of the body - on both the inside and outside.) The average UK diet contains only 1,300 ORAC units, less than half the recommended 3,700 units. For optimum antioxidant protection, you need 5,000 units so a handful or 4 or 5 prunes is all you need to keep your levels topped up. Prunes boost skeletal health and help prevent osteoporosis in women. Prunes
contribute to the prevention of bone loss in post-menopausal women, in studies women eating just 12 prunes a day over three months showed a marked increase in the health of Prunes contain 18 body boosting vitamins and minerals: Calcium, copper, iron,
magnesium, manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, sodium, thiamine, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin E. Prunes help to lower blood cholesterol levels. Prunes are rich in both soluble and
insoluble fibre. 60% of prunes are made up of soluble fibre which helps to lower cholesterol levels. The other 40% of insoluble fibre helps the lower intestine and has the laxative effect prunes have historically been well known for.

Nutritional Consultant and Health Journalists of the Year Michael van Straten comments:
“When it comes to vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, you’ll have to go a long way to beat prunes, and finally we have proof that they really are a wonder food. Not only do they taste great but have enormous health benefits for people of all ages.” Amanda Bishop, marketing director Europe for Sunsweet Prunes says,”We are delighted that prunes are starting to get the recognition they deserve, especially as we’ve known all along that only five prunes a day will give you all the essential vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy diet. Being a cooperative, Sunsweet represents hundreds of growers, many second and third generation prune plum farmers, so this will be equally welcomed by them too”. Prunes vs. fruit anti-oxidant score - ORAC* units per/100 grams
Red Grapes
Kiwi Fruit
Grapefruit (pink)
ORAC units per/100g
Calcium (*8 x more than banana)
Copper (*5 x more than peach)
Iron (*15 x more than apple)
nerves, muscles and heart
Magnesium (*4 x more than mango)
Manganese (*5 ½ x more than orange)
Niacin (*5 x more than plum)
- Helps maintain nerve and muscle
Pantothenic Acid (*2 x more than peach)
Phosphorus (*6 x more than pear)
Potassium (*2 x more than
Riboflavin (*5 x more than plum)
Selenium (*2 x more than pineapple)
Sodium (* 8 x more than
Thiamin (*7 x more than pear)
Vitamin A (*27 x more than apple)
Vitamin B6 (*12 x more than
Vitamin C
Vitamin E (*20 x more than banana)
Zinc (*11 x more than mango)
*ORAC - Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity is a test tube analysis that measures the total antioxidant power of foods and other chemical substances per 100g. Antioxidant Analysis from the Human Nutrition Centre at Tufts University in Boston, USA. *Oklahoma State University studies showed that women who ate 12 prunes for three months had significant increases in serum markers of bone formation, including levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and serum BSAP 9bone specific alkaline phosphates) activity. Find out all you need to know about ORAC in ‘The Oracle Diet’ by Michael van Straten, published by Kyle Cathie Ltd


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