Berries and avocados hog up the fruit spotlight for bursting with nutrients and being versatile at mealtimes, but you’re really doing the whole grocery haul wrong if prunes aren’t making the cut in your cart.
Don’t believe us? Amy Gorin, RD, owner of Plant-Based Eats and Sunsweet ambassador, is cheering for the underrated fruit’s comeback. “I’m in my 30s, and I eat prunes often and also cook with them frequently,” Gorin says. “And I know that I, as well as other registered dietitians, often recommend prunes to our clients because of the many health benefits.” If an entire RD friend group has a consensus on a fruit, you know it’s legit. (Did we just find your new favorite take-anywhere snack?)
But snacking isn’t the only way to enjoy them. One of the simplest ways to immediately incorporate the fiber-packed, surprisingly versatile fruit into your diet is to add it to your existing meals. Gorin recommends a morning yogurt bowl with five to six ounces of plain Greek yogurt (or a plant-based alternative of choice), a handful of muesli or whole grain cereal, and five to six prunes (Sunsweet Amaz!n™ Prunes are your go-to for stocking up on these sweet and juicy morsels at home) for an RD-approved breakfast of champs.
If you still need some convincing on the dried purple fruit, Gorin’s sharing her top three reasons for adding them to your everyday—starting, like, yesterday.
Keep scrolling for more RD-backed prune health benefits and why they’re *the* most underrated fruit that deserve a spot in your mealtime rotation.
Let’s Talk Facts
If you didn’t know, prunes are actually a special variety of dried plums. The biggest issue that comes up with Gorin’s clients is the added sugar you’ll sometimes find in pre-packaged dried fruits that wind up taking your afternoon snack to midday crash. (You know the ones.)
“But unsweetened dried fruit is literally just fruit that contains less water than its fresh counterpart,” Gorin says. Sunsweet prunes have—you guessed it—no added sugar. “In a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, people who regularly ate dried fruit had a greater overall diet quality and consumed a higher amount of nutrients such as fiber and potassium,” she says. “In the study, on the days that people ate dried fruit, they also ate more whole grains, nuts, and seeds—all nutrient-rich foods.” If one prune in the morning can inspire a full day’s worth of healthy decisions, we’re in.
SHOP YOUR NEW FAVORITE FRUIT
Boost Bone Health
At the top of Gorin’s list of prune health benefits? (Yes, she picks favorites.) Helping out your bones. “Research in Osteoporosis International revealed that eating five to six prunes a day can help prevent bone loss,” she says. “And if you already have bone loss, you can increase your daily prune intake to help your bones, as other research in The British Journal of Nutrition found that eating ten to twelve prunes a day is linked with increased bone mineral density.”
Plus, this purple fruit also helps to boost vitamins and minerals—like potassium, vitamin K, phosphorous, and boron—that are all beneficial for bone health, Gorin says. (We made a new rhyme: A prune a day keeps the future aches and pains away.)
Fiber for Days
According to Gorin, for every serving of prunes you eat, you get three grams of fiber (something most of us could use more of in our daily lives), which can also help out your digestive and cholesterol health. “This fiber allows prunes to be slowly digested by the body, which helps them to keep you fuller for longer,” Gorin adds.
On top of being full of fiber, prunes work to regulate digestion. “In fact, a review study in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics found that eating prunes is more helpful for improving constipation, compared to psyllium,” Gorin says.
If you deal with random irregularity issues, Gorin typically recommends opting for prune juice—like Sunsweet Amaz!n™ Prune Juice—because it contains a higher water content as well as a unique natural component that is absorbed slowly into the body, which helps to stimulate digestion.
More fiber, better digestion, stronger bones, and new, good-for-you takes on your fave recipes? The RD was right—prunes really are the most underrated fruit.
Want more prune and prune juice recipe inspo? Click here for fresh and delicious ways to add this good-for-you dried fruit into your daily meals.
Top photo: Sunsweet Growers + Well+Good Creative