Prunes are now officially supposed to be called “dried plums” because the growers think they will sell better with the name change. I will keep calling them prunes because I prefer to eat them fresh and not dried. How much carbs in prunes? 1 fruit contains approximately 6 g of net carbs (sugar) and 1 g of fiber resulting in 28 calories.
At first glance, prunes seem like a healthy source of energy. But how healthy are prunes really? Many nutritionists will answer this question with the information, provided (and likely wrong) in most textbooks:
The subtle difference between prunes and plums
- Plums have a roundish shape and the stone is harder to remove from the pulp. (Due to their requirements as well as ground and climate, they are hardly ever grown in Switzerland.)
- Prunes are a sub-breed of plums. They are longer, oval-shaped and are dark-blue in color. The firm, golden yellowish pulp is easy to remove from its stone. They are called ‘Zwetschge’ in Switzerland, where they are very popular seasonal table fruit.
Fresh prunes are ideally suited for consumption. However they are also perfect when dried, or when turned into jam, preserves and as pie topping. Also quite popular is the production of wine and spirits. Cheers!
Commonly known varieties of prunes are
- Fellenberger prune
- Bühler prune
- Italian prune
- German damson
When are prunes ripe?
When the days get shorter, prunes are usually at their very best. In the Northern Hemisphere the season usually lasts from August until October. A white-ish coat is a good sign that the fruit is fresh off the tree and was handled with care. The natural wax film is easily washed off prior to consumption.
Beware when shopping:
If you buy fresh prunes that are too hard, you cannot get them to after-ripen at room temperature. They become soft, but unlike avocados, apricots and peaches, they do not continue to ripen afterwards.
The prune and its contents –
How healthy are prunes?
s previously mentioned professional literature will rave about “healthy” ingredients: Provitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin C and various representatives of the Vitamin B group, dietary fiber, antioxidants, anthocyanins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc.
Therefrom derived, is a healthy overall-package, promising:
- Positive effect on the colon
- Good for nervousness or stress
- Essential for bone structure
- Supports weight loss
- Improves eyesight, as well as a smooth skin
- Enhances the immune system
- Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
- Healing effect on gout or liver disease
So far there is nothing that would speak against the prune.
However, now the road gets noticeably bumpier. My estimate of the potential health benefits of prunes turn out distinctively less positive:
Risks and illnesses related to prunes
One prune contains about on teaspoon of sugar.
Unfortunately in most cases this high sugar content completely negates the positive effects of nutrients it contains. It is not only when one suffers from fructose malabsorption or fructose intolerance that one should best avoid prunes, but rather this should apply to individuals with a poor metabolism, who in my opinion, pay to high of a long-term price.
Possible signs of a troubled metabolism are:
- Feeling tired and burned out
- Dry skin
- Repeated bathroom visits throughout the night
- Increased susceptibility to colds
- Diagnosed Illnesses
You should also avoid prunes, if you suffer from immediate complaints right after consumption, such as nausea, stomach ache or diarrhea. In this case I would not recommend steaming beforehand, to make the matter more “agreeable.”
Downplaying the amount of fruit sugar, by using “quick energy” as a reasoning, cab be as disastrous for the person, as a promise of “clean” oil recovery is to the Arctic.
Also, I find the often positively highlighted laxative effect to be less of an indication of the effect of the hailed pectin, but rather as a sign, that the body is ailing, and does not appreciate the additional sugar load.
For further information you should read my article “Revealed: the 3 absolut worst foods you shouldn’t eat”.
So what are you to do with a prune?
Prunes will not help you in getting healthier. In a lot of cases they will rather push you further from ideal vitality, especially if you are already suffering from an health-related issue.
Thus my tip is the proper use: enjoy the prune as a wonderful delicacy, during its limited season. However, retain the necessary restraint, or avoid them entirely after a health-related situation.
Recommendations for eating prunes raw:
- Buy ripe fruits
- Do not store too long
- Do not wash prunes until right before consumption
Thanks for reading.
To my utter disappointment I have not found any recipes I can ‘unrestrainingly’ recommend. I think in general the recipes contain too much almond- and nut-flour, too much honey, too much coconut sugar, or other sources of hidden carbohydrates.
However if you are going to get carried away, then do so in style. :-)