More Research on Dried Plums/Prunes and Bone Density
Dr. Shirin Hooshmand from San Diego State University has recently reported that results of her current research shows that 5 to 6 dried plums (aka prunes) per day in 65 to 79 year old post-menopausal women with osteopenia is decreasing bone breakdown and increasing bone density as well as 10 to 12 prunes per day did in an earlier study published in the 2011 British Journal of Nutrition. See my earlier blog on Prunes regarding this earlier study.
Dr. Hooshmand emphasized they need a longer study before they draw any final conclusions but the preliminary data is intriguing. The good news here is that the consumption of a more reasonable amount of dried plums may be beneficial. As I emphasized in my previous blog re dried plums there are no “miracle foods” that eliminate the need to participate in a physician approved exercise program and to eat an overall bone healthy diet but I personally plan to start eating 5 prunes per day. Unless I’m planning on preparing a dried plum recipe that day, I add 5 to my Breakfast Smoothie every morning. I really like Sunsweet D’Noir™ Preservative Free Dried Plums, especially when eating them with dark chocolate or nuts. I also buy Trader Joe’s® Non-Sorbate Pitted Prunes for my Smoothies.
Dried Plums can add moisture and richness to foods as well as balancing sweetness and acidity. The California Dried Plum Board recommends replacing ½ cup oil in a recipe with ¼ cup oil and ¼ cup dried plum puree. Or swapping a stick of butter for a ½ stick plus ½ cup dried plum puree. Dried Plum puree can be found in your grocery store or you can make your own by processing 1-1/3 cups pitted dried plums with 6 Tbsp. hot water in a food processor (refrigerate up to one month). Check out this Pinterest board for plenty of Prune/Dried Plum recipe ideas.
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photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/86372847@N00/14862625449">Last plum harvest</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>