Since oxidative stress and chronic inflammation play important roles in cancer development, dried plums with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties hold promise for cancer chemoprevention. The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive activities of dried fruits like plums are largely attributed to their polyphenols and vitamins.
Over the past several decades, extensive efforts have been made to find a cure for cancer. However, the number of new cancer cases, which has been recorded as about 3 million in the year 2000, is expected to be 7.1 million by the year 2020.
Prunes are dried plums, which belongs to the Rosaceae family that originated in the Caucasus region of Western Asia. It was reported that the antioxidant capacity of prunes extracts was the highest among dried fruits.
Regular consumption of dried plums may have beneficial health effects as they contain significant amounts of sorbitol, quinic acid, chlorogenic acids, vitamin K1, boron, copper, and potassium.
Dried plums contain biologically active components that may provide effective interventions for loss of structural integrity caused by radiotherapy or unavoidable exposure to space radiation incurred over long-duration spaceflight. Many studies have revealed that dried plums are potentially active to alter the metabolism causing colon cancer. Actually, the plum significantly increases the number of good bacteria in the gut known as Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes leading to regularization of proper digestion.
Phenolic compounds present in dried plum prevents the deposition of fat on walls of arteries. Additionally, high potassium content of prunes has shown beneficial to cardiovascular health.
Snacking on dried plums may increase satiety and reduce the subsequent intake of food, helping to control obesity, diabetes, and related cardiovascular diseases. Despite their sweet taste, dried plums do not cause the large postprandial rise in blood glucose and insulin.
The characteristic phenolic compounds and their metabolites may also act as antibacterial agents in both gastrointestinal and urinary tracts.
Dried plum significantly increases bone mineral density in comparison with dried apples. Dried plums significantly improve the bone mineral density in postmenopausal women in part due to suppressing the rate of bone turnover and bone resorption.
Image source: Shutterstock