Prunes are dried plums, and like plums, they are rich in potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Whether you eat them as a snack or a dessert, prunes are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while still benefiting from a nutritional boost. If you're worried about the sugar content in prunes, it's worth noting the many beneficial compounds that also come packaged in this naturally sweet treat.
Prune Nutrition Facts
Five pitted prunes (50g) provide 115 calories, 1.1g of protein, 30.5g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of fat. Prunes are an excellent source of vitamin K, fiber, and potassium. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.
- Vitamin K: 28,25mcg
- Potassium: 347.5mg
Prunes are primarily made up of carbohydrates. There are a little over 6 grams of carbohydrates in one prune or 111 grams in a cup, according to the USDA. Of this total, 0.7 grams come from fiber per prune, and 3.6 grams come from sugar.
The glycemic index (GI) of prunes is 29, making them a low GI food choice.
Prunes do not contain significant amounts of fat.
Like most fruits, prunes are low in protein.
Vitamins and Minerals
Prunes are a great source of beta carotene, which the body converts tovitamin A, vitamin K,potassium, zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and B vitamins.
10 Foods That Are High in Vitamin K
Five pitted prunes provides 115 calories, of which 96% come from carbs, 3% from protein, and 1% from fat.
Prunes are a carbohydrate rich source of fiber, low on the glycemic index. They are packed full of several vitamins and minerals, including many B vitamins, potassium, vitamin K, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Prunes are helpful in the management of several health conditions; some are familiar, others less so.
Prunes and prune juice are common home remedies for constipation. Prunes contain pectin, a form ofsoluble fiber. Soluble fiber absorbs water to form a gel-like substance inside the digestive tract. This softens stools, making them easier to pass.
One randomized clinical trialconcluded that prunes are a more effective laxative thanpsyllium husks(a common ingredient in over-the-counter laxatives, like Metamucil).
Reduces Bone Loss
Prunes are also a good source of vitamin K andphenolic compounds that act as antioxidants. Several studies have shown prune and prune extracts to be preventative against osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Through various signaling pathways, prunes prevent bone resorption and enhance the formation of bone. Because prunes have added benefits (and no known negative side effects), there's good reason to include them in your meal plan for bone health.
Supports Weight Loss
Prunes are a satisfying, high-fiber snack that can help manage appetite and reduce food intake at subsequent meals. Compared to processed snacks, prunes are a nutrient-dense health food. Prunes travel well and are ready-to-eat with no preparation required. With the frequency of snacking on the rise, prunes can help maintain dietary balance.
Improves Heart Health
Prunes are rich in potassium and fiber, two key players in the promotion of heart health. As a good source of potassium, prunes help keep blood pressure from becoming elevated.
Additionally, the soluble fiber in prunes is especially effective at reducing cholesterol. Prunes are naturally free of saturated fat and very low in sodium, making them an ideal choice for maintaining heart health.
Helps Prevent Premature Aging
The antioxidants in prunes work throughout the body to reduce cell damage and slow down the aging process. The Oxygen Radical Absorbency Scale (ORAC) measures how effective certain foods are at scavenging and neutralizing free radicals, which lead to premature aging. Prunes are highly rated on this scale, making them a great choice for keeping your cells young and healthy.
Prune allergies are uncommon but do occur. Oftentimes, what appears to be a prune allergy is actually a condition known asoral allergy syndrome(OAS). With OAS, the immune system mistakes certain foods for common tree pollens.
This cross-reactive response tends to be mild, with a slight burning or tingling sensation in the mouth as well as the swelling of the lips.If you experience a reaction to prunes, it may be related to a birch pollen allergy.
The main potential adverse effect of prunes and prune juice is digestive discomfort. If you aren't used to eating prunes, their fiber content and laxative effects can cause gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. To avoid this issue, increase your intake gradually.
The vast majority of prunes on the market are made from California French prune plums. These are sold whole, chopped, or diced and with or without pits. Slightly smaller than California French prune plums are dried mirabelles. Sour prunes are made from red plums dried in kilns or the sun for use in Middle Eastern and Greek dishes.
Prunes are also manufactured into juice. Check the ingredients list to make sure you are getting 100% prune juice with no added sugar. A product called lekvar, or prune butter, is a thick paste made of pureed prunes. This is used in baby foods and baking.
When It's Best
As a dried fruit, prunes are available at any time of the year. They are best when unsweetened and organic, but conventionally grown prunes are equally nutrient-dense. Unpitted prunes are less expensive than pitted ones if you don't mind eating around the pits.
For Freshness and Flavor, Buy Fruits in Season
Storage and Food Safety
Prunes are packaged with expiration dates that will help you determine how long they can be kept. Reseal the package tightly after opening to block air and humidity—store prunes in the refrigerator to prolong their shelf-life. Once opened, prunes should stay good for up to 6 months.
How to Prepare
Prunes can be eaten alone or chopped up and added to hot and cold cereals, yogurt, trail mixes, and salads. Use prunes in baked goods, stuffing recipes, or chutney and compote. Except for smoothies, firmer pitted prunes hold up best in recipes. When making a puree, soak prunes overnight in water, drain, and pulverize in a food processor.
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Plums, dried (prunes), uncooked. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Foodstruct. Prune Glycemic Index.
Attaluri A, Donahoe R, Valestin J, Brown K, Rao SSC. Randomised clinical trial: dried plums (Prunes) vs. psyllium for constipation. Aliment Pharmacol Therap. 2011;33(7):822-828. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04594.x
Wallace TC. Dried plums, prunes and bone health: A comprehensive review. Nutrients. 2017;9(4). doi:10.3390/nu9040401
Njike VY, Smith TM, Shuval O, et al. Snack food, satiety, and weight. Adv Nutr. 2016;7(5):866-78. doi:10.3945/an.115.009340
National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Potassium: Fact sheet for health professionals.
Medical benefits of prunes. Texila American University.
Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) or pollen fruit syndrome (PFS). American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.
Types of dried plums (prunes). Berkeley Wellness, University of California.
By Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN
Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, counseling patients with diabetes. Barbie was previously the Advanced Nutrition Coordinator for the Mount Sinai Diabetes and Cardiovascular Alliance and worked in pediatric endocrinology at The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center.
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Feren says prune lovers are advised to eat around 30 grams, or three to four prunes, a day. That is equal to one serve of fruit – adults are encouraged to have two daily serves of fruit.What happens if you eat prunes everyday? ›
Consuming plums and prunes on a regular basis may have a protective effect on heart health. They have been studied for their potential to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are major risk factors for heart disease.What are prunes high in? ›
As well as being rich in fibre prunes also supply sorbitol and phytonutrients which all work to support bowel function. This means eating prunes can increase stool volume and frequency making them a natural laxative which helps to promote healthy bowel movements.Should I eat prunes at night or in the morning? ›
Prunes are a good source of fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Eating prunes before going to bed is connected with lower blood pressure, as they decrease plaque buildup and bad cholesterol and limit inflammation in your body.Are prunes good for your liver? ›
In traditional medicine, prune juice has been used to treat hepatitis — a liver disease. When there are problems with your liver, it produces harmful chemicals. Prune juice vitamins and antioxidants reduce these chemicals, helping to maintain liver health and fight disease.How quickly do prunes work? ›
Prunes are rich in fiber, therefore aiding healthy digestion. In typical cases of mild constipation, eating 100 grams of dried fruit can make you poop within the day, approximately 6-12 hours after ingestion, making it more effective than psyllium.Are prunes good for cholesterol? ›
A study published in Pharmaceutical Biology shows that prunes may help regulate intestinal microflora and thereby effectively lower total cholesterol levels. A study published in Pharmaceutical Biology shows that prunes may help regulate intestinal microflora and thereby effectively lower total cholesterol levels.Do prunes need to be refrigerated? ›
Once a package of California Prunes has been opened, it should be resealed and stored under cool, dry conditions. Sealing the unused prunes in an airtight container and storing them in the refrigerator will also help keep them moist and juicy.Who should not eat prunes? ›
The insoluble fiber in prunes can cause or worsen diarrhea.
This is why you need to avoid them when you have diarrhea (2). There have also been certain cases of people who had experienced diarrhea post the ingestion of prunes and prune juice (3). This can be attributed to the laxative property of prunes.
The researchers found that members of the group which ate prunes as part of a healthy life-style diet lost 2kg in weight and shed 2.5cm off their waists. However, the people in the group which was given advice on healthy snacks lost only 1.5kg in weight and 1.7cm from their waists.
Dried prunes are great to snack on. Also, it is one superfood that helps you maintain your appetite, and controls the urge for sugary and fried food. That's all because of pectin.Are prunes anti inflammatory? ›
Increasing evidence from 10 studies suggests that, in addition to antiresorptive effects, prunes exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.Are prunes good for your eyes? ›
Prunes are a great source of vitamin A, a vitamin that is essential for healthy vision. One prune delivers 3 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. People who are deficient in vitamin A are prone to night blindness, dry eyes, macular degeneration and cataracts.
According to a study published in the Journal of Ayub Medical College Abbottabad, prunes reduce your risk of heart disease by bringing down your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.Are prunes high in iron? ›
Prunes are another dried fruit that is particularly high in iron. Not only do prunes help your iron intake but they are also rich in fibre, potassium and vitamin C. Helping your body with digestion and lower cholesterol.Do prunes improve bone density? ›
Eating prunes daily is good for your digestive and bone health. In 2 recent studies, researchers found that eating prunes preserved bone density in postmenopausal patients and may prevent osteoporosis.Can diabetics eat prunes? ›
Prunes. When choosing dried fruit—or any fruit for that matter—prunes are a healthful choice for people with diabetes because of their fiber and lower glycemic index.Is prune juice good for your kidneys? ›
Prunes (aka dried plums) will get you a little extra vitamin K boost, but with more calories, sugar, and carbs. These vitamins and minerals can support your immune, digestive, and reproductive systems, as well as your eyesight, heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Prunes are rich in fiber, therefore aiding healthy digestion. In typical cases of mild constipation, eating 100 grams of dried fruit can make you poop within the day, approximately 6-12 hours after ingestion, making it more effective than psyllium.Can I eat prunes on empty stomach? ›
One study showed that consuming prune juice and eating prunes (a mere 3 to 6) each morning on an empty stomach, for eight weeks resulted in lower blood pressure compared to those who didn't. Total and LDL cholesterol were also lowered (25).
Prunes. When choosing dried fruit—or any fruit for that matter—prunes are a healthful choice for people with diabetes because of their fiber and lower glycemic index.