Is Prunes Good for People With Diabetes - Sugar.Fit
Nutrition

Prunes for People With Diabetes - Benefits & Recommendations

If you are into healthy snacking, you must be familiar with various dry fruits like raisins, figs, apricots, and dates. Rich in fibre and antioxidants, dry fruits offer a range of health benefits. Prunes can be a great addition to this list, as they are dried forms of plums. Once the plums are ripened, they are harvested and sent to the drying facility. They are washed and dehydrated by either sun-drying or by using dehydrators. This dehydrated version of plums is known as prunes.

Only specific plum varieties are used to make prunes. They remain consumable for up to a year when stored under proper conditions. They are a powerhouse of nutrients. However, are prunes good for people with diabetes? One prune has a count of 23 calories only. Prunes are an excellent source of fibre; they have a low glycaemic index and are a perfect choice for people with diabetes. The nutritional profile of prunes, illustrated below, tells you why it is a healthy superfood.

Nutritional Profile

Benefits of Prunes

Including a serving of prunes in daily diet can improve a person’s overall health. Here is how prunes can boost your well-being:

1. Keeps digestive issues at bay

Prunes have a healthy combination of soluble and insoluble fibres. The soluble fibres soak up water and make the movement of the stool easier. The insoluble fibres maintain intestinal function and bowel regularity.

The fermentable sugars (sorbitol and fructans) present in prunes act as laxatives and are helpful to prevent constipation. In fact, prunes can be given, in the mashed or puréed form, to babies who have just started taking solid foods to help with easy bowel movements.

2. The magic of antioxidants

Chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid are the antioxidants present in prunes. They prevent oxidative stress and are beneficial in managing heart conditions and blood sugar levels. They promote healthy skin and hair as well. Antioxidants are even known to slow down signs of ageing.

3. Good for heart health

The high potassium concentration in prunes helps prevent the risk of cardiovascular conditions. Potassium helps maintain regular heart rhythms and is important for healthy muscle and nerve function. This helps control blood pressure and cholesterol, leading to better heart health by eliminating common heart problems due to Diabetes

4. Prevention of chronic conditions

Fortified with iron, prunes help to prevent anaemia. Prunes are also rich in antioxidants and, to some extent, neutralise the effects of smoking. This improves the condition of the lungs. The rich content of phenolic compounds and fibre in prunes helps to reduce the incidence of colon cancer.

5. Building strong bones and muscles

Research has proved that the high Vitamin K, boron, and manganese content in prunes effectively maintains the proper bone density and helps in preventing osteoporosis. The potassium in prunes helps regulate muscle contractions, which prevents muscle fatigue.

6. Weight control

Consuming prunes keep you feeling full for a longer time, thus curbing your hunger cravings. This reduces over-eating and assists in proper weight management.

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Benefits of Prunes for people with diabetes

Prunes work wonders in maintaining fitness levels. They are supposed to have higher concentrations of vitamins than other dry fruits. But are prunes good for people with diabetes? How fruitful are they in managing blood sugar levels? Read on to find out.

  • The phenolic compounds present in prunes slow down glucose absorption in the bloodstream.
  • The rich fibre content of prunes ensures no sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.
  • Prunes contain sorbitol –a carbohydrate that comes under the category of sugar alcohols. This improves insulin sensitivity and helps to manage normal blood glucose volumes.
  • Pectin, a soluble fibre present in prunes, reduces cholesterol levels and prevents insulin resistance, leading to better blood sugar control.
  • Prunes have low calories and stimulate a feeling of fullness. This ensures that you don’t overeat in subsequent meals. This way, prunes help prevent obesity, a major risk factor associated with diabetes.
  • The antioxidants in prunes help in maintaining good cardiovascular health and blood pressure. This reduces the chances of comorbidities associated with diabetes.
  • The low glycaemic index of prunes makes it easier to manage diabetes.

Glycemic index of Prunes

The glycaemic index (GI) is the ability of the food’s carbohydrate content to raise blood sugar levels. The lower the GI, the better it is for managing diabetes. The GI of one serving of prunes is 29, which comes under the low GI category, according to the American Diabetes Association.

The carbohydrates in prunes are slow-acting, ‘good’ carbs. This aids in reducing blood glucose volumes and preventing diabetes-related complications. It improves insulin sensitivity and helps to normalise blood sugar levels.

How to consume Prunes?

Prunes are versatile ingredients that add flavour and sweetness to the dishes. They are an apt addition to a diabetes-friendly diet, and can be eaten independently or by combining them with other foods. Remember to eat them in moderation, though. Avoid artificially sweetened, processed prunes, as they increase the glycaemic load. It is best to go for the unprocessed and unsweetened varieties.

Here are several ways to add prunes to your diet:

  • Eat prunes in their original form during your snack time.
  • Make smoothies with prunes adding bananas, peaches, pears and almonds.
  • Add prunes to your breakfast cereals.
  • Blend prunes into a juice.
  • Stew prunes and make sweet or savoury dishes according to your taste.
  • Make a purée out of the prunes, and use it for baking puddings, pies and cakes.
  • Include prunes in a salad along with carrots, beets and nuts.
  • Make a spicy prune chutney using tomatoes and onions.

Bottomline

The abundance of nutrients present in prunes guarantees overall benefits to heart, bone, and muscle health. Being a low GI food, Prunes are instrumental in normalising blood sugar levels. They are multi-faceted ingredients that can be used to prepare various deliciously healthy dishes and hence are good for people with diabetes.

FAQs

1. How many prunes can a person with diabetes eat?

Including two or three prunes in the daily diet chart of a person having diabetes is a healthy option. The high fibre content and low GI of prunes make it an ideal food to manage blood glucose volumes.

2. Do prunes spike blood sugar?

No, prunes are known to prevent spikes in blood sugar. The presence of fibres and phenolic compounds in prunes slows down glucose absorption into the bloodstream. This results in steady blood sugar levels.

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