Three Reasons Why I Love California Prunes
These No-Bake California Prunes Power Balls make a great snack! Find the recipe here
Disclaimer: This post was developed in partnership with California Prunes, however, all opinions, as always are genuine.
I’ve partnered with California Prunes this month to celebrate Nutrition Month. Nutrition month is celebrated every year in March across Canada and this year’s theme of “More than Food” is about showcasing healthy eating habits like mindful eating and cooking more often.
I have always been a huge proponent of home cooking and it is something I have enjoyed doing since I was a child. Prunes are one of my favourite dried fruits and I love eating them as is for a snack and incorporating them into recipes. (If you haven’t tried my California Prune, Apple and Walnut Baked Oatmeal yet, you should!).
Here are three reasons why I love California Prunes:
1. They are great for digestion
Most days I start my day with a coffee (because #momlife), bowl of oatmeal, and a few California Prunes. Let’s be honest, everyone likes to be ‘regular’ so starting the day with a good dose of fibre is definitely helpful. Eating five to six California Prunes a day contain about 3g of fibre and seeing as most Canadians are only getting about half the fibre they need (women need 25g/day and men need 38g/day), eating a few prunes in the morning can be a good way to increase your fibre intake. Just be sure to drink plenty of water as you increase the fibre in your diet. Prunes also contain sorbitol, which is a naturally occurring sugar that helps make stool softer and phenols (an antioxidant) which get fermented by the bacteria in our gut and help promote bowel movements.
My toddler also loves prunes and when she sees me eating them, she asks for some too! When she was younger, I would cook prunes with some water to make them really soft and then mash them so she could eat them with a spoon and she loved it. It really helped her digestion, which is something babies often need help with when they start solids.
For a high fibre breakfast, I sometimes have eat Shredded Wheat and Bran which has 0g sugar and I add in chopped California Prunes. The California Prunes add a natural sweetness to the cereal and extra fibre for a filling and nutritious breakfast.
2. Gut health
More and research in recent years has been focusing on the health of our gut microbiome. Our gut microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms, mainly bacteria. These bacteria play a role in digesting food and absorbing nutrients as well as metabolism, immune regulation and brain functions and mood (for more on this topic check out this post). One study has shown that prunes can have beneficial health effects on our gut microbiome and that people who ate prunes had slightly more bifidobacteria, which is a probiotic bacterium (aka the good bacteria) that has positive health effects.
3. Bone Health
As a small-boned and petite young woman, I worry about having strong and healthy bones as I get older which is another reason why I eat prunes regularly. Calcium and vitamin D are two known nutrients that affect bone health but boron, potassium and Vitamin K, which are found in prunes, are also important for healthy bones.
Now that you know all about the benefits of California Prunes, I encourage you to start incorporating them into your diet too! Add them to yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal as a great way to add natural sweetness (no added sugars) to your food. For more about California Prunes check out www.californiaprunes.ca