Prune Nutrition: Grandma’s Fave is Packed With Benefits Beyond the Bowels

by | Updated: May 16th, 2024 | Read time: 5 minutes

Dietitians, doctors and grandmothers have touted prunes for eons. Their best-known attribute – keeping the bowels regular. But there is a lot more to prunes than that. Get ready to be inspired to add these sweet morsels to your day.

A Small Wooden Bowl on a Wooden Countertop is Overflowing With Prunes and Surrounded by Fresh Plums, Representing Prunes Nutrition.

Prunes Nutrition, Benefits & How to Incorporate Them Into Your Diet

Being a plant and a “health food” from way back, it’s no surprise prunes qualify for a whopping 11 nutrient content and health claims, some of which are:

  • Fat free
  • Saturated fat free
  • Cholesterol free
  • Sodium free
  • A good source of fiber and copper
  • An excellent source of vitamin K

At under 100 calories for about 4-6 prunes, it’s surprising how many nutrients are found in a serving! With each bite, you’re getting potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, boron and several phytochemicals. Another bonus – prunes have no added sugar but offer a wealth of sweetness from their nutrient-packed, natural sugars. Prune juice can gloat that it is a good source of iron as well.

Prune health benefits

The California Prune Board cites over 70 studies have been published on prunes around “healthy digestion, gut health, bone health, heart health, weight management, satiety and more.”  Study results show many potential benefits:

Digestion – Prunes and prune juice may help constipation, often working better than some over-the-counter laxatives and without causing side effects.

Gut Health – Eating prunes daily may improve gut microbes.

Bone Health – Due to prunes’ nutritional uniqueness, eating 5-6 prunes a day may prevent bone breakdown, help with bone building and bone mineral density (BMD).

Heart Health – Many of the nutrients in prunes support heart health. Research shows eating them daily may lower total cholesterol, oxidative stress and inflammatory markers.

Appetite – Prunes have been shown to help satisfy hunger and reduce appetite.

Aging and brain health – Due to their anti-inflammatory nutrients, it has been suggested that regularly eating prunes may benefit age-related brain decline.

How to shop for prunes

In their most common form, prunes can typically be found in the dried fruit section, whether in-store or online. Occasionally they come out of their “prune disguise” and are referred to as what they really are: dried plums. So, look for both names, prunes or dried plums, on packaging. The most common ways to buy prunes are in these forms:

Lakewood Organic Pure Juice Prune Organic and 100% juice, it’s filled with only the good stuff. It’s one of the few juices that naturally contains fiber. There are 3 grams of fiber per 1 cup of juice.

Simple Truth OrganicTM Baby Food Puree Apple & Prune is not just for babies. Many adults love the taste just as much as their little one. Eat it plain or use it with the tips below.

Kroger Brand Pitted Prunes 16-ounce canister Perfect for whipping up batches of meals or baking with prunes added.

Kroger Brand Probiotic Dried Prunes Like a 2-for-1 nutrition deal, the probiotic Bacillus Coagulans Gbi-30 6086 has been added to make these prunes extra special.

Creative ways to use prunes

There are many ways to pop some prunes into the day – from sweet, savory, quick or culinary methods:

Au Naturel – This is a fancy sounding, French word for enjoying prunes plain and simple. Follow these quick directions: Pop a prune (or five) into the mouth whenever there’s a need for a snack or something sweet. For a balanced snack, pair with nuts, cheese or yogurt.

Pro tip: Pack a bag of prunes when traveling. Many people suffer from bowel problems and there tends to be a lack of high fiber meals when on the go. Prunes are a convenient solution for adding no-fuss fiber to keep you and your bowels on the move.

Breakfast – Add some prune nutrition to the morning routine.

  • Stewed prunes are an age-old favorite. Eat plain or topped on granola, oatmeal or plain yogurt.
  • Spread prune puree on toast, pancakes or waffles.
  • Add chopped prunes to hot and cold cereals.
  • Serve a small glass of 100% prune juice with a balanced breakfast.

Smoothies – Blend a few into any smoothie recipe to add natural sweetness, fiber, and deep flavor.

Baking – Prunes add nutrition, moisture, natural sweetness and extra flavor to baked goods.

  • Prune puree (homemade or use prune baby food) can be used in place of some of the oil or butter and sugar in recipes.
  • Search for recipes that use prunes in muffins, cakes, quick breads, brownies and cookies.
  • Try adding chopped prunes in place of raisins in recipes.

Cooking – Prunes have a range of culinary uses to enhance meals.

  • Slow Cooker Chicken With Potatoes, Onions and Olives Recipe
  • Almond Butter Chia Pudding
  • Prunes can be used to make hoisin sauce and other stir-fry sauces for a yummy pair with noodles or rice, vegetables and protein (try with chicken, seafood, tofu, pork or red meat)
  • Prunes can be used to make a mole sauce, a traditional Mexican sauce.
  • Use as a spread. Prune puree can add a unique flavor to sandwiches to “up” the sandwich game. Pair it with chicken, turkey, pork or tofu.
  • The California Prune Board suggests using reduced prune juice “as a glaze for meats or vegetables, or add prune puree to sauces and dressings.” Try adding chopped prunes or puree to meatballs and burgers to improve flavor and texture.
  • Add chopped prunes to salads.

There’s a plethora of prune possibilities.  Sweet or savory? Simple or culinary creation? These small but mighty wonder fruits are a yummy way pack in a ton of nutrients, health benefits and the best part – natural sweetness into your day.  For more personalized food and nutrition help, schedule an appointment with Kroger Health Registered Dietitians, our nutrition experts.

Featured Products

Plum Organics Baby Food Puree 4+ Months Just Prunes
Made in Nature Dried Plums Well Pruned Supersnacks
Lakewood Organic Pure Prune Juice