Prunes and plums are two fruits that are often confused for being the same. Some people even believe that prunes are a completely different type of fruit altogether. This confusion stems from the fact that prunes come from plums. In this blog post, we will explore the process of making prunes from plums and how the nutritional values differ between the two.
The Process of Making Prunes
Prunes are not a naturally occurring fruit like an apple or an orange. Prunes are actually plums that have been dehydrated to prolong their shelf life and to create a unique texture and flavor. To make prunes, plums are first picked when they are ripe and juicy. They are then washed and sorted to remove any damaged fruit. After the sorting process, the plums are pitted, which means that the stones are removed. Pitting the plums makes them easier to eat and reduces the risk of choking.
Once the plums are pitted, they are ready to be dehydrated. The dehydration process can be done through a few different methods. One of the traditional methods is to dry the plums in the sun, which can take up to several days, depending on the weather conditions. Another method is to dry the plums in an oven or a dehydrator. In all cases, the dehydration process removes most of the water content from the plums and reduces their size significantly.
The Nutritional Difference between Plums and Prunes
While prunes are made from plums, the two fruits have some major nutritional differences. Because prunes are dehydrated, they have a much higher concentration of nutrients per serving than fresh plums. Prunes are a good source of dietary fiber, which helps regulate digestion, and can reduce the risk of heart disease. Prunes are also high in antioxidants, which help protect your cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Plums, on the other hand, have more water content and fewer nutrients per serving than prunes. Plums are still a good source of fiber, but they contain fewer antioxidants than prunes. Fresh plums also have slightly more vitamin C than prunes, which is essential for the immune system, skin health, and wound healing.
Prunes are, in fact, made from plums that have been dehydrated. While they may be the same fruit, prunes and plums have some significant differences in terms of nutritional content. Whether you prefer to eat them fresh or dehydrated, plums and prunes are both delicious, healthy, and versatile fruits that can be enjoyed in many different ways. So, the next time you reach for a plum or a prune, you’ll know the difference between the two.
If you’re interested in learning more about the health benefits of prunes, check out this article from Healthline: Prunes: Their Potential Health Benefits.
Are plums and prunes the same thing?
Plums and prunes are not exactly the same thing, although they are related. To understand the difference between them, it’s important to know a little bit about each fruit. Plums are a type of stone fruit that typically have a sweet, juicy flesh and a relatively large stone or pit in the center. There are many different varieties of plums, including some that are purple, red, yellow, or green in color.
Prunes, on the other hand, are a specific type of plum that is grown for drying. To make prunes, these plums are picked at the peak of ripeness and then dried in the sun or in a special dehydrator. The drying process removes most of the water from the fruit, which causes it to become smaller, sweeter, and denser in texture. By law, prunes must contain no more than 25% moisture in order to be considered a dried fruit.
Although all prunes are plums, not all plums can be prunes. It starts with specific varieties of plums grown with care in California’s mild climate and premium soil. Once the fruit is perfectly ripe, it is harvested and sorted by machine. The prunes are then pitted, washed, and tumbled in special dehydrators until they reach the desired moisture content. The finished product is a sweet, chewy fruit that is enjoyed as a snack or used in cooking and baking.
Plums and prunes are both types of fruit that are related to each other. Plums are a fresh fruit with a juicy flesh and a stone or pit in the center, while prunes are a specific type of plum that has been dried to remove most of the water content. Although the process of making prunes involves some special techniques, they are still made from plums that are grown and harvested like any other fruit.
Do plums have the same laxative effect as prunes?
Plums and prunes are both part of the same family of fruits, which is the Rosaceae family. They both contain a significant amount of fiber, which makes them an effective aid for digestion. However, when it comes to their laxative effect, prunes are more effective than plums. Prunes have been used for centuries as a natural remedy for constipation, thanks to their high fiber content as well as other compounds that help to promote bowel movements.
One of the main differences between plums and prunes is their water content. Plums have a higher water content, which can dilute their fiber content, thus reducing their effectiveness as a laxative. On the other hand, prunes have a lower water content, making their fiber content more concentrated, which is why they are considered a more effective natural remedy for constipation.
Another factor that contributes to the laxative effect of prunes that plums lack is sorbitol. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that acts as a natural laxative by drawing water into the large intestine, softening the stool, and making it easier to pass. Prunes are particularly high in sorbitol, while plums contain much lower amounts.
In addition to their fiber and sorbitol content, prunes also contain phenolic compounds, which have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the digestive system. They also provide a natural source of magnesium, a mineral that helps to relax the muscles of the digestive tract, promoting regular bowel movements.
While both plums and prunes are beneficial for digestion thanks to their high fiber content, prunes are a more effective natural remedy for constipation due to their lower water content, higher concentration of fiber and sorbitol, and notable phenolic compounds.
Which is better plums or prunes?
Plums and prunes are two closely related fruits that offer several health benefits. Plums are a type of stone fruit that comes in a range of colors, from yellow to red to purple-black. On the other hand, prunes are dried plums. While both fruits offer health benefits, there are some differences in their nutritional properties that may make one a better choice than the other in certain situations.
When comparing the nutritional values of plums and prunes, prunes contain more vitamins and minerals than plums per serving. Prunes contain slightly more vitamin K than plums, which is important for blood coagulation and bone health. They also have higher amounts of B vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, iron, and magnesium. However, the difference in vitamin and mineral content between the two fruits is not significant, and both fruits can be considered healthy options.
Prunes are higher in calories, fiber, and carbohydrates than fresh plums. This difference in nutritional content is due to the fact that prune juice is more concentrated than fresh plum juice and the removal of water during the drying process. As a result, prunes have more calories per serving than plums. However, prunes are also higher in fiber than plums, and a serving of prunes contains 12% of the daily recommended intake of fiber, which can promote satiety and digestive health. Additionally, prunes have a low glycemic index, which means they can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Finally, when it comes to selecting between plums and prunes, the choice depends on personal taste, convenience, and intended use. If you prefer fresh fruit and want to snack on something easy to grab, plums are a great option. However, if you are looking to add fiber and natural sweetness to your diet, prunes are a good option. They can be easily added to oatmeal, baked goods, and trail mixes. It is important to note that prunes should be consumed in moderation due to their high calorie content.
Both plums and prunes offer numerous health benefits and can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. While prunes are slightly higher in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, plums are lower in calories and are a convenient snack option. The choice between the two depends on personal preference, needs, and intended use.