Prunes are Plums

Prune is the dried version of any type of plum.   There are many types of plums. The dried version of the European plum (Prunus domestica), is the one that is commonly found in stores. There are other versions of plums like Prunus Americana and Prunus Salicina.

Prunes are concentrated source of:

Fiber

Potassium

Vitamin A, B, K

Calcium

Magnesium

Iron

Zinc

Copper

Manganese

Selenium

Boron

There is 7g of fiber per 100 of fruit.  A serving is 3-4 fruits that gives roughly 3g of fiber which is about 12% of daily value.  Dried plums retain both soluble and insoluble fiber and sorbitol. Soluble fiber helps slow down the absorption of glucose that stabilizes blood glucose level.  80% of the fiber in prunes is soluble fiber. Prunes have about 15% sorbitol when other fruits contains less than 5% of the same. The sorbitol, like fiber, absorbs more water and also increases the intestinal microorganisms that improves the guts’ health.

Prunes are rich sources of Glucose, fructose, sorbitol and sucrose. But prunes do not spike blood sugar because it is compact with natural fibers. So, consumption of prunes should be not more than 3-4 prunes.

Fresh plums are filled with water and so packed with water soluble vitamin C, too.  Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that help prevent the formation of free radicals in the body. But we should also keep in mind that plum fruits, during the process of drying will lose its water and vitamin C and ends as a source of concentrated sugar with other nutrients and fiber.  It is the high sugar content that helps dry this fruit without fermentation.  So, 3-4 prunes can be taken, twice or thrice a week but not every day.

It also sounds good that prunes have lower GI when compared to other common dry fruits like raisins, figs and dates.  This low GI number is because of the fiber it is packed with. Fiber keeps you full for longer and helps relieve constipation, too!

Prunes are rich in antioxidants (polyphenols), lutein, cryptoxanthin, chlorogenic acid, coumaric acid that prevents cell mutation and reduce cancer cell formation.

Potassium, an essential mineral found in prunes helps maintain a healthy blood pressure level.

Vitamin A promotes strong vision and prevents macular degeneration and cataracts.

Small children’s digestive system in not fully developed and their requirements are much lesser than adults. Seek doctor’s advice before adding prunes to your child’s favorite food because excess amount will show the symptoms of diarrhea.

It is easy to incorporate prunes to our daily meal. Prunes can be added to oats cereal, porridge that requires no extra added sugar. Prunes are very sweet and can be taken alone or with mixed nuts or salads. Oats porridge with prunes, a delicious and colorful breakfast!

Regular exercise and right portion of meals, every day, will help maintain your weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

 

 

Why eat Fungus?

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If you are like millions of weight watchers, with a fat-phobia and counting calories, here is an interesting weight losing tip!  Make room for mushroom and it is definite that you can maintain a pretty decent, healthy weight.

Mushroom – to lose weight? 

In the game of weight loss, the pretty & tiny sponge like mushroom is one of the powerful player.  Mushroom substituted for meat, aid in weight loss!  Sounds great. Isn’t?

Yes, 100 g of mushroom has only 25 kcal when compared to a grilled – lean beef of same weight that provides 175 kcal!

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A one-year randomized clinical trial by researchers at the Weight Management Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that substituting white button mushrooms, for red meat can be an useful strategy for enhancing and maintaining weight loss.

Increasing intake of low-energy-density foods like mushrooms, in place of high-energy density foods, like lean ground meat, can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake, while feeling full and satiated after the meal.

Lets make room for mushrooms, for their prominent flavor and health benefits. You can definitely make a difference in your health from this dainty mushrooms’ copious supply of favorable nutrients.

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Many think mushroom is not good for health because it is not green.   Surprisingly,  It has more potassium than a banana, which helps to maintain the rhythm of our heart!  It’s really a very valuable food for diabetic and heart patients, for its least quantity of carbohydrate and fat.   A tiny yet exquisite, is a wise addition to your plate!

The glutamic acid found in mushroom, is an amino acid, a natural flavor enhancer that entice even the most fussy eaters, to relish this low-energy- density fungus.   It is also formed naturally in the body, from other amino acids that you consume through a balanced diet.  Dairy products, meat, fish, eggs and cocoa are the other natural foods that are good sources of glutamic acid.

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Broccoli, mushroom with garlic

If you do not eat enough protein foods, you may not be able to get sufficient amount of glutamic acid.  Glutamic acid with glucose is one of the principal fuels for the brain. It helps get rid of ammonia, a metabolic by-product that is  toxic to both brain and muscle cells, from our body.Aviary Photo_130298985520354896

Mushrooms are available in different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors!  Portabella, shitake, enoki, oyster mushrooms are very common that are available in the grocery stores.

Mushroom, not only aids in weight loss, as a super food it helps prevent cancer and heal infection, too!  Studies have proven that Shitake mushroom will lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and heal infections. 

Mushroom is packed with selenium, copper and zinc. A real powerpack!

Selenium a powerful antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals and prevents the body from chronic diseases.  Along with vitamin E, selenium aids in the prevention of skin damage, too!  

The absorption of iron in the body relies on copper.  Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all cells in the body.

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Zinc supports the metabolic rate, the speed at which our body creates and use up the energy.  Shitake and Crimini  mushrooms are good sources of zinc. 

I know that you are already convinced to have a room, for this tiny, cute mushrooms………………………..

 

Mushroom is great for what it is. Low in calorie and good for weight loss!  At the same time, it is low in protein also!  It has only 3-4% protein when compared to beans, 8-13% and red meat, 25-35%. However, this is easy to compensate.  Combination of mushroom with beans (like red kidney beans, black beans, soybeans), lean red meat, poultry and fish will provide one of the best tasting protein!  

Black bean with mushroom is heart healthy!  How about a bowl of brown rice with mushroom & kidney bean curry, for lunch? Sounds great!  

To conclude, I’d like to say that mushroom is highly nutritious, low in calorie that aids in weight loss and at the same time would also like to emphasis on exercise that is equal to diet when it comes to losing weight.  Aerobic exercise has important cardiovascular and metabolic implications.  The age-old advice, “Eat less and move more to lose weight, still holds true!

References:

  • Boston University Medical Center (2013, April 22). Mushrooms can provide as much vitamin D as supplements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130422132801.htm
  • Leslie M Klevay, MD, SD in Hyg: “Lack of a Recommended Dietary Allowance for Coppermay be Hazardous to Your Health,” J Am Coll Nutr August 1998 vol. 17 no. 4 322-326
  • D. Craig Willcox, PhD, Bradley J. Willcox, MD, Hidemi Todoriki, PhD, Makoto Suzuki, MD, PhD: “The Okinawan Diet: Health Implications of a Low-Calorie,Nutrient-Dense, Antioxidant-Rich Dietary Pattern Low in Glycemic Index,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 28, No. 4, 500S–516S (2009)
  • www.medicalnewstoday.com
  • http://www.eatright.org