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Prunes For Your Bones

By: | Posted in: Blog, Featured | Tuesday, Mar 1, 2022 - 10:47am

Eating prunes for your bones can help prevent or delay bone loss by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. My prune blog offers two delightful recipes.

Skelly and I spend a lot of time trying to get the word out about strong bones and how to feed them.  But a lot of women we meet don’t give their bones a second thought – until it’s too late.  

Some women are so worried about preventing cancer and heart disease that they can’t be bothered worrying about their bones. But here’s the thing… as a woman, you have a 50/50 chance of breaking a bone as you get older.  Those are pretty bad odds.

In fact, bone fractures are more common in women than heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined.   [1]

And supporting your bones is easier than you think. You can do something good for your bones at every meal.  

Let me give you just one example of a powerful bone food…

I’m talking about Prunes

Or as some people like to say, “dried plums.”

You see, as we get older, lower estrogen levels can lead to inflammation and oxidative stress.  Those can increase bone loss and fractures.  

Prunes Rich in Minerals

Vitamin K, phenolic compounds, and dietary fiber.  All of those can combat oxidative stress and inflammation. 

The proof was recently published in the journal Advances in Nutrition. [2]

Researchers took a look at 28 studies on both humans and animals. They found that women who ate about 10 prunes a day for one year improved their bone mineral density in the forearm and lower spine.  They also found that eating just 5 to 10 prunes every day for six months prevented loss of bone mineral density and decreased bone breakdown.

Prunes help reduce bone loss because they are so high in polyphenols.  These are powerful antioxidants. Other fruits are also rich in polyphenols including apples, blackberries, cherries, grapes, pears, pomegranates, raspberries, and strawberries. [3]

More Antioxidants Than Any Other Fruit

Prunes also give you a boost of a little-known bone mineral called boron.  It keeps bones from losing calcium and magnesium. It also helps your body produce and use vitamin D which is crucial for bone formation.  

And prunes of course have additional benefits for your colon and help keep you regular.  Studies show they improve your gut microbiota (bacteria) and may help reduce your risk for colon cancer.[4]

Low Glycemic Index

Now, if you worry about getting too much sugar from dried fruit, prunes are still a great choice.  One serving of about 60 grams or 6 prunes is only 29 on the glycemic index. [5]

Anything under 55 is considered low.  That means they won’t give you a sugar rush thanks to their high fiber content. Just make sure the prunes you buy have no added sugar.   

Skelly and I are always looking for easy ways to sneak some prunes into our day.  We like to chop up a few prunes and throw them on top of our morning oatmeal.  You could also add them to a bone-healthy green smoothie (make sure these are pitted prunes) or your yogurt.  Or just grab a few for an on-the-go snack.  

Osteoblasts – Bone Building Cell

Lastly: “Animal and cell studies suggest that dried plums and/or their extracts enhance bone formation and inhibit bone resorption through their actions on cell signaling pathways that influence osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation.” [6]

From my bones to yours,

Irma Jennings INHC,

Your Holistic Bone Coach


[1] J. A. Cauley et al. “Incidence of fractures compared to cardiovascular disease and breast cancer: the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study” Osteoporos Int. 2008; 19(12): 1717–1723.

[2] Janhavi et al, “The Role of Prunes in Modulating Inflammatory Pathways to Improve Bone Health in Postmenopausal Women,” Advances in Nutrition, 2022; nmab162, https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmab162

[3] Jonny Bowden, “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, Revised Edition: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What You Should Eat and Why.”

[4] Texas A&M AgriLife. “Plum good health benefits.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150927120304.htm (accessed February 23, 2022).

[5] What’s the Glycemic Index of Prunes? https://www.livestrong.com/article/415499-glycemic-index-of-prunes/ (accessed February 25, 2021).

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28422064/

Would you like more bone-loving recipes?

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7 Day Meal Plan – Easy Cooking for Bone Health

With 27 bone-loving recipes, shopping lists, food plan, storage, soaking tips and so much more.

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The best $47 dollars you can spend on your bone.

Below my team created two prune recipes:

1 for vegetarians/ vegans and the other for animal protein eaters.

I’d appreciate giving these recipes a vote just below the description.

Tantalizing Tempeh with Prunes

Prunes can help you prevent or delay bone loss.  You see, as we get older, lower estrogen levels can lead to inflammation and oxidative stress.  Those can increase bone loss and fractures.  
Prunes are rich in minerals, vitamin K, phenolic compounds, and dietary fiber.  All of those can combat oxidative stress and inflammation.
4 from 5 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 119 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Glass baking dish
  • 1 High Speed Blender
  • 1 Covered dish for the marinade

Ingredients
  

  • 2 - 8 oz Tempeh organic packages

Marinade

  • 1 cup water
  • 8 prunes
  • 1/4 cup molasses Black strap
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp thyme dried
  • 1/2 tsp ginger ground
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Make the marinade by blending the water, molasses, prunes, vinegar, mustard, garlic and spices in a high speed blender.
  • Marinate the tempeh in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Place the marinated tempeh into a glass baking dish.
  • Bake at 400 degree F for 15-20 minutes

Notes

Cook Once - Eat Twice

Nutrition

Serving: 1gSugar: 23gSelenium: 5µgPhosphorus: 31mgMagnesium: 64mgIron: 1mgCalcium: 64mgVitamin K: 12µgVitamin C: 2mgVitamin A: 183IUFiber: 2gCalories: 119kcalPotassium: 487mgSodium: 636mgMonounsaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gFat: 1gProtein: 23gCarbohydrates: 30gZinc: 1mg
Keyword Gluten Free, Osteopenia, Osteoporosis, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Powerful Pork Chops with Prunes

Prunes can help you prevent or delay bone loss.  You see, as we get older, lower estrogen levels can lead to inflammation and oxidative stress.  Those can increase bone loss and fractures.  
Prunes are rich in minerals, vitamin K, phenolic compounds, and dietary fiber.  All of those can combat oxidative stress and inflammation.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 326 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Skillet
  • 1 Meat Themometer
  • 1 Covered Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 4 pork chops Bone-in pastured pork chops about 6 oz each

Marinade

  • 1 cup water
  • 8 prunes roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper ground
  • 1 tsp thyme dried
  • 1/2 tsp ginger ground
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

Instructions
 

Marinade

  • Using a high speed blender, blend together the water, molasses, prunes, vinegar, mustard, garlic, and spices.

Pork Chops

  • Marinate the pork chops in a covered dish in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Remove the pork from the marinade.
  • Heat a skillet until hot.
  • Place the pork chops in the skillet and sear on one side for 3-4 minutes.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake.
  • Chops will be done when a meat thermometer registers 140-145 degrees F.
  • Start checking the meat at the 6 minute mark - recheck every minute ( best to use the thermometer on the side of the chop).
  • Extra marinade: bring to a low boil, reduce and use as a dressing on the pork.

Notes

Cook Once - Eat Twice

Nutrition

Sugar: 23gSelenium: 50µgPhosphorus: 333mgMagnesium: 99mgIron: 2mgCalcium: 74mgVitamin K: 12µgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin C: 2mgVitamin A: 190IUFiber: 2gCalories: 326kcalPotassium: 988mgSodium: 700mgCholesterol: 90mgTrans Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 3gFat: 10gProtein: 30gCarbohydrates: 30gZinc: 2mg
Keyword Gluten Free, Osteopenia, Osteoporosis, Pork Chops, Prunes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

30 Essential Foods for Bone Health

4 comments

  1. Thank you so much – have RA and Osteo but use prunes because of the meds I am on, so good to know that I am doing the right thing! Thanks

    Comment by Kay Walden on March 4, 2022 at 8:22 pm
  2. Don’t really use the oven that much but what about the pressure cooker? I cook beef on a trivet above the beef broth for 60 minutes and the beef is very tender so how about pork chops? Could just put water under the trivet and after 60 minutes, take the chops out and place in a pan on the stove with your marinade for a short period because the chops would already be tender. Your marinade sounds delicious! Thank you!

    Comment by Julie on March 4, 2022 at 8:36 pm
  3. That sounds like a great idea, Julie.

    Comment by Irma Jennings on March 7, 2022 at 12:41 pm
  4. Very helpful. I’m going to eat more prunes. Thank you.

    Comment by Coleen Franks on March 8, 2022 at 8:26 am