Prunes are dried plums of dark varieties that have a sweet-tart and peculiar smoky flavor. The history of this delicacy is rooted in the distant past. There are archaeological data suggesting that the first prune was obtained in the 6th century BC in territories located along the coast of the Caspian Sea at the foot of the Main Caucasus Range. Scientists believe that the locals were the first to start drying up ripe plums in the sun, trying to increase the shelf life of the crop.
Today, for the manufacture of prunes using more complex technologies. For drying choose plums with dense skin and flesh rich in dry matter and sugars. The fruit is blanched for a few seconds in 1% soda solution, washed in hot water, and then dried, dried and caramelized in steam dryers. The described technology is observed very strictly: any violation of it leads to the fact that the dried fruits acquire an unnatural hue and a rancid taste, lose their consumer properties.
Prunes - an integral component of many dishes. These dried fruits are part of salads, confectionery and meat products, pastries, pilaf, soups and drinks. Traditional healers use dried plums to treat a whole range of disorders in the body.
Rules for the selection and storage of prunes
When choosing prunes you should:
- give preference to fruits with a stone;
- carefully examine the dried fruit: high-quality plums should be fragrant, elastic, blue-black with a beautiful sheen;
- Refuse to buy sticky, deformed, or unnaturally smelling fruits, dried fruits, on the skin of which there are brown patches or light patina.
Dried plums should be stored in glass jars, wooden cases, paper bags or linen bags. Tarau with dried fruits should be put in a cool place, protected from moisture and sunlight (for example, in the refrigerator). At observance of the described conditions, prunes retain their taste and nutritional properties for 7-9 months.
Nutritional Value of Prunes
A 100 g serving of dried plums contains the following nutrients:
- proteins - 2, 188 g;
- carbohydrates - 63, 966 g;
- fats - 0, 379 g;
- cellulose - 7, 093 g;
- water - 30, 894 g;
- ash - 2, 637 g.
Prunes are very rich in sugars. 100 g of this product contains 38, 127 g of disaccharides and monosaccharides, including glucose - 25, 458 g, fructose - 12, 449 g, sucrose - 0, 149 g, maltose - 0, 058 g
Vitamins in the composition of dried plums
Prunes are an affordable source of vitamins necessary for the smooth operation of the human body. One hundred ounce of these dried fruits contains:
- retinol and its equivalent compounds, A - 38, 713 μg;
- pantothenate, B5 - 0, 419 mg;
- ascorbic acid, C - 0, 577 mg;
- thiamine, B1 - 0, 049 mg;
- pyridoxine, B6 - 0, 203 mg;
- alpha-tocopherol, tocopherol equivalent, E - 0, 427 mg;
- riboflavin, B2 - 0, 184 mg;
- nicotinic acid, niacin equivalent, PP - 1,879 mg;
- folic acid, B9 - 3, 904 μg;
- choline, B4 - 10, 093 mg.
In addition, useful compounds such as phylloquinone (vitamin K, content - 59, 494 μg per 100 g of product) and betaine (0, 399 mg per 100 g) were found in dried plums.
Useful items in prunes
Macro elements in 100 g of dried plums:
- phosphorus - 68, 773 mg;
- magnesium - 40, 836 mg;
- potassium - 731, 294 mg;
- sodium - 1, 944 mg;
- Calcium - 42, 106 mg.
Trace elements per 100 g of product:
- zinc - 0, 437 mg;
- copper - 279, 044 mkg;
- fluorine - 3, 966 mcg;
- iron - 0, 922 mg;
- manganese - 0, 297 mg;
- selenium - 0, 286 mkg.
Calorie content of prunes
Prunes - a high-calorie product with a high content of fast-absorbing carbohydrates. 100 g of these dried fruits contain 239, 612 kcal. In a 100-gram serving of dehydrated prunes - 338, 106 kcal, stewed - 112, 731 kcal, marinated - 104, 288 kcal. The energy value of dried plums in chocolate - 391, 608 kcal per 100 g
Medium-sized prunes weighs 15 g. This means that 1 fruit contains about 36 kcal. About 250 grams of dried plums can be placed in a standard 200-ml beaker. The energy value of this portion of the product is 600 kcal.
Useful properties of prunes
- Fresh prunes are a rich source of healthy nutrients. People who eat 3-4 dried plums daily are less likely to experience manifestations of hypovitaminosis and diseases, developing on the background of vitamin deficiency, micro and macro elements.
- Substances present in the pulp of prunes have tonic properties, stimulate the brain, increase overall performance, concentration, physical endurance.
- Dried plums are rich in components that positively affect the condition of nails, hair and skin.
- Prunes have diuretic properties, helps to eliminate excess fluid from the body. Dishes, which include these dried fruits, are useful for people suffering from edema, diseases of the genitourinary system.
- Dried plums are rich in substances that stimulate the secretion of bile.
- Polyphenols, potassium and other nutrients that enter the body through eating prunes, give strength and elasticity to the walls of blood vessels, strengthen the heart muscle, normalize the heart rate. Due to this, people who regularly include these dried fruits in their diets, significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
- The substances contained in dried plums improve vision, reduce the adverse effects on the eyes during long-term or too intense visual loads.
- Prunes are rich in antioxidant compounds that allow the body to successfully withstand the negative effects of free radicals. Daily consumption of dried plums helps to slow down the aging of organs, tissues and systems of the human body, and reduce the likelihood of the appearance of tumor tumors.
- When using prunes, substances that strengthen the immune system, reduce the risk of developing infectious diseases and colds, minimize the influence of negative environmental factors on the organs and tissues of the human body enter the body.
- Prunes are a source of compounds capable of lowering blood pressure. Dishes that contain these dried fruits are very helpful for people suffering from hypertension.
- Vitamins of group B and other nutrients present in the pulp of prunes, normalize the nervous system, reduce the adverse effects of stress on the body, help fight anxiety, increased irritability, insomnia.
- It has been proven that regular consumption of prunes helps speed up the metabolic processes in the body.
- Dried plums are a mild but effective laxative. In order to cope with prolonged constipation, it is enough to eat 3 steamed fruits in boiling water or drink half a cup of broth prepared from them before each meal.
- In traditional medicine, prunes are used to increase appetite and enhance the production of digestive juice.
- The pulp of dried plums contains compounds with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. A decoction of these dried fruits is an effective remedy for rinsing with a sore throat, stomatitis and other diseases, accompanied by inflammation of the soft tissues of the mouth and oropharynx.
- Substances entering the GIT when using prunes help to maintain the acid-base balance in the body.
- In traditional medicine, dried plums are used to combat corns and calluses. The dry fruit is boiled in fat milk for 7 minutes, cut in half and put a cut to the problem area. After the drain cools, it is replaced with a new one. The total duration of each procedure is 10 minutes.
- With regular consumption of prunes, potency increases, the composition of the ejaculate improves in men, manifestations of the premenstrual and menopausal syndrome in women are reduced.
Application of prunes in cosmetology
From prunes prepare a mask that rejuvenates the skin and accelerates the regeneration of skin cells. Dried plums (1 pc.) And dried apricots (1-2 pcs.) Are steamed in boiling water, ground in a blender and combined with an apple grated on a fine grater (1 tbsp. L.). In the mixture add egg yolk, 1 tsp. fat cream, 10 drops of olive oil and camphor alcohol. The finished composition is distributed in a thin layer over the face and décolleté. After 35-40 minutes, the composition is washed off with warm water and the skin is treated with a moisturizing cream. Dried plums are used to prepare a mask that removes acne. Prunes (4 pcs.) Pour boiling water and insist for half an hour. The swollen dried fruits are kneaded with a fork and combined with potato starch (2 tbsp. L.). The resulting slurry is distributed to problem areas and leave for 25 minutes. After that, rinse off with cold water.
Prunes are used to prepare a nourishing mask that nourishes the skin with all the necessary nutrients. Large dried plums are steamed in boiling water, ground into a puree and combined with 2 tbsp. spoons of natural yogurt. In the resulting mass add a small handful of bran and mix thoroughly. The mask is applied on the face with a thin layer and left for 13-15 minutes. After that, the composition is washed off with mineral water.
Prunes are included in the mask, soothing irritated sensitive skin. For its preparation, 2 large fruits are steamed in boiling water, crushed in a blender, combined with honey (1 tsp) and wheat flour (1 tbsp). The resulting mass is applied to problem areas and left for 17-20 minutes. After the procedure, the mask is washed off with water at room temperature.
Contraindications and harm to prunes
- Dried plums contain acrylamide, a dangerous compound with neurotoxic and carcinogenic properties. Therefore, nutritionists recommend limiting the consumption of these dried fruits 100 grams per day.
- Dried plums contain a lot of sugars. Abuse of this product can harm people suffering from obesity or diabetes.
- Prunes are a potential allergen. Therefore, persons who previously showed signs of food allergies should sharply limit the consumption of these dried fruits or completely eliminate them from the diet.
- Doctors do not recommend eating prunes for kidney stones.
- Women who are breastfeeding should sharply limit their consumption of dried plums. Failure to follow this recommendation may cause body hypersensitivity reactions or abdominal bloating in an infant.
- Abuse of prunes can cause a disturbance of the digestive process, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea.