How to live longer: The purple fruit shown to protect the bones and heart against damage

Centenarian reveals SURPRISE drink that helps her live longer

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The high fibre content of prunes makes them the ideal contender to combat constipation and preserve gut health, but the benefits extend to various other health concerns too. The findings of a new study suggest that eating 50 grams of prunes daily could protect the bones, by upholding mineral density. This is important for longevity, as growing evidence shows strong and healthy bones could impact lifespan by lowering the odds of complications like osteoporosis, which is associated with higher morbidity and mortality rates.

The latest research found that eating prunes daily could prevent loss of hip bone mineral density and protect postmenopausal women against hip fractures.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, assessed the effects of the dietary intervention on 235 women every six months.

The sample was split into three groups; one served as a control, while a second group ate 50 grams of prunes daily, and a third consumed 100 grams of prunes daily.

Total hip bone mineral density measurements revealed that women who ate 50 grams of prunes – or six prunes every day – preserved bone mineral density at the six and twelve-month assessments.

Mary Jane De Souza, PhD, distinguished professor of kinesiology and physiology and director of the Women’s Health and Exercise Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University, said in a press release: “Our data supports the use of prunes to protect the hip from bone loss post-menopause.

“Indeed, these data may be especially valuable for postmenopausal women who cannot take pharmacological therapy to combat bone loss and need an alternative strategy.”

The antioxidant content of prunes rivals that of blueberries, which are renowned for their unparalleled antioxidant activity.

In fact, prunes are believed to contain more than twice the amount of polyphenol antioxidants as most other fruits.

These antioxidants have the ability to reduce inflammation in the body, helping preserve the density of bones.

Prunes could also increase levels of certain hormones implicated in bone formation.

The fruit contains several nutritional compounds known for their bone-protective effects, including vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.

The latest findings chime with previous research that has linked prune intake with lower rates of osteoporosis, which is characterised by low bone density.

Early research published in the Ageing Research Reviews, suggested the fruit may both prevent bone density loss and reverse bone density loss that has already occurred.

It is not just the bones, however, that benefit from regular prune consumption.

The effects of polyphenols may also positively impact the heart by mitigating some of the risk factors for heart diseases, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The health platform ProHealth Longevity explains that these chemicals act as antioxidants in the body and scavenge for damaging reactive oxygen species and free radicals.

Having such potent anti-inflammatory effects means the fruit can thwart damage to cells, which is a key contributor to disease.

This was illustrated in a study conducted by San Diego State University on a sample of randomised healthy post-menopausal women.

Researchers found that the low-dose group had better results than the higher-dose group, showing both a significant drop in LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol.

One of the study authors, Mark Kern, noted: “Reducing chronic inflammation and increasing antioxidant capacity in the body is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, along with many other diseases.”

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