Prunes are primarily famous for being a laxative because they are rich in fiber. It's this same vital component that makes them perfect for healthy eating and keeping your hunger to a minimum.
A prune is a dried plum, typically the European variety of plum. The fruit's name was officially changed from "prunes" to "dried plums" by the Food and Drug Administration in 2001.
Though relatively high in calories for their size, prunes have a reputation as a dieter's friend. They add a powerful dose of fiber and some nutrients to your diet that are needed when you follow a lower-calorie meal plan.
Prunes are a sweet way to add fat-free laxative fiber to your diet. A single prune contains more than half a gram of fiber and more than one gram of sorbitol (a carbohydrate that our bodies do not absorb well). Large amounts of sorbitol can cause diarrhea. Prunes also contain the laxative, diphenylisatin. No wonder they prevent constipation. So snack away, just don't go overboard. Although according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it takes only 1/2 cup of dried fruit to count as 1 cup of fruit, you may want to eat less than that at any one time.
In contrast, prunes' reputation for being rich in iron doesn't hold true. In reality, they're a decent, but not spectacular, source. Prunes, however, get overlooked as a source of vitamin A, even though they provide more than ten percent of recommended levels. Potassium is another unexpected benefit you get from eating prunes, which is beneficial for blood pressure and regulating your heartbeat.
Prunes contain the same phenols that plums have, protecting the fats in our system from damage. They also have significant amounts of beta-carotene, whose antioxidant function helps prevent cataracts, cancer, and heart disease.