Does plum juice really work
The surprising benefits of plum juice - not just for constipation relief
Plum juice has been found to target a specific substance called a peroxyl radical. This is seen as a "mediator" in the development of some very problematic free radicals, especially those known to cause plaque build-up in the body. (8) Plum juice (along with coffee) has been found to have great antioxidant effects on peroxyl radicals and is believed to have preventive effects on medical events and diseases related to this particular free radical. (9)
Plums and all prune products contain significant amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that are really important to the health of your eyes. These special antioxidants accumulate in the macular tissue of your eyes and a lack of them leads to early macular degeneration.
Another benefit that plum juice and other prune products can give you is protection against liver disease. In an eight-week study, researchers found improvements in liver function after adding prune juice and whole plums to their diet. Two markers of liver function have been significantly improved, including alanine aminotransferase, which is released into the blood in large quantities when the liver is damaged or diseased. (10)
Plum juice is not only good for your organs but also for your bones. When tested specifically on postmenopausal bone health, the plum juice prevented bone turnover (the process of resorption and new bone growth) from rising too high, prevented bone loss, and even reversed bone loss, by changing the metabolism and increasing antioxidant activity in the bones. (11, 12, 13)
The benefits of plum juice are common and beneficial for everyone. In addition to being an effective, mild laxative, prune juice is a great way to prevent heart disease, reduce oxidative stress, and more. Let's take a closer look at how the juice of plums benefits the body.
Plum juice has long been considered an effective remedy for constipation, especially in the elderly. However, constipation is a condition that occurs in people of all ages, and pharmaceutical laxatives can be very dangerous in larger amounts. If you suffer from constipation on a regular basis, try including natural laxatives like prune juice in your diet to keep your digestive system functioning properly.
A 2008 study in the Korean Journal of Community Nutrition found that "plum supplementation is effective for providing energy, fiber, and water, and for relieving constipation symptoms in constipated adults." Supplementation with Prune products helped soften stool, increase stool frequency, decrease the length of each movement, and reduce associated pain. (1)
Additionally, the Cleveland Clinic recommends drinking prune juice daily as part of a diet to prevent constipation. (2)
At least one reason for this improvement lies in the fiber in the plum juice. (3) This insoluble fiber powers the healthy bacteria in your digestive system that are responsible for digestive health and are known as probiotics. These bacteria need to be present in your gut in abundance in order to maintain a healthy immune system and digestive tract.
Constipation is particularly common in the elderly, and a New Jersey geriatric center studied the effects of natural remedies for constipation in their patients in 1980 and found that they were able to almost completely eliminate the need for pharmaceutical laxatives in their residents. In fact, the center saved $ 44,000 in drug bills that year. (4)
Although the effects of plum and plum juice on cancer have not been fully researched, a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology found a significant effect of plum juice on colon cancer cells. The juice completely stopped the growth of a common colon cancer and induced apoptosis (cell death) in these cells. (5) Therefore, at least one type of cancer can be a natural cancer treatment.
Because they're high in antioxidants, prunes have great potential in preventing and slowing many diseases, including coronary artery disease. Phenolic compounds in dried plums have been shown to inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (commonly referred to as "bad" cholesterol), which can lead to cardiovascular disease. The potassium levels in plum juice also have a positive effect on long-term heart health. (6)
Atherosclerosis is a common heart disease in which plaque, cholesterol, and other substances build up on the walls of the arteries. A 2009 study by the University of Minnesota found that eating dried plums may be an effective way to slow the spread of atherosclerosis. (7)
Dried plums lower cholesterol not only because of their antioxidant properties - the soluble fiber contained in plums and dried plum products interferes with the body's own absorption of cholesterol from food. These fibers bind to bile acids that the liver makes to help your body digest fat, which is then carried out into your stool by the fiber links in the plums. When your body realizes the loss of these bile acids, the liver makes more, which leads to higher use of the cholesterol in the body.
Other ways prune juice is good for your heart is through its high content of vitamin K, a heart-healthy vitamin that prevents the calcification of arteries.
As you already know, plums are highly antioxidant foods, and plum juice contains several important antioxidants. These are important because they prevent free radical damage that you encounter on a daily basis, from chemicals in plastics to dangerous processed foods.
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