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Dried Plums Lowers Cancer Risk

By on October 2, 2015

Dried fruit is just regular fruit without its original water content, so why do some nutritional experts endorse dried fruit while others recommend fresh fruit? A recent study presented at the 2015 Experimental Biology Conference in Boston has found that eating dried plums can help lower our risk for colon cancer by facilitating the retention of gut bacteria in the colon.

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States among men and women. Recent studies have shown that certain diets can affect our risk for colon cancer. For example, a diet high in red meats can increase colon cancer risk while a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can reduce colon cancer risk.

“While additional research is needed, the results from this study are exciting because they suggest that eating dried plums may be a viable nutrition strategy to help prevent colorectal cancer,” said  Dr. Nancy Turner, research professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Science,  Texas A&M University, in a statement.  

According to the California Dried Plums Board, which helped fund this study, all prunes are plums, but not all plums are prunes. A plum’s high sugar content allows it to be dried without fermentation. Research has shown that customers in the U.S. respond more favorably to the name dried plums as opposed to prunes. They are still referred to as prunes outside of the U.S.

Dried plums, like all dried fruit, drain their water content by one of three methods: natural drying, sun drying, and dehydrators. Not only does dried plum retain both soluble and insoluble fiber from its original form, but it also contains more sorbitol than fresh plums. Sorbitol is an unfermentable sugar that increases our levels of desirable intestinal microorganisms, such as phenolic compounds.

Source: Experimental Biology Conference. 2015. Content courtesy of Medical Daily.