Prune juice, made from the plum fruit, is best known for its digestive benefits, but it's also high in antioxidants, according to May 2013 research in the Journal of Food Quality.
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The sweet and slightly tart juice also provides a good source of certain essential vitamins and minerals needed to maintain your overall health.
Prune Juice Nutrition
According to the USDA, a 4-ounce serving of prune juice has:
- Calories: 90
- Total fat: 0 g
- Saturated fat: 0 g
- Trans fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 18 mg
- Total carbs: 21 g
- Dietary fiber: 1.4 g
- Sugar: 12.5 g
- Protein: 1.5 g
Is Prune Juice Good for You?
The USDA guidelines suggest that fruit and vegetable juice should be taken in moderation, as they can be high in sugar. The recommended amount of 100 percent juice is 4 ounces per day, and a serving this size of prune juice will give you 12.5 grams of sugar.
On the other hand, prune juice does contain important nutrients like antioxidants, which are linked to lower rates of disease, per the study in the Journal of Food Quality. Drinking prune juice daily may also help prevent or alleviate digestive problems like constipation.
The USDA recommends a serving size of 4 ounces for fruit and vegetable juices like prune juice, as they can be high in sugar. That being said, prune juice contains important nutrients that may help you meet your daily needs.
Prune Juice Benefits
Prune juice is full of vitamins and minerals that are needed for overall health. Check out some of the major benefits of prune juice below.
1. It's High in Antioxidants
Drinking prune juice every day will help you meet your requirement for fruit servings, per the USDA guidelines. Plant-based foods are an essential part of a nutritious diet because they contain much-needed vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Prunes are an excellent source of phenols, a type of antioxidant, according to the study in the Journal of Food Quality. These compounds help protect your cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals. A diet rich in antioxidants is linked to lower rates of certain chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
2. It May Help Relieve Constipation
Many people drink prune juice as a way to regulate digestion. If you're constipated or commonly use laxatives, you may benefit from drinking prune juice (or eating prunes).
Prunes and their juice are high in sorbitol, a natural sugar alcohol. Sorbitol acts as a laxative in the body, according to a March 2012 study in Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery. The sorbitol in prune juice may alleviate constipation because it draws water into the bowels, softening stool and promoting bowel movement.
3. It Provides Vitamins and Minerals
Drinking prune juice helps you meet your daily needs for certain vitamins.
A 4-ounce serving of prune juice will give you about 1 percent of your recommended daily value (DV) for vitamin C, which functions as an antioxidant, helps form strong connective tissue and supports immune function, per the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Prune juice also has some iron, with a serving supplying 0.4 milligrams, or 2 percent of your daily needs. Iron helps with the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the body, and it's involved in hormone production, per the NIH.
You'll also get a dose of potassium — about 215 milligrams, or 5 percent of your DV — from a serving of prune juice. Potassium is a mineral involved in kidney and heart function, and it allows the muscles to contract and nerves to communicate, per the NIH.
The USDA considers potassium as one of the nutrients of concern because most people don't get enough of it, and low levels are associated with conditions like high blood pressure.
Should You Drink Prune Juice Before Bed?
Many people wonder when the best time to drink prune juice is. Some people may react to the sorbitol in prune juice, and it can cause flatulence, bloating and even diarrhea, per a February 2012 study in Methods in Cell Biology.
That's why you may want to drink prune juice during the day.
- MyFoodData: Meijer Inc. - 100% Prune Juice
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Antioxidants
- Journal of Food Quality: POLYPHENOLIC CONTENT AND ANTIOXIDANT CAPACITYIN FRUITS OF PLUM (PRUNUS DOMESTICA L.) CULTIVARS AS INFLUENCED BYAIR DRYING
- National Institutes of Health (NIH): Vitamin C
- National Institutes of Health (NIH): Iron
- National Institutes of Health: Potassium
- Methods in Cell Biology: Sorbitol