People often tout the benefits of prune juice for weight loss, but prunes are just dried plums. Plum juice is full of antioxidants and fiber, two substances that may help you lose weight. Drinking plum juice may also improve your health in other ways, but speak to your doctor before modifying your diet.
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Plum juice is a source of fiber. During digestion, the largest part of food -- called fiber -- cannot be broken down in the small intestine and absorbed into the bloodstream. Your body sends fiber into the large intestine and then out of the body in feces. Fiber absorbs water as it travels through the digestive tract, adding to its bulk. The large size of fiber makes you feel full. Fiber-rich foods are generally low in calories. Filling up on fiber-filled foods and juices therefore will cause you to eat fewer calories overall, which promotes weight loss.
Eating antioxidant-rich foods may help you lose weight. Nutritionist Kerri Glassman says in her book, "The O2 Diet," that eating foods high in antioxidants promotes a healthy diet with the ideal proportion of nutrients, which assists weight loss. Glassman promotes foods high on the oxygen radical absorbance capacity, ORAC, scale. She recommends eating 30,000 ORAC points daily for health and weight management. California dried plums have 8,557 ORAC points per 100 grams and fresh plum juice has an even higher concentration of antioxidants. A single plum has 4,100 ORAC points. Ask your doctor if this diet is right for you.
People have long used prune juice to decrease appetite and improve bowel function. Since plums are high in fiber, plum juice may also promote satiety. A 2009 study published in the "Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness" compared the effects on constipation and appetite of drinking plum juice with taking fiber-rich psyllium supplements and a placebo. The authors hypothesized that plum juice could decrease appetite because of its fiber content. Participants who drank plum juice experienced softer stools than the other groups. However, the study did not show any difference in appetite between the three groups.
Drinking a lot of plum juice at once may cause side effects from the fiber. To decrease unpleasant side effects when adding more fiber to your diet, follow a few simple guidelines. Gradually increase the amount of fiber you consume from plum juice and other foods to lower the chances of experiencing gas, bloating and constipation. Drink a lot of other fluids that are not rich in fiber to reduce your chances of becoming constipated. Consume both soluble fiber from plum juice and other fruits and insoluble fiber from whole-grain products for variety.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: Fiber And Weight Loss
- Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness: A Naturalistic, Controlled, Crossover Trial of Plum Juice versus Psyllium versus Control for Improving Bowel Function
- North Carolina State University: Where's the Prunes
- Fox Business: What's the Deal With the O2 Diet
- University of Arkansas: Plum Good News
- NutritiousLife.com: ORAC Points Portable Guide (pdf)
- NutritiousLife.com: The O2 Diet
- Every Diet: O2 Diet