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PRUNES IMPROVE ANTIOXIDANT LEVELS

Sunday, June 6, 2010 General News J E 4
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Consuming prunes as a snack twice daily for two weeks increased antioxidant capacity in adult women, according to recent research presented at the 2010 Experimental Biology meeting in Anaheim, California. “Consumption of an antioxidant-rich diet is associated with a lower incidence of heart disease and is thought to be involved with preventing cancer and inflammatory diseases,” said lead researcher Mark Kern, PhD, RD, Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University. “We felt it would be valuable to compare the effect of prunes to a popular low-fat cookie on participants’ blood antioxidant levels. Our research suggests that by ¬making a rather simple change in snacking habits – adding the two servings of prunes (about 10-12 prunes) to their usual diet – women could boost their antioxidant capacity.” An earlier study presented by Kern at the 2009 Experimental Biology conference suggested that consuming prunes as a snack suppressed appetite relative to a low-fat cookie snack while offering nutritional benefits. “These two studies taken together suggest that prunes are really an ideal snack for women,” said Kern. “Snacking on prunes is a good way to increase antioxidant intake, and also a tasty way to curb the appetite.” Adds Delhi-based nutritionist, Geetu Amarnani, “Antioxidants are special compounds that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. When healthy cells are damaged, they are more susceptible to aging, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers. Diets that contain fibre-rich foods, and are low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Prunes are high in antioxidants called phenols. There is also a large presence of beta-carotene, or Vitamin A, in prunes. As an antioxidant, beta-carotene protects from additional free radical damage that are believed to be beneficial to the tissues of the body. Prunes are way up on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity) scale. That is why eating prunes can help fight against cellular damage caused by free radicals. Prunes are also a good source of fibre and thus make an excellent choice as a healthy snack”. Thus, prunes are a super fruit, not only for digestive health, but for other important areas of health as well. Previous studies show that prunes reduce LDL cholesterol. The versatile dried fruit has many nutrients, including potassium, magnesium and boron, as well as a high antioxidant score, giving prunes numerous health benefits from helping maintain desirable blood sugar levels to possibly reducing skin wrinkles. These studies were supported by the California Prune Board. California Prunes are considered among the finest in the world and the state is the international leader in prune production. California Prunes are now available in India and you’ll find many good reasons and excuses to enjoy California Prunes daily. So go ahead, add prunes to your platter and stay healthy. About The California Prune Board California Prune Board is an industry initiated self-governing body made up of 1,250 prune growers and 23 packers from California. The Board coordinates an international marketing program consisting of generic activities including trade and consumer promotion, public relations and advertising to promote California Prunes and expand the worldwide demand for it. About The SCS Group The SCS Group is an agribusiness consulting firm specializing in marketing, international trade and communications strategy related to food, beverage and agricultural products. The firm has an intimate understanding of the evolving tastes and purchasing patterns of premium foods by the Indian consumer as their disposable incomes grow and they integrate into the global economy. The SCS Group has been a pioneer in nutrition based marketing in the country. The company also represents Fresh California Grapes, USA Pears, Washington Apples and California Pistachios among others, in India.
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