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Prunes Rank #1 in Antioxidant Activity

It is documented that people who eat lots of fruit and vegetables are less likely to develop diseases like cancer and heart disease. Of course, fruits and vegetables are generally low in fat and rich in fiber, but there’s something more….

Scientists are now discovering that part of the benefit comes from antioxidants — substances that defend our body against the damaging effects of free radicals.  It is now known that free radicals are associated with as many as 60 different diseases including heart disease, many forms for cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis, stroke, allergies, chronic fatigue and aging in general.

As you can see, antioxidants are important.  The question now is:  How do we get these life enhancing antioxidants?

The best way to get your antioxidants is right from the source.  Dried plums (prunes) rank number 1 in antioxidant activity. The additional benefits of fiber, other vitamins, and great taste make dried plums the smart snack for a healthy lifestyle.  Here are some additional facts to show how good prunes are:

  • Prunes are top ranked as a source of cancer and disease fighting antioxidants. In fact, prunes scored number 1 in the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) test, the measure of antioxidant power. The table below illustrates this:
Fruit ORAC (units/100g)
Dried Plums (Prunes)* 5770
Raisins* 2830
Blueberries* 2400
Blackberries* 2036
Strawberries* 1540
Raspberries* 1220
Plums* 949
Oranges* 750
Grapes (red)* 739
Cherries* 670
Additional Products Available only from Stapleton-Spence
Stapleton’s Fresh Plum Puree
(Brunswick Laboratories, 2000)

  • Prunes are high in fiber, long known to be beneficial in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, diabetes and diverticular disease.
  • Prunes are a good source of Vitamin A, an essential nutrient. Vitamin A has also been shown to have antioxidant activity, which as mentioned above has been associated as protective against many forms of cancer.

“Eat your fruits and vegetables.”  As we learn more about the protective effect of antioxidants, this old adage rings true.  Finally, don’t forget the dried plums and raisins.  They are both on the very top of the antioxidant list.  It seems another adage is true too… taste good and good for you too!


* Prior, R., Joseph, J., Cao, G. and Shukitt-Hale, B., “Can Foods Forestall Aging”, Agricultural Research, Feb., 1999


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