Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Dried prunes are both a popular snack and a home remedy for constipation, plus they contain large amounts of fibre. Dried plums have many positive effects on our body and mind, but their sugar content is high. Therefore, you should pay attention to the size of the portions. However, of all the common fruits that are commercially dried, prunes have the least calories.

In this dried plums test 2022 we want to help you with your purchase. We have researched the most frequently asked questions and compiled the most important information so that you can find the best dried plums for your needs more easily and quickly.




Summary

  • Dried plums are a popular home remedy for constipation and cover a large amount of healthy ingredients that our body needs for very important functions.
  • Dried plums don't always have to be bought, because you can also make them yourself and the preparation is very easy.
  • On the online market you can find mainly organic, unsulphured and pitted dried plums. The conventional varieties can be found in many supermarkets.

The Best Dried Plums: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying Dried Plums

What are dried plums?

They are plums, or also called damsons, from which the water is slowly removed at higher temperatures (also known as the drying process). In this way, the fresh fruits lose a large amount of water, which causes a change in their original nutritional composition and extends their shelf life.

Because dried plums can keep well and for a long time, we find them, as well as many other types of dried fruit, in every supermarket all year round. They are a healthy alternative to sweets, a sweet addition to your muesli, and suitable for baking or cooking.

What do dried plums contain and do?

Per 100 grams they contain about 250 calories (kcal), while fresh plums contain only 47 calories (kcal). In the following table we show you the exact amounts of the ingredients that make dried plums a healthy snack.

Composition per 100 g amount in g
Carbohydrates 57 g
Water 20 g
Dietary fibre 9 g
Protein 3 g
Fat 1 g

Carbohydrates coming from fruit are the ones we should prefer. They give our body energy, store energy in our muscles or liver and prevent the loss of muscle mass. One important type of carbohydrate is fibre.

Fibre is broken down by bacteria living in the large intestine into short-chain fatty acids and gases, this makes bowel movements easier. So it is a very good remedy for constipation. You can also soak 4 or 5 prunes overnight in water and eat them the next morning with yoghurt on an empty stomach.

Fibre is an essential part of a healthy diet and takes on greater importance in weight loss. They prolong the feeling of being full by encouraging us to chew.

Prunes help us build muscle and stabilise hormones that are necessary for our mental health. (Image source: unsplash.com / Ben White)

Also important to mention is that prunes contain pectins. These support healthy cholesterol levels and thus reduce the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.

Dried plums contain a high amount of dietary fibre. Even though these cannot be utilised by our body, they are very important for healthy digestion.

Dried plums are eaten as a home remedy for constipation because they have a laxative effect.

Dried plums are a source of many essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Some of these substances cannot be produced by our body itself. Therefore, it is important to include them in our diet. Many of these ingredients have a positive effect on our body and mind.

In the following table we show you in more detail which other vitamins, minerals and trace elements can be found in dried plums.

Vitamins Minerals Trace elements
A Phosphorus Copper
B Calcium Iron
C Potassium Zinc
E Sulphur Manganese

Now we want to explain all vitamins, minerals and trace elements in detail.

Vitamins

  • Vitamin A: promotes the formation of bones and teeth.
  • Vitamin B: transforms carbohydrates into energy. Vitamin B promotes the formation of red blood cells and together with vitamin A cures skin lesions.
  • Vitamin C: serves the biosynthesis of collagen and is involved in protein metabolism.
  • Vitamin E: inhibits inflammation in the joints. People suffering from arthritis or osteoarthritis should take plenty of vitamin E to reduce their joint inflammation. Together with vitamin C it has an antioxidant effect.

Vitamins, minerals and trace elements help each other with many tasks. So the more varied your vitamins, minerals and trace elements are in your diet, the better.

Minerals

The 4 minerals with the highest levels in dried plums are phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

  • Phosphorus: occurs in our bodies as phosphate and is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
  • Calcium: supports healthy bone formation. But it also has other functions, because it improves our nervous system, regulates many enzymes, supports a normal heart rhythm and it is necessary for muscle contraction.
  • Magnesium: inhibits the excitability of our nerve cells and in this way we avoid tension or cramps in our muscles.
  • Potassium: acts as a regulator of our fluid weight. When the fluid in our body accumulates, it can lead to cellulite. Potassium also promotes better oxygenation of the brain. Our blood vessels relax due to potassium and this reduces the risk of strokes. It also participates in the regulation of stress hormones and helps regulate anxiety and stress.

Suprenelements

Next we explain the importance of trace elements found in dried plums.

  • Copper: just like some of the ingredients already mentioned, it supports bone formation, metabolic action and nerve and brain function. It is also important for collagen metabolism and for the pigmentation of hair and skin.
  • Manganese: forms glucose and cleanses our body of residues and toxins.
  • Iron: it is impossible for the human body to produce iron itself, so it must be supplied through diet. For women, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, we recommend increasing iron intake. Iron plays an important role in oxygen transport, haemoglobin and cell formation. If our diet does not contain enough iron, this has a variety of consequences. The ability to concentrate and stay alert decreases. Inexplicable headaches and loss of appetite can occur. It can also be that we take in too much iron and this causes vomiting or diarrhoea. In this case, we recommend going to the doctor.
  • Zinc: has the property of inhibiting inflammation both internally and externally. Therefore, it helps against skin diseases such as acne or psoriasis and against gastritis or ulcerative colitis. The latter two diseases are caused by inflammations of the stomach and intestinal mucosa. People who should take a higher amount of zinc are pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and athletes.

How much do dried plums cost?

Compared to fresh plums, dried plums are available all year round. That is why their prices remain relatively constant. Dried plums are most commonly found in 3 different packaging sizes and prices vary depending on the size. The following table gives you an overview of the prices:

quantity price range
200 g approx. 3-5 €
500 g approx. 3.50-10 €
1 Kg 15-22 €

How do I make dried plums myself?

If you have plums growing in your garden, you should try to prepare them yourself, because it is very easy.

It is a good option to make dried plums yourself because the preparation is very easy. We wash our plums very well. The cleaner they are, the longer they will keep well. Next, we cut the washed plums in half and take out the stone.

For our next step, a dehydrator or an ordinary oven is suitable. If we use the dehydrator, we put the plums in with the cut facing up. We set it to air dry and at a maximum temperature of 42°C.

We should always remember to turn the plums over in between. It can take up to 24 hours for the plums to dry completely.

With the oven, the preparation is pretty much the same. We set our oven to 60° to 70°C and put the plums in for between 4 and 6 hours, turning them at least once. In both cases, let them cool and enjoy.

What types of prunes are there and which is the right one for you?

Now you want to eat prunes but you don't know which type is best for you. There are mainly 3 types of already packed and dried plums.

  • Organic
  • Without additives or even unsulphurised
  • Without preservatives

Depending on which criteria are important to you, we have examined them more closely in the next paragraphs and listed their advantages and disadvantages.

What distinguishes dried plums from organic farming and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Dried plums that have an organic origin, unlike conventional plums, are grown without easily soluble mineral fertilisers. This type of fertiliser can lead to excessive nitrate levels.

Advantages
  • No sulphurisation
  • no treatment agents
Disadvantages
  • Higher prices
  • Not always available in supermarkets

What are the advantages and disadvantages of plums dried without sulphur or additives?

These are best for people with sensitive stomachs. Sulphur, the most commonly added substance, can also cause headaches and/or nausea in some people.

Many organic dried plums are also sold unsulphured. So it is very likely that you will almost always find both criteria together.

Advantages
  • Better tolerated
  • Contain vitamin B1
  • Contain oleic acid
Disadvantages
  • Lose their light colour
  • Microorganisms can form
  • Shelf life is shortened

Buying Criteria: You can use these Factors to compare and evaluate Dried Plums

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible dried plums. These are the criteria that will help you in your decision to buy:

We will now explain these criteria in the following paragraphs.

Appearance

The appearance of dried fruit, in this case dried plums, is strongly linked to the sulphur content. The dried plums that are still sulphurised have a nice sheen and look more appetising because of it.

Not only fresh plums are suitable for the preparation of cakes as we can see here. (Image source: unsplash.com / Uliana Kopanytsia)

Another factor that influences their appearance is their corresponding fructose content. It can happen that a white coating forms around the plums. This usually happens with untreated dried plums and is considered a sign of quality.

Size of the pack

When shopping for dried plums, there are mainly 3 different pack sizes that are suitable for different purposes. First, we have the 200g packs which are good to take away. The 500g packs are better for cooking or baking. 1 kg packs are better for a family.

Without stone

Online you will find almost only pitted prunes. They are easier to eat and you don't have to worry about accidentally biting on a stone. If small children want to eat the dried plums, there is a very small risk of them choking.

Facts worth knowing about Dried Plums

How many dried plums should I eat per day?

The recommended amount is between 150 and 200 grams per day. Larger amounts can have negative consequences, such as diarrhoea and/or flatulence.

Even though prunes are healthy, you should eat them in small quantities or they can be very unpleasant on the road due to their laxative effect. (Image source: unsplash.com / Tim Mossholder)

What is the shelf life of dried plums?

Dried plums have a shelf life of about one year. Sulphurised dried fruit will even last up to two years if stored correctly.

What is the best way to store dried plums?

The best place to store your dried plums is in the fridge, where it is cold and dark, which prolongs the shelf life of the dried plums. The warmer our storage place, the shorter their shelf life.

Image source: pixabay.com / domeckopol

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