The top benefits of prune juice may include helping treat constipation, stimulating circulation, protecting heart health, preventing liver disease, strengthening the bones, increasing brain function, and boosting metabolism. It also helps in lowering blood pressure, aiding in weight loss, preventing anemia, reducing cholesterol, and reducing the risk and slowing the progression of emphysema.
What is Prune Juice?
Prune juice comes from prunes, which is a different name for dried plums (Prunus domestica) and these fruits are grown for their fresh varieties as well. However, more than 1,000 different types of plums are grown specifically to dry as prunes. As plums begin to dry, they retain all of their nutrients, but also increase in a particular active ingredient known as sorbitol. Prunes also have a longer shelf life and a pleasant taste, which is why they are so popular in juice form.
This juice is typically diluted with some water for a tart and rejuvenating drink. Due to some of its specialized health benefits, it has often been thought of purely for problems with constipation, but in fact, prunes have a diverse range of nutrients beyond their soluble and insoluble fiber content.
This juice is easy to make and a single glass will have significant levels of fructose, sorbitol, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, and various antioxidant compounds, among others. Therefore, while there has long been a stigma against prune juice as being only for older generations, more and more people are adding this juice to their health regimen due to its impressive effects. 
Prune juice helps to treat constipation naturally. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Prune Juice Nutrition
Prune juice is possibly rich in vitamin A, C, E, and K. It also contains other vitamin compounds like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate. 100 grams of this juice provides around 71 calories and 18 g of carbohydrates. Minerals found in this juice may include potassium, sodium, calcium, and iron, which thereby give many health benefits. Prune juice does not contain any fatty acids or cholesterol and is a great source of energy with 71 kcal per 100 grams of this fruit juice. 
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Benefits of Prune Juice
One of the most tried and trusted health juices in the world is prune juice, which can provide a potentially rich supply of nutrients and a long list of potential health benefits when consumed in moderation. Let us discuss these benefits in detail below.
Potential Remedy For Constipation
Prune juice is known to stimulate the digestive system.
Research on plums and their products like prune juice conducted by a team at the University of Illinois in Chicago suggests that prunes and their derivatives may help to prevent constipation. Moreover, a 2014 review of the benefits of prunes on gastrointestinal function revealed that prunes and prune juice may also appear superior to psyllium for improving stool frequency and consistency. In-depth research is still required to confirm how prunes can help.  
A 2007 study published in the Nutrition Research journal found that prune juice has a laxative effect on people with gastrointestinal symptoms. 
May Have An Anticancer Potential
The Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology published a research study on the effects of prune extracts and it has shown that the ethanol compound in this juice can help in suppressing the proliferation of cancer cells and inducing apoptosis which can lower your risk of colon cancer. 
More research is being done on the potential antioxidant effects of the juice on other types of cancer.
May Prevent Anemia
Prune juice, being a great source of iron, can prevent the occurrence of iron deficiency anemia and its symptoms, including fatigue, depression, and shortness of breath. 
May Improve Heart Health
The antioxidants that can be found in this juice may help in lowering cholesterol levels, thereby may help prevent coronary heart diseases. The potassium content in prune juice also promotes overall long-term heart health. Whereas, the high content of vitamin K in it improves heart health by preventing the calcification of arteries. 
May Help Reduce Cholesterol
Potentially rich in antioxidants and soluble fiber, prune juice helps in reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body and thereby may prevent atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is caused by the accumulation of fat and cholesterol in the arteries that turn into plaque. Excess cholesterol in the body can also be led to heart failure, hypertension, and strokes. 
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May Prevent Liver Disease
Prune juice helps in maintaining the production of two main enzymes in your liver, possibly including alanine aminotransferase (ALT). ALT is responsible for breaking down the food in your body into energy. When the liver gets damaged, it can increase the ALT levels in your blood, thereby raising blood levels. The juice can help in regulating this enzyme, and thereby promoting liver health. It also treats conditions like hepatitis. 
May Increase Circulation
There is quite a bit of iron in juice made from prunes, and this mineral is necessary for the production of red blood cells. This will help to boost your circulation, providing more oxygenation and nutrients to the areas of the body that need it, as well as increasing energy levels. 
May Boost Metabolism
With a wide range of B vitamins, prune juice is able to ensure that our metabolism is regulated, which includes regulating enzyme and hormone production, eliminating birth defects and strengthening the immune system. 
May Reduce Appetite
The nutrient density in prune juice is potentially high, and it can also help to release leptin, a hormone that tells the body it is full. This appetite-suppressant quality is why this juice is so often recommended to people on weight-loss diets. 
May Prevent Osteoporosis
The list of minerals contained in prune juice is a clear sign that it can contribute to bone density and preventing the onset of osteoporosis. This is particularly important as we begin to age, another reason why it is so popular among older generations. 
May Improve Cognition
The antioxidants, vitamin C and B-family vitamins that can be found in this juice are essential for brain and nerve function, and this can also help to eliminate oxidative stress and lower your risks of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia. 
How to make Prune juice?
So why don’t you make your own prune juice, and delve into its amazing health benefits!
Prune Juice for Pregnancy
Although many experts are cautious when recommending dietary choices for pregnant women, prune juice is one that appears to be widely accepted and promoted in the health community. It is particularly effective for constipation during pregnancy, which is quite common at any point in the pregnancy term. This can help to ease discomfort and pressure in the bowels, preventing hemorrhoids and other related conditions, such as cramping, bloating and excess flatulence. 
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The other nutrients of this juice are also beneficial during pregnancy, but the most frequent reason for use is the laxative effect of this beverage. As with any dietary item during pregnancy, consume this drink in moderation, and be sure to clear its use with your doctor first. 
Side Effects of Prune Juice
There are a few side effects to consider before drinking prune juice, such as the risk of diarrhea and gastrointestinal distress, dehydration, weight gain, low blood sugar, and oxidative stress.
- Diarrhea and Dehydration – Prune juice not only contains a high level of dietary fiber, but also sorbitol, both of which can act as a laxative substance in the body. While some people specifically drink this beverage for those emptying effects, excessive intake of dietary fiber can cause abnormal amounts of gas and bloating, as well as diarrhea. Attached to that potential side effect is dehydration, which can happen very quickly if you are experiencing diarrhea symptoms.
- Weight Gain – A single serving of prune juice should be enough to get your system feeling great, but that glass also contains 180-200 calories. If you are drinking an excessive amount of prune juice, you need to factor this into your caloric intake for the day, or you risk gaining weight.
- Diabetes – If you are already on blood sugar-lowering medication, speak with your doctor before adding prune juice into the mix.
- Carcinogens – When prunes are dried, there is a formation of acrylamide, which is a neurotoxin and a carcinogenic substance. Although the juice contains very minimal or measurable levels of acrylamide as compared to potato chips and fries, it is still worrisome for people who have high levels of oxidative stress like smokers or are at high risk for various cancer.