Channel 4's 'Superfoods' names prunes as 'the food of the future'
Prunes have been hailed as ‘the food of the future’ on national TV, after featuring on Channel 4’s ‘Superfoods’ programme last week which investigates the purported health benefits of superfoods.
Following on from news released by California Prunes in 2016 (relating to research published in Scientific Reports - an online journal covering the natural and clinical sciences) which indicated that eating prunes may be beneficial to counter the effects on bone of exposure to space radiation, the programme further probed the relationship between eating prunes and preserving bone health.
The presenter met with a US astronaut who confirmed the NASA team’s commitment to eating a prune rich diet as a possible intervention to counteract loss of bone density due to unavoidable exposure to space radiation.
The programme also included an interview with bone health expert Dr Bahram Arjmandi, the headline speaker at California Prunes’ Prune Health Matters Seminar, held at King’s College, London, September 2015. Dr Arjmandi (Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, Florida State University) spoke of his belief in prunes as the food of the future, based on the extensive research he has undertaken amongst post-menopausal women, which supports the view that eating a simple daily helping of around 8-12 California Prunes could help support the maintenance of healthy bones and may even contribute to maximising bone potential.
During his career, Dr Arjmandi has tested numerous fruits but none of them come anywhere close to having the same effect on bone density as prunes and has previously said: “Although calcium plays an important role in bone health, a number of other nutrients, together with exercise are also important for reducing the risk of osteoporosis. It appears that the inclusion of prunes in the diet can help to suppress (and in some cases, revert) the breakdown of bones, which tends to speed as people age. Prunes are high in vitamin K and a source of manganese, two other important nutrients that support the maintenance of normal bones.
“Eating just 8-12 (100g) prunes a day as part of a balanced diet will enable a person to access the health benefits associated with prunes. Prunes can be eaten in all forms and can be included in a variety of recipes.”
The TV programme concluded by acknowledging prunes as a genuine ‘superfood’ based on the bone health findings, alongside the established digestive health claims (prunes contribute to normal bowel function and are the only natural whole fruit to achieve an authorized health claim in Europe).
Commenting on the positive coverage of prunes, Esther Ritson-Elliott, European Marketing Director for California Prunes said, “The programme’s researchers worked independently to put together the evidence to support prunes’ ‘superfood’ status and because of the California Prune Board’s commitment to leading the industry by investing in highly credible research to support the nutritional and health benefits of incorporating California Prunes in the diet, they were able to provide viewers with a compelling rationale for adopting a diet that includes prunes.
“We are currently in the middle of our largest ever clinical trial to deliver further research to support the link between prunes and bone health. We will continue to educate the trade on the extensive health and nutritional advantages associated with the consumption of prunes, making them a viable and on-trend snack or ingredient ideally placed to meet the demands of today’s ‘clean eating’ consumer.”
Publication date: 10/10/2017
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