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Welcome Tummywise Visitors. All of the great content from the Tummywise site has now been incorporated in the California Dried Plums site.

Frequently Asked Health Questions

Photo of Dried PlumsAre you curious to learn more about how dried plums affect your daily digestion? Here are some answers to questions consumers often ask.

If your question wasn't answered, please contact us with your question. If you have a question about how California Dried Plums are grown, harvested or processed, check out About Dried Plums FAQs.

What nutrients do dried plums contain?

Dried plums contain potassium, soluble and insoluble fiber, phytochemicals that function as antioxidants as well as some iron and Vitamin A.

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What nutrients does prune juice contain?

Prune juice is a water extract of prunes/dried plums and contains vitamins and minerals including iron, Vitamin A and potassium.

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I am starting to include more California Dried Plums in my diet and I was wondering how many I can eat without noticing a change in my digestion?

Research suggests that generally healthy adults can incorporate 10-12 California Dried Plums daily into their diet without significant changes in their bowel habits. Keep in mind that individual digestion and bowel habits vary. If you do not regularly consume foods with fiber you may want to incorporate California Dried Plums, or any food with fiber slowly. You might want to start with 4-5 California Dried Plums, which is considered a serving, and gradually increase your daily consumption.

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I know that I should increase my daily fiber intake and that California Dried Plums are a good source of fiber, but how many should I eat to get the benefits of fiber?

California Dried Plums contain about 3 grams of fiber per serving (4-5 California Dried Plums). This makes California Dried Plums a "good" source of dietary fiber. The Institute of Medicine recommends that people consume 25-38 grams per day for ages 19-50. If you are eating California Dried Plums to increase your fiber intake, introduce dried plums gradually and include sufficient fluids. Most individuals adjust to dietary fiber over time.

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I hear that California Dried Plums make a good pre-exercise snack, but I don't want to eat before exercise because I am concerned about indigestion. I am worried about feeling full, bloated, uncomfortable, and I don't want to have to go to the bathroom. Will California Dried Plums have that effect on me?

In a study with recreational runners who ate 4-5 California Dried Plums 30 minutes before a 3 mile run, the subjects did not report gastrointestinal discomfort. Dried plums make a great pre-exercise snack because the nutrients that are found in them, like carbohydrates and several vitamins, give you energy for your workout. They also serve well as a post-exercise snack because dried plums help restore carbohydrates. California Dried Plums are also portable, convenient and need no refrigeration.

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Why is it that some people say that California Dried Plums have a laxative effect?

The presumed laxative properties of California Dried Plums are thought to be due to a unique combination of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, sorbitol and phenolic acids. However, because prune juice (made from dried plums) has a similar laxative effect but does not contain fiber unless it has pulp, the effect may be due to the sorbitol and phenolics alone, but this has not been verified. Additional research is necessary to confirm the exact mechanism of the compound/s involved.

Fiber: California Dried Plums are a "good" source of dietary fiber (10 percent of the Daily Value) at about 3 grams of fiber per 4-5 California Dried Plums. Prune juice is not a source of dietary fiber unless it contains pulp.

Sorbitol: Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that undergoes limited absorption in the small intestine where it draws in water and eases elimination. This can lead to easier bowel movements in some people when large amounts (50 g or more at one time) are consumed. A serving of either California Dried Plums (4-5)or prune juice (8 ounces), however, contains only 6 and 15 grams of sorbitol respectively.

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How many California Dried Plums should I eat daily to stay regular?

Although research indicates that healthy adults can eat up to 10-12 California Dried Plums daily without a significant change in bowel habits, if you are not used to eating California Dried Plums or other sources of fiber you may want to begin gradually with 4-5 California Dried Plums until you discover what is right for you. It is important to remember that bowel habits vary considerably among individuals. Additional research with California Dried Plums and prune juice would be necessary to determine a dose response for different age groups and for those with different health conditions.

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Why are dried plums such an effective digestive aid?

Dried plums contain both soluble and insoluble fiber as well as sorbitol, an unfermentable sugar which has been shown to produce a good medium for the production of desirable intestinal microorganisms.  Insoluble fiber adds bulk and pulls water into the intestine resulting in a softer stool that is more quickly eliminated.  Soluble fiber mixes with water in the stomach to become more viscous.  This can result in the stomach emptying more slowly, giving a feeling of satiety, and aiding in the absorption of important nutrients.

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