Do prunes help fertility? Prunes are excellent sources of iron, choline, potassium, and magnesium, which are fertility-boosting nutrients that play a key role in reproduction including beta-cryptoxanthin antioxidants that combat oxidative stress.
Start your fertility journey daily with a boost of fiber and essential nutrients! A glass of prune juice is just the ticket, offering natural constipation relief and packing a punch of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that a vital for a functional reproductive system.
According to Shirin Hooshmand, Ph.D., Professor of Nutrition at San Diego State University— prunes can boost our body’s immunity to combat diseases that may affect fertility thanks to their antioxidant content.
Also, data from USDA revealed that prunes contain a special antioxidant known as Beta-cryptoxanthin, which has been shown to help the body combat degenerative diseases  including those detrimental to reproductive function.
There are several antioxidants found in these fruits such as beta-carotene, and vitamins A and E, Studies say these antioxidants can improve sperm and egg quality due to their free radicals scavenging properties [2, 3].
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Prunes and Fertility: Sweet Facts and Sensible Advice
Sweet Facts about Prunes
- Prunes are a good source of fiber, iron, and vitamin K. These nutrients are essential for overall health and well-being, and they may also play a role in fertility.
- Fiber helps to regulate hormones and blood sugar levels, both of which are important for fertility.
- Iron is essential for carrying oxygen to the body’s cells, including the eggs and sperm.
- Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and bone health. It may also play a role in preventing pregnancy complications.
Sensible Advice When Eating
- While prunes may be a healthy snack, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that they can directly improve fertility.
- If you are concerned about your fertility, it is important to talk to your doctor. They can help you determine if any underlying medical conditions may be affecting your ability to conceive.
- A healthy diet is important for overall health and well-being, and it may also indirectly improve fertility. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Eating Prunes, those delicious dried plums has piqued the interest of many hoping to boost their fertility. Let’s delve into the facts surrounding prunes and their potential impact on conception, focusing on safe and sensible information.
Can Prunes Help You When Trying To Get Pregnant?
There’s currently no conclusive evidence that prunes directly enhance fertility. However, they do boast a nutritional profile that potentially promotes overall health, which can indirectly influence conception. Prunes are rich in fiber, vitamins (particularly K and Vitamin A), minerals (choline, potassium, magnesium), and antioxidants (Beta-cryptoxanthin). These nutrients contribute to general well-being, hormone balance, and a healthy reproductive system, which can create a more favorable environment for conception.
Benefits of Prunes for fertility:
1. May improve pregnancy outcome
Prunes are a good source of choline a mineral shown to improve several pregnancy outcomes and protect against certain neural and metabolic insults .
Prunes also contain fiber which has been shown to improve pregnancy outcomes, reduce constipation, and support digestion and gut health, which can indirectly impact hormone balance and overall well-being.
According to a study of 804 women in late pregnancy finds that only 237 of them who took fiber adequately had healthy pregnancies with had lower risk of gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia 
Other researchers also found that fiber-rich food or fruits high in fiber-like prunes may help prevent constipation during pregnancy, and also reduce excessive weight gain, and glucose intolerance [6, 7, 8].
Prunes are a rich source of potassium — an electrolyte mineral involved in maintaining proper fluid balance and nerve impulses. This mineral is specifically important during pregnancy as it helps maintain a balance in body fluids.
2. Increases body immunity
When trying to get pregnant, a strong immune system is needed to reduce the damages caused by oxidative stress, and also fight off infectious diseases that can hinder fertility. Fruits like prunes are rich in antioxidants such as Beta-cryptoxanthin which can help scavenge free radicals and protect cells from damage. This can benefit overall health and potentially optimize reproductive function [9, 1].
3. Prune intake may boost sperm motility
Yes, prunes are rich in choline, an important mineral that can boost sperm motility. Scientific studies have also linked adequate choline in the body to improved sperm motility, suggesting that intake of choline-rich diets can boost normal mating behavior, as well as sperm motility [10, 11].
4. Help fight inflammation
Prunes are rich in polyphenols which are antioxidant that helps the body fight inflammation and combat oxidative stress which are detrimental to fertility .
The benefits of prune polyphenols aren’t just theoretical; scientific studies are actively uncovering their impressive potential.
In test-tube experiments, prune polyphenols have been shown to: Reduce inflammation markers by up to 43%, and decrease oxidative stress by 32%. These findings are promising, and researchers are now conducting further studies to explore the benefits of prune polyphenols in humans .
5. May help lower the risk of ovulatory infertility
Iron-rich food like prunes may help reduce the risk of anemia and ovulatory infertility — a study reveals . Also, health experts from Harvard say a change in diet to incorporate more iron may help prevent infertility .
Boosting your iron intake can combat anemia, and prune juice offers a tasty option. While a quarter-cup serving of prunes delivers a modest 0.37 mg of iron (2% of your daily value), a full cup of prune juice packs a punch with 3 mg, satisfying 17% of your daily needs. This makes it a good source of iron.
However, remember, there are several other rich sources of iron you can opt for, for example:
- Dried Fruits: Nature’s concentrated sweetness comes with an iron bonus! Raisins, figs, dates, and prunes are all packed with iron, with a single serving providing up to 20% of your daily needs. Just be mindful of the sugar content.
- Strawberries: These juicy gems are surprisingly rich in iron, offering about 0.7mg per cup. Plus, they’re loaded with vitamin C, which aids in iron absorption.
- Watermelon: This refreshing summer fruit not only quenches your thirst but also provides a decent dose of iron, with about 0.4mg per cup.
- Dark Leafy Greens: Popeye was right! Spinach, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard are all brimming with iron, with a single serving often exceeding your daily requirement. They’re also folate and vitamin C powerhouses.
- Broccoli: This cruciferous veggie is a nutritional superstar, offering a good amount of iron (about 1mg per cup) along with fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
- Beans and Lentils: These plant-based protein powerhouses are also iron champions. A cup of cooked lentils can provide up to 6mg of iron, while a cup of canned kidney beans offers about 4mg.
Remember, maximizing iron absorption is key! Pair your iron-rich fruits and veggies with foods rich in vitamin C, like citrus fruits, bell peppers, and tomatoes. This dynamic duo helps your body absorb iron more efficiently.
Is Eating Prunes during pregnancy safe?
Yes, prunes are generally safe to consume during pregnancy in moderation. Their fiber and iron content can help combat constipation and anemia which are common pregnancy concerns.
There is also calcium in prunes which has been linked to a lower risk of hypertensive disorder. Some studies suggest calcium deficiencies could increase the risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women [k14].
Adequate calcium intake is also crucial for overall bone health and development, which indirectly supports reproductive health .
Way to eat prunes:
- Enjoy them as a snack: Eat a handful of prunes on their own or pair them with other healthy snacks like nuts or seeds.
- Add them to yogurt or oatmeal: Prunes add sweetness and fiber to your breakfast bowl.
- Blend them into smoothies: Prunes blend well into smoothies, adding sweetness and thickening the texture.
- Bake with them: Use chopped prunes in muffins, bread, or other baked goods for a naturally sweet and nutritious treat.
Possible health concerns:
- High sugar content: While naturally sweet, prunes do contain sugar. Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid excessive sugar intake.
- Sulfites: Some commercially dried fruits, including prunes, may be treated with sulfites. Choose varieties that are not treated with sulfites if you have a sulfite sensitivity.
- Laxative effect: Prunes’ high fiber content can have a laxative effect. Start with a small amount and gradually increase your intake to avoid unwanted digestive effects.
While prunes are a healthy and delicious fruit, there’s no magic bullet for enhancing fertility. However, their nutritional profile may indirectly contribute to overall well-being and create a more favorable environment for conception. Enjoy prunes in moderation as part of a balanced diet alongside a healthy lifestyle for optimal fertility and overall health. Remember, consulting your healthcare provider is always best for personalized advice on your fertility journey.
JC is passionate about finding the impact of foods (feeding habits) on human fertility and reproductive health and a way to improve fertility.