Are Dates And Prunes The Same
Prunes are actually dried plums, while dates are their own separate fruit that grows fresh on the date palm tree in tropical areas, although they are almost always sold dried in the West, according to Healthline. … Prunes taste similar to plums, with a pleasing sweet taste profile and a chewy texture.
If you’re looking for an interesting Valentine’s Day gift this year, why not give your loved one some prunes? According to research from the University of California at Davis, eating just two or three servings per week can reduce the risk of heart disease by more than 50 percent.
Dates are the seeds of certain fruits native to the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa, which grow into trees resembling palms. They look like small yellow-orange fruits, but when fully ripe, have a sticky pulp inside. Dried dates provide the same nutritional benefits as fresh ones — including fiber, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, magnesium, calcium, folate, zinc and vitamin B6 — and contain no sugar added during processing, says Dr. Robert Heaney, professor emeritus of nutrition at UC Berkeley.
“They’re really good sources of energy,” Heaney adds. “In terms of calories, dates rank right up there with other very healthy foods.”
But what about all those health claims made about prunes? Are these little red gems really chock full of antioxidants, soluble fibers and phytochemicals (compounds found only in plants) linked to reducing the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases?
Well, yes, if we’re talking about raw, unshelled prune juice. But it turns out that most commercial varieties are processed, so they don’t contain nearly as many nutrients. So how do we know what’s in them, exactly? We need to drill down even further.
Let’s start with the basics. There are five different types of pruning:
The first is called the wild form. This type was discovered thousands of years ago, growing naturally in the mountainsides of northern Israel. Today, farmers cultivate several strains of wild forms, such as Blumenschmaltz and Rothschild varieties. Most people think of the latter as the best variety, since its flesh is sweeter and softer.
Next comes rabbiteye. These were originally cultivated in the United States decades ago, but today are mainly grown commercially in Arizona. Their flesh is darker and has a stronger flavor than other varieties.
Honeycrisp is another popular strain. Its flesh is similar to that of russet apples, and its color ranges from light gold to deep orange. It originated in Oregon, and is also known as Golden Delicious.
Red delicious and Fuji are common in grocery stores. Red delicious is a favorite among consumers because it’s considered milder and sweeter than Fuji, whose tartness tends to dominate others’ flesh.
Golden raisin is the last variety. It produces large clusters, each containing dozens of tiny golden brown raisins. Its flesh is reddish-golden in color and has a strong, mildly bitter taste.
Now let’s talk about prunes themselves. As mentioned earlier, they come in five different colors: black, white, green, purple and blue/black. Each color represents a different ripening stage; black is unripe, white is halfway through ripening, green is half-ripe, purple is mature and ready to eat, and blue/black indicates that the fruit is too old to be eaten.
Pruning is done manually or mechanically, depending upon whether the prunes are destined to become slices, chunks or whole pieces. Whole pieces are usually sliced horizontally along the equator, parallel to the stem end, to create flat slabs. Slices are cut lengthwise, parallel to the stem end; chunks are cut crosswise into rectangular cubes. Chunks should be removed before slicing to prevent overripeness. Larger whole prunings are often used in cooking.
A word of warning: While prunes are extremely nutritious, they can cause gas and intestinal problems in some people. If you experience constipation or bloating, try cutting back on your intake. Also, avoid consuming them with alcohol or carbonated beverages, as well as within three hours of meals because they’ll upset your digestive system. Finally, make sure your prunes are organically produced and free of pesticides.
And speaking of Valentine’s Day gifts… here are 10 things that could potentially kill you.
1. Sitting In A Car With An Unbuckled Driver
According to AAA, approximately 1 million crashes occur every day in the U.S., resulting in roughly 3,000 deaths annually. Of these deaths, 70 percent involve drivers who weren’t wearing seat belts.
2. Falling From Second Story Windows
Falling from second story windows is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 14 and under. More than 400 kids die each year after falling out of windows.
3. Poisoning By Lead
Lead poisoning kills more Americans annually than motor vehicle accidents, suicide, homicide, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. Children aged 5 to 9 absorb lead directly from paint, soil and water, causing permanent brain damage.
4. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO), the main component of car exhaust fumes, is odorless, colorless and toxic. CO accumulates in homes where fuel burning appliances, such as furnaces, stoves and hot plates, aren’t properly maintained or vented outside. Victims may feel dizzy, weak, nauseous, confused and sleepy. Fatal concentrations range between 2 and 30 ppm.
Hypothermia occurs when core body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s caused by either exposure to cold temperatures or prolonged immobility. Symptoms include shivering, confusion, drowsiness, muscle weakness, incoordination, memory loss, slow heartbeat and breathing rate. Fatalities are rare, occurring in fewer than one percent of cases.
6. Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency. When excessive heat overwhelms the human ability to cool itself, sweating stops and the body begins to overheat. Victims will experience intense pain in the chest, neck and armpits. Other symptoms include flushed skin, dry mouth, rapid pulse and high fever. Fatalities typically result from lack of access to air conditioning and cooling showers.
7. Electrical Shock
Electrical shock occurs when electricity enters the body through bare hands, feet, hair or clothing. Symptoms include tingling sensations, numbness or muscle contractions. Severe shocks can lead to cardiac arrest, paralysis and respiratory failure. Fatalities are uncommon, but electrical injuries account for 40 percent of unintentional fatalities among construction workers.
Fire burns at least 730 people daily across America. Nearly 100 people die each year in fires started by cigarettes, cigars, lighters and matches. Smoking causes 90 percent of fire-related deaths. Home fires cause more deaths than any other single cause.
Scalds are the third leading cause of accidental childhood injury in the U.S. Children younger than age 14 receive 34 percent of all medical treatment for scalds; 8 percent require hospitalization. Common victims include infants, toddlers and schoolchildren. First aid includes removal of loose clothing, drying and cleaning of eyes and nose, followed by immediate transportation to a medical facility for assessment and treatment.
Strangulation accounts for 4 percent of all homicides in the U.S. The majority of strangulations happen around the home, involving family members or intimate partners. Women are most commonly strangled by men, and older adults are more likely to suffer fatal strangulation than teens and children.
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