For most of us who are used to having plums, there is an option now, and perhaps a better one too. For prunes have been introduced in India recently by the California Prune Board. But what are prunes? Prunes are basically dried plums, so that they can be preserved for long and transported easily without refrigeration. Prunes have six times more anti-oxidants than plums and are even believed to help in prevention of cancer. Recently a Handbook of Scientific Information on the Nutritional and Health benefits of Prunes was launched in the Capital. The book contains interesting information on prunes focusing mostly on the health advantages they provide vis-à-vis plums. The well-researched book carries supporting documents and statistics to reinforce the benefits of prunes. An interesting foreword from Sonia Malik, President of Indian Menopause Society, says, "The antioxidant properties of prunes are universally acknowledged and one of the several benefits is combating `hot flushes' that are a very common condition of menopause". And, yes, even diabetics can take prunes as "the sugars in prunes are naturally occurring, and the pectin in prunes helps to delay the release of sugar into the blood stream".

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