Keep Your Bowels Happy With This Sweet Treat

Rodale News
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Dried plums (aka the fruit formerly known as prunes) are best known for being a high-fiber food that—ahem—helps you go. Now research has discovered a new way this sweet fruit keeps your bowels happy: According to research presented at the Experimental Biology 2015 conference, dried plums may reduce your risk of colon cancer by feeding your good gut bacteria [link].

More: Lower Your Risk for Colon Cancer by up to 43 Percent

In an animal model, the researchers discovered that dried plums promote the retention of positive bacteria in the colon. Disruptions of healthy gut bacteria in the colon can lead to inflammation, which has previously been shown to promote the development of colon cancer.

"Our research explored the potential cancer-protective properties of dried plums using a well-established rat model of colon cancer," says Nancy Turner, PhD, Texas A&M AgriLife Research professor at Texas A&M University. "Dried plums contain phenolic compounds, which have multiple effects on our health, including their ability to serve as antioxidants that can neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals that can damage our DNA."

Add more dried plums into your diet with this recipe for Quinoa and Butternut Breakfast Bowl from Total Health Turnaround by Tricia Pingel, NMD.

Quinoa and Butternut Breakfast Bowl
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

1 1/3 cups coconut milk beverage

2 cups peeled, chopped butternut squash

1 cup shredded carrots

4 teaspoons ground flaxseeds

3 Tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

½ cup chopped dried plums

Stevia

¼ cup toasted walnuts

1½ cups fresh blueberries

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, coconut milk, squash, carrots, flaxseed, maple syrup, cinnamon, and allspice. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the plums during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Stir in stevia, to taste, and top with the walnuts. Serve with the blueberries.

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