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We regularly publish some great healthy living tips, new recipes and other Prune tidbits on our blog

Exercising your right to healthy digestion

Posted by Sunsweet - Friday, January 09, 2015

Any exercise, as long as it is not to the extreme, will increase intestinal contractions and improve your digestive health. Getting your outside moving tends to get things moving inside too.

But not all exercises were created equal and some are better for your digestive health than others. Regular moderate intensity physical activity – such as walking, cycling or participating in sports – has significant benefits for health. It can, for instance reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and depression. Even simple changes to the way you go about your daily life such as taking the stairs instead of the lift can help you and your digestive system to move more.

Exercises considered good for digestion

All exercise is good for your internal and external fitness, and according to the World Health Organisation, adults should get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise every week. Depending on an individual's relative level of fitness, examples of moderate physical activity could include: brisk walking, dancing or doing the housework. Some exercises in particular are considered more beneficial for your digestive health. So if you are trying to improve your inner as well as external fitness, make sure to include some of the following into your weekly regime:

Aerobic Activities

As aerobic exercise increases the blood flow to all the organs of our body it also increases the blood flow to the digestive tract. The increased blood supply to these areas results in greater intestinal contractions, which in turn releases more digestive enzymes. This makes it easier for food waste to move through the colon and out of the body.

Post dinner walk

A gentle walk after your main meal is a great habit to get into as it encourages the circulation of blood and oxygen around the body helping to keep things moving inside as you move gently outside. Even if you have no other exercise planned for the day, include at least a 30 minute walk after lunch or dinner. Your digestion will thank you for it.

Yoga – standing and inverted poses

If you think of yoga like a massage for your insides you can imagine how good your body feels after you put it through some simple positions. Quite apart from its proven stress boosting benefits, certain standing poses and inverted yoga poses in particular are good for digestion. If you don't have a class near you or cannot commit time wise, buy a beginners DVD or download an app to get started.

With all exercise be mindful of the fact that digestion does take quite a bit of energy and therefore make sure to allow adequate time after meals before starting exercise. Remember also to always listen to your body's signals, in particular when embarking on a new exercise regime. Your body is a highly tuned machine – if something is not working well – it will let you know!  If you find that one type of exercise doesn't suit you or your digestion, you might consider a different type of exercise such as cycling or swimming until your digestive health is in better shape, and then try it again.

Note: This information is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your Doctor.

Try Something New This Christmas!

Posted by Sunsweet - Thursday, December 21, 2000

This year, at Christmas time, why not try something new? Like putting yourself first. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup! It may be a cliché but it’s no less true because of that. And who knows? If you take a little time out to reflect on what really matters to you - and your family – at Christmastime, you might just make this Christmas your best ever!


Everybody’s priorities are different. A formal feast with fabulous friends is festive heaven for some people. While others prefer a quieter more intimate affair. And, for some, children about the place makes anything elaborate or overly structured just one stress too far.

Decide what’s important to you: is it having a houseful of friends, relaxing with close family or something in between? If you’re honest about what constitutes your perfect Christmas, you’ll give yourself the best chance of getting it!

Letting off steam, on the big day

Don’t overlook the restorative properties of physical activity, even in the midst of all the festivities. With a bit of strategic delegation, you’ll be able to keep even the youngest members of the household occupied while ticking an item or two off your task list. Draw up a list of what needs to be done - from peeling the sprouts to bagging up the wrapping-paper for recycling – and make sure that everyone gets stuck in. There could even be a fun league table with prizes to be won, for “The Most Cheerful Helper” perhaps or “The Speediest Table Clearer”. Have fun together and make sure you’re not shouldering the Christmas workload alone.

Stress and tummy trouble

Digestion is a sensitive process that can be compromised by stress. And – with the best will in the world – Christmas can be stressful! When the digestive system gets out of synch, the whole body can feel its unwelcome effects with symptoms like bloating, constipation and indigestion. But the great news is that prunes can help. They’ve long been associated, anecdotally, with digestive health. But new research suggests that prunes should be considered “a first line therapy” because - when 100g of prunes are eaten on a daily basis - they can help to support normal bowel function. Our Digestion 101 is packed with hints and tips for maintaining a healthy digestive system.

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude

Christmas is a great opportunity for counting your blessings. We know, it can be hard! But research by the University of Berkeley found that being grateful has lots of potential health benefits. It can:

  • have a positive impact on our emotional wellbeing and on our relationships
  • reduce our likelihood of becoming depressed
  • increase our resilience when faced with life's many and inevitable challenges

So take a look at your home and your loved ones, in all their messy, imperfect and beautiful glory, raise a glass and give thanks. Happy Christmas!

Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

Bakes with a yummy Christmassy flavour.

Posted by Sunsweet - Tuesday, December 28, 1999

These cinnamon-infused prune bakes will fill the house with the wonderfully evocative aroma of Christmas. They can be enjoyed with a cuppa or a glass of milk at any time of the day. But how wonderful it would be to wake up to a tray of these, warm from the oven, on Christmas morning?

Ingredients

For the yeast dough:
70 g butter
180 ml low-fat milk
350 g wheat flour
1 package of dry yeast
40 g sugar
60 g walnuts
40 g sugar
20 g vanilla sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 medium egg white
40 g soft butter
280 g Sunsweet prunes
Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter and add milk. Mix flour and dry yeast in a bowl. Add the butter/milk mix and knead into smooth dough with a dough hook. Cover the dough and allow to rise for approx. 30 minutes in a warm spot.
  2. Finely chop the walnuts and mix with sugar, vanilla sugar and cinnamon. Work in egg white.
  3. Divide dough into four portions. Roll out each portion to a narrow rectangle of about 12 x 24 cm. Apply each rectangle with a quarter of the butter and the walnut mixture. Cut the rectangles in approx. 4 cm wide strips. Wrap one prune into each strip.
  4. Put the rolls on a backing tray covered with parchment paper. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180° C (Gas: 2-3, Convection: 160° C) for 15-20 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with icing sugar.