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    Prunes are a dried type of plum, usually the oblong, sweet, European plum called d’Agen. The d’Agen has since been cultivated in the United States, and was frequently just referred to as a prune. The term prune itself derives from the old French pronne, which simply meant plum. Dried prunes are a very sweet and moist dried fruit. They are usually black to brown in color and replete with wrinkles. They are either sun or machine dried, but then prior to packaging they are partially reconstituted. This accounts for their moistness as opposed to most other dried fruit. As a food, the health benefits of prunes are significant. They have long been used to maintain healthy bowel activity, and are particularly helpful in ending constipation. A quarter cup serving of prunes contains a healthful 12% of one’s daily dietary fiber needs. As well, prunes are high in vitamin A, and potassium. The prune is also known for its antioxidant benefits, containing a fair amount of beta-carotene.