Dates vs. Figs vs. Prunes: Differences

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These three fruits have become staples in many families throughout the globe. However, the three fruits are completely different, with distinct advantages and nutritional properties. Dates, figs, and prunes are sometimes confused for one another due to their similar look, similar usage, and, to some degree, similar tastes. So, what is the difference between dates, figs, and prunes?

Dates are date palm tree fruits, figs are inverted blooms that must be pollinated by fig wasps in order to thrive, and prunes are dried plums. All three are seasonal fruits, which is why they are more often encountered dried than fresh.

Prunes, figs, and dates are all distinct fruits with distinct characteristics, which means that although they have comparable applications, you cannot always swap one for the other. As a result, in the following paragraphs, I will completely describe the distinctions between prunes, dates, and figs, as well as provide some tips on how to utilize them.

Appearance and Origin

Dates vs. Figs vs. Prunes: Differences

Prunes and dates have a stronger resemblance than figs and figs dates. While prunes and dates are pitted fruits, figs are not, despite the presence of seeds, and prunes are dried plums that grow on plum trees.

Plum trees may be found all over the globe. They do not need a certain environment, but they do require sunlight. So, if the weather is not chilly all year, plum trees will develop and flourish.

Dates are often associated with the Middle East, although they may also be found in North Africa. They grow on a date palm tree and are mostly dried since they are geographically and seasonally restricted.

Plums and dates look to be quite similar in size, texture, and consistency. They do, however, vary in color and form. Dates are brown-red and elongated, but prunes are dark purple and wrinkled.

Figs are native to the Mediterranean, although they can grow wherever there is adequate temperature, sunlight, and water. While in certain regions of the globe, figs are a valuable commodity, in others, they are grown in backyards.

Figs are unique in that they are not considered fruit in the classic sense, but rather inverted blooms. They do not bloom outward, but rather inside, and are pollinated by fig wasps.

Figs are pear-shaped and light brown in hue. The fig plant is a shrub rather than a tree, yet it is still considered tiny.

The fig, date, and prune (plum) trees are all extremely distinct from one another and may be readily differentiated.


Figs, prunes, and dates are all wonderful and sweet in their own way. Prunes are the sweetest, however figs and dates may be sweeter than prunes depending on the variety.

Figs have a distinct taste and are highly unique. They have a sweet and somewhat bitter flavor. They are crunchy on the inside because they are packed of seeds; nonetheless, the fruit itself is soft but somewhat sticky.

Prunes are sweet, somewhat tart, and much sweeter than figs but not plums. They are sticky, but unlike figs, they are chewy rather than crisp.

Dates are also sweet and have a faint caramel flavor. Dates are the most flavorful of the three, and they are the simplest to consume since they are not as sticky as the other two.


In terms of nutrition and health advantages, all three are quite good and healthful to consume. All three are fantastic complements to your diet and should be consumed three or four times each week.

Prunes are generally the least caloric and have the fewest carbohydrates and sugars. Dates and figs have more calories, carbohydrates, and sugars than prunes, but that doesn’t imply they’re less nutritious; they just have different health benefits.

All three include dietary fiber and are easily digestible. They are also high in vitamins, which are beneficial to immunity.

Uses and Health Benefits

Prunes, dates, and figs are considered to be quite healthful and should be included in your diet. [1] They may be utilized in a variety of ways, from smoothies to incorporating them into meals.

Prunes and dates are popular additions to healthy treats and energy-boosting snacks since they are good sugar replacements and make fantastic smoothie additions. You may also use them in sauces for roast meat and make jams out of them.

Figs don’t work well in smoothies since there will be pieces, but if you don’t mind them, toss them in your morning drink. However, figs are more often consumed when coupled with cheeses, deli meats, and wine.

Prunes are well-known for their ability to help with digestive issues. They are also beneficial to bone and muscular health, as well as skin health. Prunes are a wonderful ally in the battle against bad cholesterol, and they may also aid with high blood pressure. [2]

Dates are high in antioxidants, which means they are anti-inflammatory. Because they are high in fiber, they are beneficial to intestinal health. [3] Dates are also a fantastic sugar substitute since they are tasty but not toxic.

They have also been shown to be quite effective in blood sugar management and may aid with diabetes and insulin resistance. [4]

Figs combine the health advantages of prunes and dates. They are useful to skin health, utilized as an alternative medication for constipation, aid in blood sugar regulation, are favorable to cardiovascular health, and support bone and muscular health. [5]

Because of their nutritional characteristics and health advantages, figs, prunes, and dates are considered superfoods. They are also quite simple to locate and inexpensive, so you can simply include them into your diet.

The greatest part is that you may utilize all three at the same time since they are not mutually exclusive, and none of them loses its advantages when combined with the other two.


What is the difference between dates figs and prunes?

Prunes have a softer taste than dates and a tinge of acidity. They are less ideal for baking because to their decreased sugar content, but their overall taste is more mild. Dates are frequently smaller than prunes, and unlike prunes, unless pitted, they have a circular, pointed pit.

Which are healthier dates or prunes or figs?

Dates outperform other popular fruits in terms of vitamin and mineral content. Indeed, it is marketed as the “richest source of dietary minerals.” However, since they are dried, they provide about five times the calories of fresh fruits, ounce for ounce.

Do figs have the same effect as prunes?

It may come as a surprise, but dried figs have more fiber than prunes. Sure, prunes are well-known for their digestive aid, but dried figs offer more fiber per cup—15 grams against 12 grams for prunes.

Are dates or figs better for constipation?

Figs have a substantially higher soluble fiber content per fruit, with 4-5 grams compared to dates, which contain roughly 2-3 grams. Figs are also associated with healthy digestive health, aid in constipation relief, and contribute to heart health.

Are dates just dried prunes?

Dates. Dates may be either dry or fresh fruit, while prunes are dried plums. Dried dates are sweeter than fresh dates and are widely used in baking. Dates have a feel similar to prunes, however dates have a golden amber hue with an oblong form, while prunes are virtually black.

Are dates a laxative?

Dates are a natural laxative that aids in constipation relief.

One of the less well-known health advantages of dates. Dates, whether you regard this as a positive or negative thing, function well as a laxative and aid digestion. Dates are thus an excellent snack for when you need to urinate.

Are figs or prunes a laxative?

Dried fruits including dates, figs, prunes, apricots, and raisins are also high in dietary fiber, which helps with constipation. “Prunes are especially good because they are high in fiber and also contain sorbitol, which is a natural laxative,” Prather explains.

Which is better for osteoporosis prunes or dates?

Both dried fruit regimens proved to have “bone-protective effects,” with prunes seeming to be more effective in the arm bone and spine.

How many figs should I eat a day?

It is advised that you restrict your daily serving amount to roughly 2-3 figs. Furthermore, dried figs are a healthy snack for weight growth.

Do figs loosen bowels?

Dried figs are an excellent cure for constipation, with obvious improvements after only a few applications. Dried figs are high in fiber, which may aid with bowel movement. These are also high in vitamin B6, which might help with digestion indirectly.

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