Discover the 7 shocking health benefits of plums.
Plums are fruits of the subgenus and genus Prunus. Plums are in the same family as benefit-rich cherries and peaches, as they are all flowers that produce a fruit with a groove running down one side and a smooth stone or pit.
Did you know that plum remains have been found in archaeological sites from the Neolithic Age along with olives, grapes, and figs? Plums may have been one of the first fruits to be domesticated by humans.
Commercial plums are medium in size, usually pruned to 16 feet tall. Plums are generally medium in size, between 1-3 inches in diameter, and the shape is globose or oval.
It is characterized as a drupe, which means that the fleshy fruit surrounds a single hard seed.
Plums come in a wide variety of colors and sizes; some have firmer flesh than others, and the colors range from yellow, white, green to red.
The taste of plum ranges from sweet to sour. The fruit is juicy and delicious when eaten fresh; it can also be dried, used in jams and other recipes. Prune juice can even be fermented into prune wine.
Dried plums (or prunes) are also sweet and juicy; In addition, they contain several antioxidants and are considered a superior antioxidant food.
Plums and prunes are known for their laxative effect, which has been attributed to various compounds present in fruits, such as dietary fiber, sorbitol, and isatin.
Because it helps the digestive system, prunes and prune juice are often used to help regulate the functioning of the digestive system.
A 2013 article published in Critical Reviews in Food and Science Nutrition suggests that snacking on dried plums can increase satiety and reduce food intake, helping to control obesity, diabetes, and related cardiovascular disease.
Despite their sweet taste, dried plums do not cause a significant spike in blood glucose and insulin after meals.
Dried plums also affect the gastrointestinal tract by preventing constipation and possibly colon cancer.
The bioactive compounds in dried plums and their metabolites can also act as antibacterial agents in the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts.
The many health benefits of plums are the result of their vitamin and mineral content. Plums not only aid digestion, but are also known to improve cardiovascular health, boost the immune system, support skin health, fight free radicals, and lower cholesterol.
A cup of sliced plum has approximately:
• 76 calories
• zero grams of fat
• 19 grams of carbohydrates
• 2 grams of dietary fiber
• 16 grams of sugar
• 1 gram of protein
• 15 milligrams of vitamin C (26 percent DV)
• 10 micrograms of vitamin K (13 percent DV)
• 569 international units of vitamin A (11 percent DV)
• 01 milligrams thiamine (3 percent DV)
• 01 milligrams riboflavin (3 percent DV)
• 7 milligrams niacin (3 percent DV)
• 4 milligrams vitamin E (2 percent DV)
• 01 milligrams vitamin B6 (2 percent DV)
• 3 micrograms of folic acid (2 percent DV)
• 2 milligrams pantothenic acid (2 percent DV)
• 259 milligrams potassium (7 percent DV)
• 1-milligram copper (5 percent DV)
• 1-milligram manganese (4 percent DV)
• 11 milligrams magnesium (3 percent DV)
• 26 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
• 3 milligrams iron (2 percent DV)
• One of the main benefits of plum is its powerful antioxidant properties.
• Plums contain vitamin C and phytonutrients such as lutein, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, chlorogenic acid, and chlorogenic acid.
• Foods high in antioxidants help prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation.
• When certain types of oxygen molecules can travel freely in the body, they cause what is known as oxidative damage or the formation of free radicals.
Free radicals are very dangerous to body tissues and have been linked to serious diseases such as cancer and premature aging.
• The body uses antioxidants to prevent oxygen damage.
• A 2009 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food suggests that plums are rich in natural antioxidants and protect granulocytes from oxidative stress.
• The study was designed to test the antiradical activity of seven varieties of plums, and their protective effects against oxidative stress were comparatively evaluated in the white blood cells of mice.
• Some other benefits of eating plums and other antioxidant foods are slower agings, healthy, glowing skin, lower risk of cancer, support for detoxification, and longer life.
• Plums are a good source of dietary fiber and help regulate the digestive system. Dried plums or prunes, in particular, are most effective in helping digestive disorders like constipation.
• The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that babies who eat solid foods consume plums and other high-fiber foods twice a day to treat constipation. This is because plums have both soluble and insoluble fiber.
• Soluble fiber, found in the pulp of a plum, dissolves into a sticky mass. This mass traps fats and sugars, bacteria and toxins, and helps them remove them from the body. It breaks down carbohydrates, reduces bad cholesterol levels, and improves cardiovascular health.
• Insoluble fiber, found in the skin of a plum, does not dissolve. Its rigid components clean the lining of the digestive tract, removing mucoid plaque, trapped toxins, and other materials.
• Therefore, the benefits of plum include being one of the best natural remedies for constipation, promoting intestinal regulation, and a constant level of blood sugar.
• Dried plums also lower cholesterol levels naturally. The presence of soluble fiber in prunes can help lower LDL cholesterol by interfering with the absorption of cholesterol from the diet.
• Prunes lower cholesterol by binding with bile acids and removing them from the body. These bile acids are compounds that are used to digest fat and are manufactured by the liver from cholesterol.
• When they are eliminated from the body, through the feces, the liver must create new bile acids, this consumes more cholesterol, resulting in a decrease in circulating cholesterol.
• Flavonoids and phenolic components such as anthocyanins, chlorogenic acids, quercetin, and catechins present in plums have anti-inflammatory effects on the different cells of the body.
• Anti-inflammatory foods help prevent diseases such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
• The vitamin K present in plums is also beneficial for the heart, so consider addressing the very common vitamin K deficiency right away.
• This vitamin has been shown to help prevent calcification of the arteries, one of the main causes of heart attacks.
• It works by transporting calcium out of the arteries and not allowing dangerous and hard plaque deposits to form.
• It helps prevent the hardening of the arteries because it can keep calcium out of the linings of the arteries and other tissues in the body, where it can cause damage.
• Some studies show that vitamin K is an essential nutrient for reducing inflammation and protecting cells that line blood vessels, including veins and arteries.
• Consuming adequate levels of vitamin K is important to prevent high blood pressure and decrease the chances of cardiac arrest.
• A promising 2014 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that dietary intake of vitamin K is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular, cancer, or all-cause mortality in a Mediterranean population at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
• The phytonutrients present in plums serve as one of the main benefits of plums because they help reduce inflammation in neurological areas and improve the ability to learn and retain information.
• This means that plums help prevent age-related neurodegenerative disorders, which serve as natural treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
• A 2015 study published in The British Journal of Nutrition states that “aging accompanied by a decline in cognitive performance may be the result of the long-term effects of oxidative stress on neurological processes.”
• The study was designed to observe the effects of the polyphenolic oriental plums on cognitive function and the disposition of protein expression in the brains of mice that were fed a high-cholesterol diet for five months.
• The results showed that cholesterol concentrations in both the blood and the brain were significantly higher in the group consuming a high cholesterol diet compared to the control and high cholesterol in the oriental plum groups.
• Researchers conclude that incorporating oriental plums into a high-cholesterol diet may improve some of the symptoms of neurodegenerative conditions (or neurons in the brain).
• The vitamin C content in plums serves as a benefit for the skin and blood vessels.
• A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition evaluated more than 4,000 women between the ages of 40 and 74 and found that higher intake of vitamin C reduced the likelihood of a wrinkled appearance, dry skin, and helped slow aging naturally.
• Vitamin C is used to make an important protein that is used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
• Helps heal wounds, and forms scar tissue. There is even some evidence that using vitamin C skin cream can decrease the amount and duration of skin redness after cosmetic skin procedures, such as wrinkle or scar removal.
• The vitamin C content in plums is beneficial for people whose immune systems have been weakened due to stress.
• Considering that stress has become a common condition in our society, a sufficient intake of foods with vitamin C can serve as an ideal tool for one’s overall health.
• A 2006 study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism states that “vitamin C contributes to maintaining the redox integrity of cells and thus protects them against reactive oxygen species generated during the respiratory burst and in the inflammatory response.”
• The results of the study testing the effects of vitamin C and zinc on clinical conditions, found that adequate intake of vitamin C and zinc improves symptoms and shortens the duration of respiratory tract infections, including prevention of the common cold.
• In addition, vitamin C and zinc reduce the incidence and improve the outcome of pneumonia, malaria, and diarrheal infections, especially in children in developing countries.
• Diabetes is a disease that causes high blood sugar levels.
• If the pancreas does not produce adequate amounts of insulin, or if our cells cannot properly process insulin, diabetes occurs.
• Because glucose is not used properly, it builds up in the bloodstream, resulting in the common indicator of diabetes: high levels of glucose or sugar in the blood.
• Plums have a low glycemic index and plum extracts help lower blood glucose and triglyceride levels in the body.
• The presence of flavonoids is another benefit of plum because they protect the body against insulin resistance. It is also the presence of soluble fiber in plums that helps normalize blood sugar levels and serves as a natural remedy for diabetes.
• Soluble fiber helps the stomach empty at a slower rate, which affects blood sugar levels and has a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity. This helps control diabetes.
• The polyphenols and potassium in plums are beneficial for bones because they improve bone density and prevent bone loss.
• This can be extremely helpful for people with osteoporosis.
• The potassium found in plums is necessary to help protect the bones from becoming weak and prone to breakage or fracture.
• When people have low potassium levels, their bones are not adequately protected from the effects of sulfur acids, and they can become demineralized, weakened, and porous.
• This is what increases the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
• Osteoporosis occurs when tiny holes or weakened areas form in the bone that can lead to fractures, pain, and even a widow’s hump.
• It is generally seen in older women over 50 years of age. The main causes of osteoporosis include aging, emotional stress, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal imbalances.
• Plums and other foods high in potassium serve as a natural treatment for osteoporosis because they help strengthen bones and improve bone formation.
When buying plums, look for ones that are slightly firm and will give a little under pressure.
Don’t go for plums that are already soft or bruised. If the plum has a sweet aroma, it is ready to eat.
Plums should be stored in the refrigerator, unless the plum is too firm and you want it to ripen quickly, then keep it at room temperature in a dark place, like a paper bag.
There are so many fun and healthy ways to incorporate plums into your diet. Plums are a great addition to many baked goods, appetizers, and salads. Try adding this delicious fruit to:
Dried plums are also very beneficial, and like fresh plums, they can be added to several healthy dishes.
They are soft, sweet, and full of flavor. Sometimes people mix prunes and port wine or brandy to intensify the flavor. Use dried plums or prunes in:
• Chicken dishes
• Pork dishes
• Bacon dishes
• Dinner cakes
Plums are great with breakfast, they are soft, sweet, and easy to digest. Adding them to your yogurt or morning oatmeal is a great way to take advantage of these amazing plum benefits.
Try adding sliced plums to the Almond Flour Pancakes Recipe. They would also be delicious in the gluten-free quinoa porridge recipe.
Add a little plum to your smoothies, like this Berry Smoothie Recipe.
Believe it or not, plums are delicious with lunch and dinner recipes, like my Fall Chicken Salad Recipe. Sliced plums would add great sweetness to this salad, or you can try dried plums for a richer flavor.
Frozen berries with coconut lime recipe
Looking for a super healthy way to eat plums for dessert? Add them to this delicious recipe. Plums, berries, coconut, and lime create a refreshing dessert, and it will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Total time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2 people
• 1 cup berries (your choice)
• 1/4 cup coconut milk
• 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• Put the berries in a bowl and pour in the coconut milk and lemon juice.
• Mix and freeze until hardened.
• Plums contain oxalates, which can cause kidney stones. For this reason, people with a history of kidney stones should avoid consuming prunes.
• These oxalates are also believed to decrease calcium absorption in some people, causing calcium levels to rise in the kidneys.
• Ultimately, this can cause small or even large stones to form in the kidneys and bladder.
• People with kidney stones can eat a small number of plums, so take it slowly and pay close attention to the results of consuming plums.
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