Categories: Fruits

7 Benefits of umeboshi plums and side effects

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Discover the 7 shocking health benefits of umeboshi plums and side effects.

Sour, salty, and packed with health benefits of umeboshi plums have been a staple in Japanese cuisine for centuries.

Also known as “sour plum,” “Japanese apricot,” and “Japanese plum,” umeboshi plum is made from dried and pickled ume fruits, a type of fruit closely related to the apricot.

Umeboshi plums are round and wrinkled with a distinctly sour taste thanks to their high citric acid content.

The fruits are harvested at the end of June, just when their juice has reached its maximum acidity.

Due to its intense flavor, umeboshi is typically paired with white rice and consumed as a garnish or inside a rice ball.


Umeboshi paste and umeboshi vinegar are also available for an easy way to spice up any dish.

In terms of nutrition, umeboshi plums contain a good portion of the potassium,  manganese,  and fiber that you need in a day.

Plus, it’s low in calories, giving you the best nutrition option for your money.

In addition to boasting a rather impressive nutrient profile and distinctive flavor, this pickled plum has also been shown to have many beneficial health effects.

Studies show that it can reduce liver damage, promote digestion and regularity, and even block the growth of cancer cells.

If you are looking to optimize your diet, improve your health, and consume as many nutrients in your day as possible, umeboshi plums may be the perfect dietary addition.


7 shocking health benefits of umeboshi plums   


Studies have shown the great health benefits of these plums

Nutrition Facts for Umeboshi Plums

They are low in calories but contain a good amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

100 grams (or approximately 10 pieces) contains approximately:

• 33 calories

• 1 gram of protein


• 0 grams of fat

• 3.4 grams of dietary fiber

• 10 grams of carbohydrates

• 440 milligrams potassium (9 percent DV)

• 0.2-milligram manganese (9 percent DV)

• 0.02 milligrams thiamine (2 percent DV)


• 7 micrograms of vitamin A (1 percent DV)

• Riboflavin 0.01 milligrams (1 percent DV)

Health Benefits of umeboshi plums

Some of the main health benefits of umeboshi plums are:

1.- Protects the liver.

Umeboshi plums have some powerful properties that may help protect the liver.

The liver plays a vital role in detoxification, fat metabolism, and the production of important proteins used for blood clotting, so it must function efficiently.

Liver damage can be caused by a multitude of factors including infection, excessive alcohol consumption, and even obesity.


Some research has found that including umeboshi in your diet could help preserve liver function. Supplementation with ume fruit extract can decrease liver damage.

This means that umeboshi plums could potentially help in the treatment and prevention of liver disorders that affect millions of people around the world, such as cirrhosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and hepatitis.

2.- Promotes gastrointestinal health

Because umeboshi plums are a  high-fiber food. They can help support digestion as well as a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

This is because the dietary fiber found in umeboshi moves through the body undigested, adding bulk to the stool and promoting regularity.

The Ume fruit has been shown to have a natural laxative effect. One animal study found that giving rats the fruit improved gastric motility or the movement of food through the digestive tract and helped treat constipation.

It can also help relieve symptoms caused by gastrointestinal problems.


One study showed that daily consumption of umeboshi improved gastric motility and significantly reduced acid reflux symptoms.


3.- Helps block cancer growth

Umeboshi plums contain some powerful compounds that can be beneficial in the prevention and natural treatment of cancer.

One study treated liver cancer cells with an extract from the ume fruit and found that the extract from the ume fruit was able to stop the growth of cancer cells.

Another study treated pancreatic cancer cells with an extract of ume fruit and also found that it successfully stopped cancer growth. In addition, the ume fruit extract was able to kill cancer cells and normal healthy cells.

In addition to cancer cells in the liver and pancreas, other studies have shown that ume fruit extract can also help block the growth of other types of cancer cells.

Ume fruit extract has also been shown to be beneficial in treating breast cancer and skin cancer.


4.- High in antioxidants

From a poor diet to factors like stress, smoking, and pollution, there are many ways that free radicals can form in the body.

These highly unstable molecules cause oxidative damage that can contribute to the development of chronic diseases.

Antioxidants are substances that neutralize dangerous free radicals to help prevent damage to cells.

Studies show that antioxidants can reduce the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Umeboshi plums are one of the great antioxidant foods that promote health. The antioxidants found in ume fruit are especially effective when it comes to reducing and stabilizing free radicals.

Incorporating a few umeboshi plums into your diet every day could be an easy way to increase both your antioxidant intake and your health.


5.- Strengthens and improves bone health

Umeboshi plums can benefit bone health thanks to their high amount of polyphenols. Polyphenols are a type of plant compound that act as antioxidants, neutralizing harmful free radicals that can contribute to chronic disease.

It was recently discovered that specific polyphenols found in ume fruit exhibit anti-osteoporotic activities.

Osteoporosis is a condition that leads to bone loss, causing bones to become weak and brittle while increasing the risk of breaks and fractures.

The polyphenols in the smoke fruit were able to increase the production of collagen, the protein that makes up the structure of bones while improving the function of osteoblasts, the cells responsible for bone synthesis.

6.- Prevents cavities and oral disease

Some research has found that ume fruit possesses natural antibacterial properties and may help block the growth of harmful bacteria that cause disease. Because of this, they can even improve oral health and prevent cavities.

Ume fruit extract was also found to be able to inhibit the growth of several strains of bacteria known to contribute to oral diseases, such as gingivitis.


Another similar finding indicates that the ume fruit extract was able to eliminate a specific strain of bacteria notorious for causing cavities.

7.- Stabilizes blood sugar

Interestingly, adding a few servings of umeboshi fruit or plums to your diet could be beneficial for your blood sugar.

Recently, the ume fruit was found to affect a specific receptor responsible for increased glucose uptake in the body.

With more glucose able to be transported and used by your cells,  blood sugar levels can normalize and remain constant.

Plus, umeboshi plums are packed with fiber and antioxidants.

Dietary fiber can help decrease glucose absorption, preventing spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.


Meanwhile, antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress that leads to the development of diabetes and worsens complications.

Where to get umeboshi plums

• Umeboshi plums are made with ume fruit that has been pickled in brine. The plums can then be seasoned, sweetened, or sun-dried and sold whole or dried.

• After this process, it can also be pureed to form an umeboshi paste that is frequently used as a condiment.

Also, the acidic brine used to pickle ume fruit is sold as umeboshi vinegar, a common ingredient used in Japanese cuisine.

How to use Umeboshi

Umeboshi, umeboshi paste, and umeboshi plums can be found in specialty stores, Asian supermarkets, and online retailers for use in a variety of different dishes.

• Umeboshi plums are typically paired with rice to tone down their strong flavor.


They can be consumed in onigiri, rice balls wrapped in seaweed, or with ochazuke, a traditional dish in which green tea is poured over cooked rice.

It can also be cooked, seasoned, and served for dinner or used as a delicious addition to a cup of hot tea.

• Umeboshi paste is often used as a condiment that can bring the distinctive flavor of umeboshi to marinades, salad dressings, sauces, and spreads.

It can also be paired with cooked vegetables or corn on the cob to give any side dish a nutritious upgrade.

• Umeboshi vinegar is a staple in Japanese cuisine. It is usually drizzled over sauteed vegetables or rice.

It can also be used to add a unique seafood flavor to vegan or vegetarian dishes.


Side effects of Umeboshi plums

Although there are no known negative side effects of umeboshi plums, you should discontinue consumption immediately if you experience an allergic reaction or any negative symptoms after eating umeboshi plums.


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