Plums, popularly known as Aloo Bukhara in Hindi are sweet and tangy fruits that one can usually find during the monsoons. The fruit is called plum when fresh and prune when dried. Having an attractive reddish blue appearance, this sweet fruit is loaded with many minerals and is especially rich in potassium. This low-calorie fruit is rich in anti-oxidants which helps in improving and preserving immunity. Besides, consuming Plum promotes weight loss, promotes cardiovascular health, improves blood circulation and even fights cancer. Read on to know more about this delicious fruit and its health-related benefits.
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Interesting Things About Plum Fruit
- Plum also is known as Prunus Domestica, is a delicious fruit belonging to the genus Prunus domestica and is native to peach, almonds, and nectarine.
- These fruits are considered as “drupes” because of the hard-stone pit that surrounds their seeds.
- Plums can be found in many varieties and some of the most popular varieties are European, Damson, Japanese and American.
- Plums are a good source of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, flavonoids, antioxidants etc.
- Plums are mostly cultivated in temperate and warm areas around the world as they require direct sunlight and moist, well-drained, fertile soil.
- Plum leaves are usually 2 to 4 inches long and green in color. However, they become yellow, orange and purple in the autumn.
Here are some of the health benefits that you might not know about plum fruit.
Health Benefits of Plum Fruit
1. Helps in Weight Loss and Fights Obesity
Plums are a good source of dietary fibre that plays an important role in weight loss as it helps us feel fuller for a long time and decreases the urge in us to eat more often. Consuming plums is good for people struggling with obesity as it is effective for the treatment of obesity and the complications associated with the condition. The presence of bioactive compounds like flavonoids and phenolic compounds in the plum fruit helps to fight metabolic syndrome and promotes weight loss.
This benefit has been backed by a 2017 study titled “Plums as Potential Dietary Agents to Prevent Obesity and Obesity-Related Disorders” that was published in Scitechnol.
2. Prevents Oxidative Damage
Plums are very effective in protecting our body cells from the oxidative damage due to the presence of a number of antioxidants (Vitamin C) and phytonutrients. These compounds fight with the free radicals of our body and stabilize them. The plum fruit prevents these free radicals from damaging our body cells, including the essential fats in the neurons and cell membranes.
The effectiveness of Plum in preventing oxidative damage is backed by a 2009 study titled “The Antioxidant Effect of Plums and Polyphenolic Compounds Against H2O2-Induced Oxidative Stress in Mouse Blood Granulocytes” that was published in Libert Pub.
3. Good for People Suffering from Diabetes
Eating plums is very useful for individuals suffering from diabetes because of the low glycemic index of the fruit. Consuming plums helps in the reduction in triglyceride level and blood glucose in our body. This benefit has been backed by a 2012 study titled “Peaches and Plums Reduce Obesity, Diabetes Risk” that was published in Medical Daily.
4. Keep Our Digestive System Healthy
Consuming Plum fruit on a regular basis is very important for our stomach as it helps in keeping our digestive system healthy. This is because of the presence of dietary fibres and other compounds like sorbitol and satin in the fruit. These compounds are very effective in maintaining our digestive system healthy and for providing relief from digestive disorders like constipation. This benefit is backed by a 2018 study titled “Dried Plums Modify Colon Microbiota Composition and Spatial Distribution, and Protect Against Chemically-Induced Carcinogenesis” that was published in California Dried Plums.
5. Good for Our Nervous System
Plums are good for the normal growth of our brain cells. Plums also help in the formation of mood influencing hormones. The fruit contains vitamin B6 which plays an important role in maintaining our nervous system in optimal health by aiding in the transmission of nerve signals.
6. Keep Our Cardiovascular System Healthy
Regular consumption of plums is good for our heart as it helps in maintaining our cardiovascular system. Eating plums increase blood flow through our arteries and it reduces the risk of various cardiac disorders like heart attack, heart strokes, atherosclerosis etc. The effectiveness of Plum in keeping cardiovascular system healthy is backed by a 2013 study titled “Polyphenols: Benefits to the Cardiovascular System in Health and in Aging” that was published in US National Library of Medicine.
7. Boosts Immune System
Plums are a good source of vitamin C which is an antioxidant that helps in boosting our body’s immune system. Our body’s immune system plays a vital role in keeping us healthy as it fights with the disease-causing pathogens and microbes while increasing our immunity.
8. Regulates Cholesterol Levels
Eating dried plums or prunes on a regular basis is very effective in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. This can be attributed to the presence of dietary fibre in plums. The presence of dietary fibre helps in dropping bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) levels in our body while increasing the production of good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol).
9. Provide Relief from Anxiety
Eating plums on a regular basis is very beneficial for providing relief from anxiety & related disorders and for protecting us from the oxidative stress. This can be attributed to the presence of chlorogenic acid in plums.
10. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Plums are very effective in protecting us from the risk of development of various types of cancers like liver cancer, breast cancer etc. The cancer-fighting properties of plum are due to the antioxidants like vitamin C, and phytonutrients present in the fruit. These antioxidants stabilize these free radicals and prevent them from causing oxidative damage to our body cells. This benefit is backed by a 2015 study titled “Dried Plums Could Lower Risk for Colon Cancer” that was published in Dr. Mercola’s Health Newsletter.
Nutritional Value of Plum Fruit
Plums are a good source of various nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, flavonoids, antioxidants etc. The presence of these compounds makes plums very beneficial for our health. Here’s a nutrition chart to know more about the major nutrients present in plum.
Risks And Precautions of Consuming Plum Fruit
Increased Risks for Kidney and Bladder Stones
Plums are high in oxalate, which in turn, decreases calcium absorption. Since oxalate and calcium deposits can trigger kidney and bladder stones, patients prone to these conditions should consult their healthcare practitioner before consuming this fruit.
High Acid Content
Plums belong to the league of oranges, green apples, pineapples, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tomatoes, and tangerines. If you can’t take the above-mentioned fruits due to their acid content, you should avoid consuming plum as well.
May Interfere with Certain Medications
Although plums have lots of nutritional benefits, they may possibly interfere with certain drugs and medications when eaten in high amounts. The blood sugar dropping effect of plums, for example, is not recommended for people who have a surgery scheduled. Such people should stop eating plums at least two weeks prior to the surgery.
How to Consume Plum Fruit
Plums go well with salads by adding a tart juiciness. Add sliced plums to a spinach and basil salad to bring in some colour and sweetness. Dress with a basic orange vinaigrette for a healthy start to your lunch.
Plum juice and smoothies are something that makes a good healthy drink. Peel, pit and slice plums, then blend them with some milk, yogurt, and fresh or frozen blueberries to make an antioxidant-rich, power-packed breakfast.
Plums go well with almonds, hazelnut, cinnamon, citrus, black pepper, honey, vanilla etc. thus making for an amazing dessert. Poach plums and stir them into a semifreddo base to make a chilled dessert having a stunning pink marbled colour. Blend the poached plums with basil and freeze to make granita.
Fun Facts Related to Plum Fruit
Here are some interesting facts related to Plum fruit:
- Plum remains have been found in Neolithic age archaeological sites along with olives, grapes, and figs.
- Raw plums are 87% water, 11% carbohydrates, 1% protein and less than 1% fat.
- There are more than 200 varieties of plums that are derived from two basic types, European and Japanese plums.
From the above discussion, we can easily surmise that plum is that low-calorie versatile fruit that accords a multitude of health benefits. Besides offering health benefits, plums also provide a plethora of beauty benefits for the skin and hair So, tweak your diets to include these wonderfully delicious and juicy monsoon fruits today!