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9 Research-Backed Health Benefits Of Plums For Good Health

Benefits of plum

Benefits of plum

Benefits Of Plums

Weight loss ally, cancer fighter, post-menopausal savior, there are many ways plums help you stay healthy. A storehouse of vitamins A, C and K and antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids, plums and prunes are great additions to your diet. They are low in calories and are low gycemic index fruits. The antibacterial property of the fruit keeps gut, urinary tract and eye infections at bay. They are darker the better.

Relatives of the peach, nectarine and almond family, plums are sinfully juicy and nutritious. It comes in a wide variety of colours–from burgundy and red to purple and blue-black. Plums mainly is a well of vitamins like A, C and K. They are also rich in amino acid tryptophan and potassium. You can enjoy them in their fresh fruit form, as a juice and even as a powder.

Another excellent way of enjoying plums is its dry form, prunes. Prunes are as nutritious as plums, with more antioxidants packed in them than the fresh fruit.1 If you choose to include this fruit in your diet, here are a few ways you will get healthier.

1. Mine Of Antioxidants

The darker the hue, higher the antioxidant content of the fruit

Did you know that some varieties of plums have equal or greater phenolics and antioxidant activity than even blueberries? This puts plums on the priority list of your grocery shopping. Another interesting thing to be mindful of when shopping for plums is their color. The darker the hue, higher the antioxidant content of the fruit. So, go for the dark purple or blue if you have a choice. And yes, make sure they have a fine white film over them – this suggests that they have not been over handled.2 3 4

2. Great For The Gut And Urinary Tract

Dried plums, in particular, can aid the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts by acting as an antibacterial agent. They can also prevent constipation and possibly colon cancer, too. As if you needed more reasons to reach out for that bag of prunes!5

3. Diabetes Champ

Diabetics are often advised to be mindful of the fruits they eat. But plum, despite its sweet taste (well, most of the times) will not cause the blood sugar to spike too much. Plum and dried plum star in the low glycemic index list of foods. But have them in moderation.6

4. Keeps Your Eyes Healthy

Who knew that plums could help your eyes? Surprised? Plums can prevent macular degeneration (a leading cause of vision loss) and eye infections in the long run. It is overall beneficial to retain strong and healthy eyes along with sharp eyesight.7

Ageing and cognitive decline go hand in hand. It is thought to be the long-term effect of oxidative stress and inflammation on neurologic processes. And plum juice seems to have a good counter effect on that. In a study, aged rats were administered plum juice and dried plum powder for eight weeks. It was noted that those taking plum juice had better working memory, probably due to the higher quantity of antioxidant, phenolics. So if you want to remember where you kept your spectacles or the house keys when you are 70, you know what you need to guzzle and gobble!8

6. Weightwatcher’s Buddy

It’s low on carbs than most fruits

Plums can be your weight loss ally – with each fresh plum costing you only 30 calories and 0.2 grams of fat! It’s also low on carbs than most fruits. Snacking on dried plums, on the other hand, may increase satiety and reduce the subsequent intake of food as a ripple effect. This can help you control obesity, diabetes, and related cardiovascular diseases.9

7. Get Rid Of Anemia

Plum is one of those fruits that help the body in producing and absorbing iron. This means better blood circulation and growth of healthy tissues.10

8. Your Saviour Post Menopause

Menopause is a very important landmark in a woman’s life and brings along a volley of changes in her health. Osteoporosis risk and bone loss are high on this list of changes. Study data concludes that dried plums are quite effective in modulating bone mass in ovarian-hormone deficient rat models of osteoporosis. Its rich content of antioxidants polyphenols and flavonoids promote two crucial indices of bone formation in menopausal women–serum IGF-I or insulin-like growth factor and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase enzyme.11

Another reason to gorge on dried plums (prunes) is their ability to fight inflammation and reduce the risk of post-menopausal cardiovascular disease by battling oxidative stress. According to a study, dried plum consumption led to a 3.5 percent dip in total cholesterol and 8 percent dip in LDL cholesterol.12

9. Anti-Cancer Agent

Dried plums are rich in anti-cancer agents

Research reveals that plums, in addition to strengthening immunity, can also cure cancers of the breast and colon. Dried plums are also rich in anti-cancer agents called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids. When these and the phenols from plums came into contact with breast cancer cells, they were found to kill the malignant cells without harming the healthy ones.13

Plums and prunes are real smart foods. They are not just natural and tasty, they promote health in an impressive way. Need more reasons to get plum?

References   [ + ]

1, 4, 7, 10, 13. Prajapati, P. M., A. S. Solanki, and D. J. Sen. “Nutrition value of plum tree for health.” International Research Journal of Pharmacy 3, no. 5 (2012): 54-56.
2. Byrne, D. H., G. Noratto, L. Cisneros-Zevallos, W. Porter, and M. Vizzotto. “Health benefits of peach, nectarine and plums.” In II International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables: FAVHEALTH 2007 841, pp. 267-274. 2007.
3. Rupasinghe, HP Vasantha, S. Jayasankar, and W. Lay.”Variation in total phenolics and antioxidant capacity among European plum genotypes.”ScientiaHorticulturae 108, no. 3 (2006): 243-246.
5, 6, 9. Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, M. “Dried plums and their products: composition and health effects–an updated review.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 53, no. 12 (2013): 1277-1302.
8. Shukitt-Hale, Barbara, Wilhelmina Kalt, Amanda N. Carey, Melinda Vinqvist-Tymchuk, Jane McDonald, and James A. Joseph. “Plum juice, but not dried plum powder, is effective in mitigating cognitive deficits in aged rats.”Nutrition 25, no. 5 (2009): 567-573.
11. Arjmandi, Bahram H., Dania A. Khalil, Edralin A. Lucas, Amanda Georgis, Barbara J. Stoecker, Claudia Hardin, Mark E. Payton, and Robert A. Wild. “Dried plums improve indices of bone formation in postmenopausal women.”Journal of women’s health & gender-based medicine 11, no. 1 (2002): 61-68.
12. Chai, Sheau C., ShirinHooshmand, Raz L. Saadat, Mark E. Payton, Kenneth Brummel-Smith, and Bahram H. Arjmandi. “Daily apple versus dried plum: impact on cardiovascular disease risk factors in postmenopausal women.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 112, no. 8 (2012): 1158-1168.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.