Plum (Prunus Domestica ) are an extremely nutritious fruits belonging to the subgenus- prunus of the family prunus and are in the same family with peach, nectarine, and almonds. They are considered as “drupes” because of the hard stone pit surrounding their seeds.
There are numerous varieties of plums, they are: European, Damson, Japanese and American plums been the most popular. Pulps contain juicy pulp which varies from creamy yellow to juicy red. The colour of the external skin may vary from yellow or dark red to purple or black.
Plums are delicious, succulent fruits that are low in saturated fat, calories, cholesterol and sodium. They are considered as a natural multivatimin.
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Every 100 grams of plums contain 46 calories and contains no saturated fats.
NUTRITIONAL VALUES OF PLUMS
Vitamins: They are an excellent source of several vitamins, such as, vitamin A,
vitamin C (ascorbic corrosive), folate, and vitamin K (phylloquinone). They are also rich in vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 ( riboflavin ), B3 ( niacin ), B-6, and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol).
Minerals: The minerals include, iron, potassium, fluoride, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.
Dietary Fiber: They likewise supply dietary fiber and offer low calories with no harmful fats.
Health Promoting Compounds: Sorbitol and isatin
Antioxidants: The total antioxidant of plums measured in terms of ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is 6259. This fruit is likewise helpful in promoting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants like lutein, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin in noteworthy sums.
Others: It contains moderate quantity of niacin, pantothenic acid, proteins, and carbohydrates.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PLUMS
1.Helps Prevents Oxidative Damage
The presence of antioxidants ( Vitamin C ) and phytonutrients like lutein, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid makes plum an exceptionally powerful in shielding our body cells from oxidative damage.
These compounds carry out the oxidative function by fighting with the free radicals or unstabilized ions in our body, balances them and also prevent them from harming our body cells.
2.Helps With Weight Loss And Fights Obesity
Plums are very effective in the treatment of obesity and the complications associated with obesity, as a resullt of the bioactive compounds like flavonoids and phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins, chlorogenic acids, quercetin and catechins present in them.
These compounds help the body to fight metabolic disorder and thus helps in weight reduction.
3.Good For Diabetic Patient
Plum has a quite low glycemic index of 24, this implies that the sugar present in the fruit is gradually released into the circulatory system and this additionally helps in controlling type 2 diabetes.
The phytonutrients found in plums control the release of glucose into the blood and regulate the insulin spike between the meals.
4.Protection Against Osteoporosis
Researchers have concluded that plums strengthens the bone, especially of post-menopausal women. The presence of potassium and polyphenols in plums give strength to our bones and increases its density.
The flavonoids like caffeic acid and rutin helps in the protection of the bones from damage and thus reduces the risk of osteoporosis .
Boron helps with ossification and preservation of bone density and the general upkeep of your bone.
5.Controls Electrolyte Imbalance
Plums are said to have a very good amount of potassium, this makes them very effective in controlling electrolyte imbalance. Potassium plays an important role in maintaining the efficient functioning of cells and tissues of our body, and also regulates muscle contractions, and acid balance.
6.Keep Our Digestive System Healthy
Plums are a very good source of dietary fiber and other compounds like sorbitol and isatin in it.
These compounds are very effective in keeping our digestive system healthy and for providing relief from digestive disorders like constipation.
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that babies who eat solid foods should consume plums and other high-fiber foods twice a daily in order to prevent constipation. Plums have both soluble and insoluble fiber.
The Soluble fiber is found in the pulp of a plum, it dissolves into a gluey mass. This gley mass traps fats and sugars, bacteria and toxins, and assist in excreting them out of the body.
Insoluble fiber, which is found in the skin of a plum, has a stiff component which scrubs the digestive tract lining to remove mucoid plaque, trapped toxins and other material.
It is advisable for pregnant women to eat plums daily because of the number of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber, present in them. These compounds provide a lot of benefits for mother and baby during pregnancy.
Dried plums are excellent source of antioxidant agents. Apart from been an immuno-stimulant, they can also cure cancers of the breast and colon. Dried plums are rich in neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids( anti-cancer agents).
When these agents and the phenols from plums come in contact with breast cancer cells, they kill the malignant cells without harming the healthy ones. These antioxidants fights with the free radicals in our body, they stabilize them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our body cells.
9.Protection Against Human Influenza A Virus
The presence of lectin-like molecules in Japanese plums has made it very effective in protecting us against the infection caused by the influenza A virus
This lectin-like molecule has a preventive and curative properties on infections caused by the human influenza A virus.
10.Protection Against Alzheimer’s Disease And Parkinson’s Disease
According to a few investigations , it is believed to be the long-term effect of oxidative stress and inflammation on the nervous system. eating Plums have high degree of nutrients like flavonoids and phytonutrients loaded in them.
These products has made plum extremely useful in preventing against the age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s malady.
11.Keep Our Cardiovascular System Healthy
Regular consumption of dried plums are good for keeping the cardiovascular system healthy. Plum increases blood flow in our arteries and this reduces the risk of various cardiac disorders like heart attack, strokes, atherosclerosis etc.
This effect is exerted by the flavonoids and phenolic components such as anthocyanins, chlorogenic acids, quercetin and catechins which are present in plums.
Plums are also a good source of Vitamin K which has has been shown to help prevent calcification of arteries, one of the leading causes of heart attacks. This is done by carrying calcium out of the arteries and not allowing it to form into hard, dangerous plaque deposits.
The vitamin C content in plums is beneficial for improving the immune system especially those that has been weakened by diseases, respiratory tract infections and stress.
Research revealed it that plums stimulates our immune system and encourages the production of nitric oxide which helps in preventin the growth of tumor cells.The Vitmin C helps increase skin’s immunity and has anti-ageing effects because it promotes skin cell renewal.
13.Prevents Age-Related Macular Degeneration
By eating plums on a regular basis, you stand a chance of enjoying good eyesight and protection from the age-related macular degeneration, due to the presence of vital nutrients like Vitamin A and beta-carotene in it.
The carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin present in plums protects our eyes from the damage caused by the harmful UV rays of the sun.
14.Good For Our Nervous System
Normal regular consumption of plums is extremely beneficial to our nervous system due to the presence of vitamin B-6 in it.
Vitamin B-6 assumes a critical part in keeping our nervous system sound. It helps in the transmission of nerve signals and hence helps in the proper functioning of the nervous system.
15.Regulates Cholesterol Level
Eating dried plums on daily basis helps in maintaining the normal cholesterol level due to the dietary fiber present in them.
This dietary fiber helps in decreasing the bad cholesterol ( LDL cholesterol ) level of our body and increases the production of good cholesterol ( HDL cholesterol ).
16.Promotes Blood Clotting
Plums contain high amount of vitamin K which help in blood clotting and also for keeping bones stronger. Vitamin K deficiency can lead to excessive blood loss which can cause fatigue, dizziness, breathing problems, weak bones.
17.Provide Relief From Anxiety
Regular daily consumption of plums is very essential for providing relief from anxiety & related disorders. It can also protect us from oxidative stress because of the presence of chlorogenic acids.
18.Maintains Cellular Health
Eating plums all the time is extremely important in keeping up our cell healthy due to the presence of fundamental supplements like iron and copper in it. These helps in platelets formation and also helps in purifying the blood thereby promoting healthy blood circulation.
19.Fights Signs of Aging
The vitamin E and beta-carotene, an antioxidant present in plums, allows the body to fight the signs of aging skin such as loss of elasticity and wrinkles.
Plum contains a high amount of antioxidants and high anti-inflammatory properties, which increase circulation and cell metabolism.
SIDE EFFECTS OF EATING PLUMS
Although, plums are loaded with a lot of health beneficial nutrients, but still it is better to eat them in moderation as too much of everything is bad.
Plums contain oxalic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance, that can crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract or bladder, if consumed in high amounts.
The health benefits of plums include relief from indigestion, influenza infections, and
anxiety -related problems. The antioxidant power of these fruits helps in treating macular degeneration, osteoporosis, obesity, cancer and diabetes . In addition, plums improve cellular health,boost immunity, improve cognition, maintain electrolyte balance, keep the nervous system healthy, and aid in skin care and blood clotting.