Be it dry or the juicy raw fruit, plum is loved by all. Plums, belonging to the family of cherries and peaches are a great source of dietary fiber, which is essential for the maintenance of the human digestive system. The health benefits of this organic food are not only restricted to this, it is also a very good anti-oxidant and anti-cancerous agent. To know about the many benefits of plum, it is important to first know about the fruit itself.
About plum variety
Plums are fruits that are round, heart or oval in shapes and are available in purple, red, green, amber, blue-black and yellow colors. These tangy and juicy fruits first originated in Asia as per popular belief. Generally, 3 popular types of plums are available – Western Asian, Japanese and European Plums. The Damson Plums are small in size, have a golden-yellow inside and bluish-purple color outside and is tart in taste. These are basically used for making preserves and jams. On the other hand, European plums are known as “common plums” and are quite similar in appearance to the Damson plums. They are bigger than the Damson and smaller than the Japanese variety, which can be cooked or eaten raw. The Japanese plums are the only ones, which are never pruned (dried). It can actually be consumed fresh, canned or cooked only. The inside of the Japanese plum is yellow or red, while the exterior can be in between deep crimson to black red.
Organic food health benefits of plums
Plums can be eaten anyway you wish, but its nutritional value doesn’t change. Some of the benefits are:
Plums as anti-oxidants:
Plums or prunes both are rich in phytonutrients, namely chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acid. These anti-oxidants help in the prevention of damage of fats and neurons that are actually parts of the cell membrane and imparting protection to the body against superoxide anion radical. Phytonutrients can also help in preventing the growth of breast cancer cells. Being rich in Vitamin C, fresh plums act as natural anti-oxidant. The Vitamin C helps the body in combating against harmful free radicals, inflammation and infectious agents. Another exclusive content of plum that acts as anti-oxidant is Phenols.
Plums, anti-cancerous agents:
Regular intake of plums can actually protect you from growth of tumors and cancerous cells in the body. Even the Vitamin C in the Plums helps you to fight against colon cancer, while Vitamin A protects you from oral cavity and lung cancer. The Vitamin A and fibers present in plums also protect against respiratory and gastrointestinal tract cancers and other forms of cancers caused by chemicals as well.
Protection against macular degeneration:
Plums are extremely beneficial for eyes and it prevents against any kind of eye infection. So the key to sharp eyes is daily intake of 3 servings of plums throughout your life.
Miscellaneous benefits of plums:
- Plums enhance the process of production as well as the absorption of iron that leads to better blood circulation in the body and hence growth of healthier tissues.
- Vitamin C ensures protection against health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and osteoarthritis.
- Plums help in cleaning the blood and protecting the heart against complications and hence reducing the chances of facing a heart disease.
- Plum juices act as great remedies for thwarting and reducing Influenza A.
- The dietary fibers of plum assist in lowering bad cholesterol and help in preventing constipation. Some essential compounds like isatin and sorbitol help control symptom of constipation and maintains the workings of the digestive system.
- It contains no saturated fats, calories, and helps in lowering cholesterol.
- Plums are rich in minerals like copper, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese that are quite helpful for human body. Potassium contributes in controlling blood pressure and keeping the heart healthy.
- Plum helps greatly in reducing the symptoms of fatigue, which is due to the presence of tranquilizers that calm the nerves.
- The presence of vitamin A helps in maintaining skin conditions and the health of the mucus membrane. Whereas flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants like zeaxanthin, lutein and cryptoxanthin are responsible for protecting the body against different diseases and aging processes.
Word of Caution
While buying plums, be sure to check whether they are firm and fresh and too soft plums tends to be overripe and hence cannot be eaten. If they are properly refrigerated they can certainly remain in good shape for long. However, if you are allergic to cherries, almonds, peaches and apricots then you might be allergic to plums as well. In such a case, it is better to avoid consumption of plums. Even people allergic to aspirin have shown same allergic reaction towards plum as well.
Plums are easily available in different organic food online stores but avoid consuming huge amounts as it may lead to stomach poisoning.