Health benefits of plums

Plums are juicy and delicious fruit that belongs to Rosaceae family. Plums are produced in high quantities in China and United States. They are exported to various countries as fresh fruits and also in the form of dried fruits. Canned plums are also available in markets. Let us try and understand the health benefits of plums and how best they can be included in our everyday diet.

Though there are thousands of varieties of plums, they are categorized in 3 major groups – European-Asian (Prunus domestica), Japanese (Prunus salicina) and Damson (Prunus insititia). Plums are available in many colors and sizes.

Nutrition Facts

Plums contain many vitamins and minerals that are essential for human body.

  • Vitamins – A, C, K, E, B1, B2, B3 and B6
  • Minerals – Potassium, phosphorus, fluoride, magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc

Other than the vitamins and minerals, they also contain the healthy dietary fiber.

Violet Plums
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Health benefits of Plums

Prevents and treats obesity

Regular consumption of plums can help you regulate the metabolism effectively. The bio-active components in plums fights obesity and obesity related issues. The flavonoids and phenolic properties, act on the excess fat and controls obesity. It also prevents cardiovascular issues and diabetics.

Controls Diabetics

Plum extracts have the power to reduce the glucose and triglyceride levels in blood and body. It also has the property to enhance insulin usage in our body. Regular consumption can reduce spikes and low sugar levels, thus helps to maintain a stable sugar level.

Prevents osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a type of disease that affects the bones, especially women who go through menopause. It makes the bones brittle and weak. The flavonoids present in plums, helps to reduce the degeneration of tissues that are attached to bones. The polyphenols and potassium help to increase the density of bones and also strengthens the bones.

plums sliced
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Improves Digestion

The dietary fiber in plums helps in regulating digestion and improves the health of intestines. The fiber not only promotes healthy digestion, it also relieves constipation by creating good bowel movements. The mild laxative property of plums can help you get rid of constipation, when consumed regularly.

Reduces stress and hypertension

The powerful anti-oxidants in plums helps your body to reduce oxidative stress and keeps the oxygen levels at an optimum levels. When your body gets enough oxygen, stress and hypertension automatically comes down. They also effectively fight free radicals.

Improves cognitive ability

Plum extract helps to improve memory and learning capability of a human being. The flavonoids present in plums protects the neurological part of the brain and prevents from damage. Regular consumption of plums can protect and treat neuro-degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Boosts immunity

The vitamin C content in plums increases the immunity naturally. Increased immunity helps you to fight many infections and diseases that might cause severe damage to our day to day health.

Protects nervous system

Plums contain the essential Vitamin B6 that is important for a healthy nervous system. It facilitates smooth transition of nerve signals from each body part to brain and vice versa. It is also responsible in creating the mood regulating hormone that induces sleep, concentration and hunger.

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Rich source of Iron

High Iron content in plums, makes it a good food for people who suffer from anemia. Regular consumption can increase the hemoglobin levels, ie., also increases the red blood cells. It also facilitates good circulation of blood to all body parts and purifies the blood.

Prevents Cancer

Plums contain a component called epicatechin. It helps to prevent and reduce the growth of cancer causing cells. Plums are also used to treat people who are affected by breast cancer. It inhibits the growth of tumors also.

Promotes healthy vision

Plums are rich source of Vitamin A and beta-carotene that is responsible for the health of the tissues in retina. It prevents and protects age related vision problems and UV rays. Plums can be of great help for people who suffer from macular degeneration.

Healthy skin

Plums contain essential vitamins that will help to maintain a young and radiant skin. It helps to reduce dark spots, acne and wrinkles. It also improves the skin tone drastically.

How to choose the right plum

All varieties on plums contains the same nutrition. It is always best to eat fresh plums rather than frozen or canned ones. Choose plums that are soft and ripened. This fruit can be stored in refrigerators and should be consumed within a week.

As a word of caution, Plums might not be suitable for people who suffer from gall bladder problems. Since it has a good amount if Vitamin K, it is advised that people who are under medication like blood thinners, should avoid plums.  

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.