Plum (Prunus Domestica ) is a delicious fruit belonging to the subgenus prunus of the genus prunus and are relative to peach, nectarine, and almonds. They are considered as “drupes” because of the hard stone pit surrounding their seeds. (source ). Plums are available in many varieties and some of the most popular varieties are European, Damson, Japanese and American. They are a good source of the number of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, flavonoids, antioxidants etc. and the presence of these compounds make plums very beneficial for our health. In this article, we will know about the major health benefits of plums, but first take a look at the below-mentioned nutrition chart to know about the major nutrients present in plum.
Nutrition Chart of Plum
Health Benefits of Plums
(1) Prevents Oxidative Damage
Plums are very effective in protecting our body cells from the oxidative damage because of the presence of a number of antioxidants ( Vitamin C ) and phytonutrients like lutein, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, neo chlorogenic and chlorogenic acid present in the.
These compounds fight with the free radicals or unstabilized ions of our body, stabilizes them and thus prevents them from damaging our body cells, including the essential fats in the neurons and cell membranes. Oxidative stress could be the cause of the many serious problems like cancer and in this way, consuming plum also protects us from the cancer risk.
(2) Helps In Weight Loss And Fights Obesity
Consuming plums are very beneficial for the people struggling with obesity as it very effective for the treatment of obesity and the complications associated with obesity, because of the presence of bioactive compounds like flavonoids and phenolic compounds like anthocyanins, chlorogenic acids, quercetin and catechins present in them. The presence of these compounds helps to fight metabolic syndrome and thus helps in the weight loss.
It also provides anti-inflammatory benefits to our body cells, including the fat cells and thus prevents us from the other ill effects of obesity. Some of the major health problem associated with obesity ( or that can trigger because of obesity are ) are diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, renal problems, cholesterol issues, adverse effect on reproductive health and so on.
Plums are also a good source of dietary fibers and that also plays an important role in weight loss as they help us feel fuller for a long time and decreases our urge to eat again and again. As overeating is a major of obesity so this way, dietary fibers help in weight loss.
(3) Good For People Suffering From Diabetes
Eating plums is very beneficial for the people suffering from diabetes because of the low glycemic index of plum. Consuming plums help in the reduction of blood glucose and triglyceride level in our body. The glycemic index of plum is 24 ( source ) which means the sugar present in the fruit is released slowly into the bloodstream and this also helps in controlling diabetes.
Apart from this, flavonoids present in plum provides protection against insulin resistance and this helps in enhancing insulin sensitivity in our body. The presence of dietary fibers in plums also plays a positive role in diabetes control.
(4) Protection Against Osteoporosis
Regular consumption of plums is very beneficial for our bones as it keeps our bones healthy and also reduces the risk of development of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which our bones get abnormally weak, brittle and fragile because of the loss of bone tissues, mainly due to the deficiency of vitamin C and vitamin D.
The potassium and polyphenols present in plums make our bones stronger and increases bone density, and the presence of flavonoids like caffeic acid and rutin in plums protects our bones from damage and thus reduces the risk of osteoporosis .
Plums also prevent bone loss caused by the ovarian hormone deficiency. Some research has also demonstrated that consuming dried plums on regular basis also helps in restoring bone density that has already been lost due to aging.
(5) Keep Our Digestive System Healthy
Regular consumption of plums is very beneficial for our stomach as it helps in keeping our digestive system healthy, because of the presence of dietary fibers 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.These compounds act as a natural laxative and ensure that the waste material gets excreted out of our stomach with ease and efficiency, and don’t put the burden on our system.
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(6) Protection Against Alzheimer’s Disease And Parkinson’s Disease
As per some studies, eating plums is good for our brain because of the number of compounds like flavonoids and phytonutrients present in them. The presence of these compounds makes plum very beneficial for protecting us against the age-related cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The phytonutrients present in plums reduces the inflammation in the neurological areas and helps in improving memory functions like learning.
(7) Good For Our Nervous System
Regular consumption of plums is very beneficial for our nervous system because of the presence of vitamin B-6 in it. Vitamin B-6 plays an important role in keeping our nervous system healthy as it helps in the transmission of nerve signals and thus aids in the smooth functioning of nervous system.
Eating plums is also effective for the normal growth of our brain cells and helps in the formation of mood influencing hormones. Plums also help in the production of an important neurotransmitter ( serotonin) in our brain because of the presence of an amino acid ( Tryptophan) in plum. Serotonin plays an important role in sleep, appetite and concentration.
(8) Keep Our Cardiovascular System Healthy
Regular consumption of plums ( especially the dried plums) is good for our heart as it helps in keeping our cardiovascular system healthy. Eating plums increases blood flow in our arteries and this reduces the risk of various cardiac disorders like heart attack, heart strokes, atherosclerosis etc. Plums are also a good source of antioxidants and flavonoids that protects our cardiovascular system from oxidative damage and thus helps in keep it healthy.
Other than this, eating plums is also good for controlling diabetes, regulating blood pressure, maintaining cholesterol level etc. and these also plays an important role in maintaining our heart health.
(9) Boost Immune System
Plums are a good source of vitamin C which is an antioxidant that boosts the immune system of our body. Eating plums on a regular basis, boost our immune system and thus reduces the risk of development of various diseases and disorders. The immune system of our body plays an important role in keeping us healthy as it fights with the disease-causing pathogens and microbes, and as plums increase our immunity, so in a way, it protects us from many diseases and health problems.
As per a research, consuming oriental plums stimulates our immune system and encourages the production of nitric oxide in our body. Nitric oxide plays an important role in preventing the growth of tumor cells, and also prevents us from many other diseases.
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(10) Regulates Cholesterol Level
Eating dried plums or prunes on a regular basis is very effective in maintaining healthy cholesterol level because of the presence of dietary fibers in plums/prunes. The presence of dietary fibers helps in reducing bad cholesterol ( LDL cholesterol ) level of our body and increases the production of good cholesterol ( HDL cholesterol ).
By regulating the cholesterol level of our body, plums prevents us from the risk of various cardiovascular problems and from hypercholesterolemia ( excess of cholesterol in the blood stream ) and hyperlipidemia ( excess of fats in the blood stream ).
(11) Maintains Cellular Health
Eating plums on a regular basis is very effective in maintaining our cellular health because of the presence of vital nutrients like iron and copper in it. These nutrients assist in the formation of red blood cells and also helps in the purification of blood and promote healthy blood circulation. The copper works as an antioxidant and plays an important role in keeping our nervous system healthy and also aids in the formation of collagen.
Collagen is a vital protein that helps in the formation of tissues for skin, hair, nails etc. The copper present in plums increases the absorption of iron by our body and thus prevents us from diseases like anemia and osteoarthritis.
(12) 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, because of the presence of chlorogenic acids in plums.
(13) Protection Against Human Influenza A Virus
Consuming Japanese Plums either in the form of fruit or in the form of juice is very effective in protecting us against the infection caused by the influenza A virus, because of the presence of lectin-like molecules in Japanese plums. This lectin-like molecule helps in prevention and treatment of infections caused by the human influenza A virus.
(14) Beneficial For Pregnant Women
Eating plums during pregnancy is beneficial for pregnant women and as well as for the baby growing in her because of the number of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients etc. present in plums. Although these compounds provide a lot of benefits like improving eyesight, for proper development of bones and tissues, improving cellular health for mother and baby, and many more benefits like protection against infections, boosting the immune system and so on.
The dietary fibers present in plums prevents constipation and keep our digestive system healthy. Although plums are good for pregnant women and provide a number of benefits but it is important to be cautious and enjoy plums within moderation and as per the recommendation of a doctor.
(15) Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
Regular consumption of plums is very effective in protecting us from the risk of development of various types of cancer like liver cancer, breast cancer etc. because of the presence of antioxidants like vitamin C, and phytonutrients in plum. These antioxidants fights with the unstabilized ions or free radicals of our body stabilize them and prevents us from causing oxidative damage to our body cells.
Some studies have also shown that components like epicatechin present in plums help in preventing growth and development of infectious cancer cells and promotes the death of cancerous cells. The antioxidants and phytonutrients, including the chlorogenic acids and neo-chlorogenic acid present in plums, is very effective against the breast cancer.
(16) Maintains Electrolyte Balance
Consuming plum is very effective in maintaining the electrolyte balance of our body because of the presence of a good amount of potassium in it. 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 of our body Potassium ( as per the daily requirement by our body ) also plays an important role in keeping our heart healthy and for protecting us from various cardiovascular problems.
(17) Prevents Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Eating plums on a regular basis is very beneficial for maintaining healthy eyesight and for protecting our eyes from the age-related macular degeneration, because of the presence of vital nutrients like Vitamin A and beta-carotene in it. Plums not only protects our eyes from macular degeneration but also protects them from the damage caused by the harmful UV rays of the sun, because of the presence of other carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin in them.
(18) Promotes Blood Clotting
Plums are a good source of vitamin K, which is a vital nutrient that facilitates blood clotting and promotes bone health. Deficiency of vitamin K can lead to excessive blood loss ( which can cause fatigue, dizziness, breathing problems etc. ) and even make our bones weaker. As plums contain the high amount of vitamin K, so they help in blood clotting and also for keeping our bones stronger.
These were some of the major health benefits of plums. Along with the health benefits, plums also provide a lot of beauty benefits for our skin and hair. Although plums are full of nutrients and provide a lot of health and beauty benefits, but still it is better to eat them in moderation as too much of everything is bad.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, but I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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