Plums are a delicious fruit of the plum tree and belong to the subgenus Prunus. They are closely related to the peach, nectarine, and almonds. As per botany, they are drupes because of the hard stone pit surrounding their seeds. Plums are available in many varieties such as Europen plums, Damson plums, Japanese plums, and American plums. They are loaded with essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc, and provide many health and beauty benefits.
Health Benefits Of Plums
Some major health benefits of plums are as follows.
(1) Reduces Cancer Risk
Plums are loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C, and other antioxidant compounds like lutein, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and chlorogenic acid, etc.
These compounds protect our cells from free radical damage and reduce the risk of several cancers like colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, intestinal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer, etc.
Free radicals are unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from neighboring molecules. While doing so, they cause oxidative damage to them.
Epicatechin in plums prevents the growth and development of infectious cancer cells and promotes the death of cancer cells.
Chlorogenic acids and neo-chlorogenic acid in plums protect against breast cancer.
(2) Promotes Weight Loss
Plums help with weight loss as it has a low calorific value of 46 calories per 100 grams.
Bioactive compounds like anthocyanins, chlorogenic acids, quercetin, and catechins, etc, in plums, fight against metabolic syndrome and help with weight loss.
Dietary fibers in plum provide stomach satiety and control overeating, a major cause of obesity.Source-Pixabay.com
(3) Regulates Blood Sugar Level
Because of its low glycemic index of 24, plums reduce the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream.
This prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar levels and helps in managing diabetes.
Dietary fibers in plums reduce the rate at which sugar is absorbed by the bloodstream, and regulates blood sugar levels.
But, if you are on diabetic medication, consult your doctor before eating plums to ensure there is no food-drug intolerance risk.
Eating too many plums may drop blood sugar levels below the normal range, and give rise to shakiness, dizziness, excessive sweating, excessive hunger, fast heartbeat, irritability, or moodiness.
(4) Make Bones Stronger
Plums make our bones and teeth stronger due to the presence of bone-strengthening minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, etc.
Calcium is needed for the growth and development of bones, and deficiency of this mineral may increase the risk of bone disorders like osteoporosis.
Potassium in plums strengthens our bones as it neutralizes acid load, reduces loss of calcium from the bones, and improves bone density.
Magnesium also improves bone density.
Flavonoids like caffeic acid and rutin in plums protect the bones from damage and reduces osteoporosis risk.
Plums are also beneficial against the bone loss caused by ovarian hormone deficiency.
Eating dried plums restores bone density lost by aging.
(5) Improves Digestive Health
Plums improve our digestive health as antioxidants like vitamin C, and other antioxidantal compounds like flavonoids, etc them protect our digestive system from free radical damage.
This reduces the risk of several cancers like colon cancer, rectal cancer, abdominal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and intestinal cancer, etc.
The laxative properties of dietary fibers in plums improve bowel movement and provide relief from constipation, and other gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
Other nutrients like potassium, magnesium and B vitamins in plum also contribute to better digestive health.
(6) Improves Neurological Health
Plums are good for the brain and improve our neurological health.
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidant compounds like phytonutrients, flavonoids, etc protect our neurons or brain cells from free radical damage and reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amnesia, and dementia, etc.
Vitamin B6 in plums helps in the transmission of nerve signals, and smooth functioning of the nervous system.
Tryptophan in plums increases the production of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Other nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins, etc in plums improve our cognitive functions like a sharper memory, and better concentration, etc.
(7) Regulates High Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a leading cause of cardiovascular and other health problems and affects millions around the world.
Plums help in regulating blood pressure as the vasodilating properties of potassium in them relaxes our blood vessels, and improve blood circulation.
However, eat plums in moderation as otherwise high potassium levels may drop our blood pressure to a significant level causing dizziness, fainting, nausea, dehydration, lack of concentration, blurred vision, and pale skin, etc.
If you are on blood pressure medication, eat plums after consulting with your doctor to ensure food-drug intolerance risk.
(8) Manages Cholesterol Level
Eating plums helps in managing cholesterol levels as dietary fibers in them reduces LDL cholesterol, and minimize the risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition that hardens and narrows our arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in them and is a leading cause of cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease, etc.
(9) Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Plums improve our cardiovascular health as vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds like phytonutrients, and polyphenols, etc protect the cardiovascular system from free radical damage.
Dietary fibers in plums reduce LDL cholesterol and minimize the risk of atherosclerosis, a leading cause of cardiovascular problems.
Potassium in plum improves blood circulation and provides relief from hypertension, which is a leading cause of poor cardiovascular health.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, and B vitamins, etc in plums also improve our cardiovascular health.
(10) Strengthen Immune System
The immune system is the defense mechanism of our body that helps in the prevention and treatment of various microbial infections, diseases, injuries, and wounds, etc.
Plums strengthen our immune system as the antioxidants like vitamin C, and other relevant compounds protect the immune cells or white blood cells from free radical damage.
Vitamin C further strengthens our immune health by enhancing the production of white blood cells.
By strengthening our immune system, it reduces the risk of cough, cold, fever, and, flu, etc.
The antimicrobial properties of plums reduce the risk of bacterial, viral, and, fungal infections.
Potassium, zinc, iron, and B vitamins, etc also helps in maintaining our immune health.
(11) Maintains Cellular Health
Iron and copper present in the plum maintain our cellular health as they assist in the formation of red blood cells, blood purification, and healthy blood circulation.
Copper acts as an antioxidant, and aids in the formation of collagen.
Collagen is an essential amino acid that maintains skin elasticity and is mainly found in connective tissues like joints, tendons, bones, and cartilages, etc.
(12) Provide Relief From Anxiety
Chlorogenic acid and B vitamins in plums provide relief from stress and anxiety.
Amino acid like tryptophan in plums increases the production of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin.
(13) Protects From Human Influenza A Virus
Lectin-like molecules in Japanese plums help in the prevention and treatment of infections caused by the human influenza A virus.
(14) Beneficial During Pregnancy
Plums are loaded with essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, amino acids, and dietary fibers, etc.
These nutrients play an important role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds like phytonutrients, etc in plums protect the fetus from free radical damage.
Folate in plums helps in the brain development of the fetus and reduces the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida.
Plums regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and magnesium, etc in plums also help in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Consult your doctor before adding plums during pregnancy to avoid food-drug interference.
(16) Maintains Electrolyte Balance
Potassium in plums (157 mg per 100 grams) maintains electrolyte balance in our body.
Potassium also helps with other functions such as regulating blood pressure, regulating muscle contraction and nerve signals, strengthen bones, and prevents kidney stones.
(17) Good For Eyes
Plums improve our ocular health as the antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidant compounds like flavonoids, etc them protect our eyes from free radical damage.
This reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma, etc.
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for the eye as it improves vision, reduces eye dryness, and minimizes the risk of night blindness.
(18) Promotes Blood Clotting
Vitamin K in plums promotes blood clotting and improves bone health.
The deficiency of vitamin K in our body may cause excessive blood loss, poor healing of wounds, and weaken bones.
Because of its coagulating properties, vitamin K in plum may interfere with anticoagulant medicines like warfarin.
If you are on anticoagulant medication, consult your doctor before adding plums to your diet to avoid food-drug interference.
Beauty Benefits Of Plum For Skin
Following are the major beauty benefits of plums for the skin.
(1) Keeps Premature Aging At Bay
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidant compounds like phytonutrients, etc in plums protect our skin cells from free radical damage.
This reduces the risk of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots, and skin blemishes, etc.
Vitamin C enhances the production of collagen in our body.
Collagen is an essential amino acid that maintains skin elasticity and prevents wrinkles and skin sagging.
(2) For Treating Dark Spots
Plum extract minimizes age spots and helps in treating dark spots, freckles, and skin discoloration.
For this, pulp a fresh plum and apply the extract to the affected area.
After 15 minutes, wash off with water.
Regular use diminishes dark spots and rejuvenates our skin.
(3) Improves Skin Firmness & Skin Tone
Vitamin C in plums increases the production of hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine in our bodies.
This helps in enhancing the production of collagen in our bodies.
Collagen is an essential amino acid that provides shape, structure, and elasticity to the skin.
Lack of collagen makes our skin dull and lifeless.
Plums enhance collagen and prevent wrinkles and skin sagging, and improve skin firmness.
(4) Heal Damaged Tissue
Vitamin K and anti-inflammatory compounds like dietary fibers and vitamin C in plums promote quick healing of wounds.
It improves blood flow to the scar tissues and minimizes their appearance.
It also promotes the development of new skin tissue.
Because of their collagen-enhancing ability, plums improve skin tone and skin firmness.
(6) Prevents Cell Damage
Anthocyanins in plums prevent our skin cells from damage.
Anthocyanin is a powerful antioxidant that gives the red color to plum, strawberries, and other red-colored berries.
(7) Protection From UV Rays Damage
The ultraviolet B rays of the sun interact with the cholesterol of the skin and promote the synthesis of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for our health.
However, prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays may damage our skin and cause wrinkles, leathery skin, liver spots, actinic keratosis, and solar elastosis.
Vitamin C, and other antioxidant compounds like flavonoids, and phytonutrients in plums protect our skin from damage caused by the sun’s harmful UV rays.
It minimizes the risk of skin cancer.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties applying the pulp of plum on sunburn areas reduces pain and inflammation, and gives a soothing effect.
(8) Keep Skin Problems Like Acne At Bay
Acne is a common skin problem mainly caused by the accumulation of toxins, pollutants, and other unwanted substances in our skin pores.
Dietary fibers in plums remove toxins and other unwanted substances from our system.
When there are fewer toxins in our system, they are less likely to accumulate in our skin pores and reduces the risk of skin problems like acne and pimples.
Dietary fibers regulate the secretion of excess oil from skin glands and prevent acne from worsening.
Beauty Benefits Of Plum For Hair
Some major beauty benefits of plums for hair are as follows.
(1) Combats Baldness
Essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, etc in plums nourish our hair follicles and scalp and promote the growth of new hair follicles.
Antioxidants like vitamin C in plums protect our hair follicles and scalp from damage and combat against alopecia, which leads to baldness in men.
(2) For Treating Dandruff
The antibacterial properties of plums combat the bacteria responsible for causing dandruff.
Vitamins and minerals in plums provide nourishment to our hair follicles and make them strong and lustrous.
Vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds like phytonutrients, etc in plums protect our hair follicles from free radical damage.
(3) Strong And Lustrous Hair
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and other relevant compounds like flavonoids, etc in plum protects our hair follicles and scalp from free radical damage.
This minimizes the risk of premature greying of hair, split end, dry hair, etc.
Nutrients in the plum provide nourishment to our hair follicles and make them strong and lustrous.
(4) Keeps Premature Greying of Hair
Plums help in keeping premature aging at bay as the antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other relevant compounds in them protect our hair follicles from free radical damage.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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