Plums health benefits cannot be underestimated. Plums belong to the genus Prunus (Rosaceae family). Plums are members of big family including peaches, apricots and nectarines. Plums’ color could vary considerably from yellow or dark red to purple or black.
Plums were known in ancient time – they were discovered around two thousand years ago (originated from Caspian Sea). Roman society knew over 300 varieties of plums. Japanese plums originated from China.
Plums contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and minerals – vitamins A, C, E, K, B complex (B1, B2, B3, B-6) and folate; minerals potassium, fluoride, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc. Valuable plums properties have important health benefits including relief from indigestion, influenza infection and anxiety-related problems. The antioxidant power of plums makes this fruit useful natural remedy for several diseases including cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, macular degeneration and obesity.
Plums health benefits – obesity
According to scientists, stone fruits (including plums) can fight metabolic syndrome. Plums contain bioactive compounds such as anthocyanins, chlorogenic acids, quercetin and catechins – they have anti-fat, anti-inflammation and anti-obesity functions (fighting fat cells storages). At the same time, plums provide dietary fiber and offer very low calories without any harmful fats.
Plums health benefits – cancer
Plums’ antioxidants fight free radicals and protect from cancer. Plums’ important property “epicatechin” inhibit the growth and proliferation of cancerous cells and induces apoptosis (cells self-suicide) in human hepatocellular carcinoma and liver cancer. According to experts, plums phytonutrients can fight breast cancer cells.
Plums health benefits – digestion
Plums are very useful for digestive processes due to dietary fiber, sorbitol and isatin, which help in regulating the digestive system. Actually dried plums (prunes) are more effective in treating digestive disorders such as constipation.
In addition, the insoluble fiber provided by prunes feed friendly bacteria in the digestive tract – it is helping to maintain larger populations of friendly bacteria which fight pathogenic bacteria and prevent infections and correlated diseases in gastroenteral system.
Plums health benefits
Plums health benefits – diabetes
Plums and prunes are well known for their anti-hyperglycemic effects which is crucial for combating diabetes. It was noted that plums consumption can reduce levels of blood glucose and levels of triglyceride in the body. In addition, flavonoids provide protective effects against insulin resistance and help to enhance insulin sensitivity in the body.
Plums health benefits – cardiovascular system
According to health experts, plums consumption can help to maintain cardiovascular health by promoting fluidity of blood in the arteries. It can prevent dangerous cardiac disorders including atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
It was also noted that prunes can prevent hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia. Plums can also prevent blood clotting thanks to vitamin K.
Plums health benefits – osteoporosis
Plums’ flavonoids help in inhibiting the deterioration of bone tissues and maintaining healthy bones which is preventing osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Prunes’ polyphenols and potassium encourage the formation of bones, enhance bone density and prevent bone loss.
Plums health benefits – vision
Plums’ vitamin A and beta-carotene are beneficial in maintaining healthy eye sight and preventing age-related macular degeneration. Plums useful properties can also provide protection against the damage caused by UV radiation.
Plums health benefits – nervous system
Plums contain vitamin B complex and vitamin B6 can help in the transmission of nerve signals and aids in the smooth functioning of the nervous system. B complex can also help in the normal growth of the brain and assist in the formation of mood influencing hormones. Some plums properties play important role in brain controlled sleep cycles, appetite and concentration.
Plums health benefits – immune system
Plums are recommended for strengthening the immune defense of the body due to the presence of high vitamin C content – it promotes resistance against different infections and inflammations. Strengthened immune system can fight not only infections and several diseases but also metastasis of tumor cells.
Plums health benefits – weight control
Plums are recommended for weight control for two reasons – low calories and valuable fiber. Prunes’ soluble fiber promotes a sense of satisfied fullness by slowing the rate at which food leaves the stomach.
Plums health benefits – skin
Plums’ vitamin C and other antioxidants help to maintain healthy, radiant and youthful skin. At the same time, plums help in reducing dark spots and wrinkles due to the presence of anti-aging nutrients.
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Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.