6 Major Health Benefits Of Plums
By: Kratika Tue, 14 Sept 2021 5:11 PM
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.
# 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.
# 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.
# 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.
# 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.
# 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.
# 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.