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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Fruits >>  Plum


Plum is a unique fruit that has more than 2,000 varieties out of which over 100 are available in the United States alone. The size, shape and color of plums may vary according to their varieties. Plums are juicy sweet tasting fruits that come in a panorama of colors. Fresh juicy plums are available from May through October, where the Japanese varieties hit first on the market followed by the European varieties in the fall. Plums are relatives of peach, almond and nectarine and belong to the Prunus genus of plants.
They have a hard stone pit surrounding their seeds and are thus considered ‘drupes’. Dried forms of plums are known as prunes.

Health and plums

  1. Fresh and dries form of this fruit has unique phytonutrients called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid which are classified as phenols and function as antioxidants in the body. These substances neutralize a particularly destructive oxygen radical called superoxide anion radical and help prevent oxidation of fats that comprise a substantial portion of neurons in the brain.
  2. Vitamin C most important water soluble antioxidant and contains unique flavonoid compounds that have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. Vitamin C acts as a great scavenger and neutralizes any free radical which comes in contact with the aqueous environments in the body. Vitamin C also plays an important role for immune support and to prevent recurrent infections, colds and flu’s. Vitamins C from plums have a protective effect against inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and asthma. Many researches prove that consuming fruits and vegetable rich in vitamin C helps to reduce the heart diseases, stroke and cancer.
  3. Free radicals may cause an injury to the eye lenses and may lead to cataract or damage the blood supply to the eye causing macular degeneration. To protect the eyesight researches suggest that three or more servings of fruits per day may help lower the risk of age related macular degeneration, which is the primary cause of vision loss in older people by 36% than the other counterpart who consumed less than 1.5 servings of fruits per day. This amount can be easily incorporated in the diet by tossing a banana with your morning cereal followed by fruit or green salad coupled with plums and pears to reach the goal.
  4. Plums are listed among the foods that contain oxalates which can cause health problems. Oxalates when becomes too concentrated can crystallize; they can also combine with calcium to form calcium oxalate stones. Thus it would be wise to avoid plums for individuals with already existing or untreated kidney or gallbladder problems.
  5. A Plum is a fruit that belongs to the family of peaches and cherries. So in addition to the health benefits of peaches and cherries, it is rich in dietary fiber, which helps improving the digestive system.
Submitted on January 18, 2011