Plums: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Plums: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Overview

Plums are a popular fruit with a juicy, sweet taste.

It is a member of the family Rosaceae which includes other common fruits, such as peaches or almonds.

People often call dried plums “prunes” which you might be more familiar with.

Interestingly, plums are unique because of their varieties.

There are more than 2,000 different kinds of plums present on Earth. In America alone, more than 100 types can be found.

As a result of their diverse types, it is nearly impossible to find a common origin of plums.

Plums are claimed to have appeared in Europe 2,000 years ago.

This fruit came to the United States along with the cruise of European explorers in the 17th century.

With a long history of plums health benefits, it is nearly a must for researchers to dig deeper into plums nutrition facts to get explanations.

Nutrition Facts

Plums: Nutrition Facts

Like their varieties, plums nutrition contains some interesting facts.

Plums have the very low amounts of calories, saturated fat and carbs (1).

On the other hand, plums are full of dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins, which are responsible for numerous plums health benefits.

Among them, it is necessary to mention considerable amounts of vitamins A, C, K, B1, B3, B6…

In terms of minerals, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus are the brighest stars.

Besides, one of the striking plums nutrition facts is the presence of antioxidant flavonoids, such as lutein or cryptoxanthin.

Health Benefits of Plums

As plums are particularly nutritious, it is undeniable that they are more than a mere fruit.

In many cases, they serve as a great cure for ailments.

Here are top 8 health benefits of plums which have undergone many scientific studies.

1. Osteoporosis

Not everyone is well aware of benefits of plums on the bone health in general and the prevention against osteoporosis in particular.

Plums contain some flavonoids, namely, rutin or caffeic acid, which limit the damage to bone tissues (23).

They are effective to help people lower the risk of osteoporosis as well (45).

Another mineral present in plums – potassium – contributes to this prevention by improving the bone density (67).

Polyphenols possess the same effect as potassium (8).

In addition, they might stop bone loss due to the lack of ovarian hormones.

Bottom Line: With a richness of minerals, flavonoids and polyphenols, plums are such a great support for our bone health.

2. Cognitive Function

Flavonoids are responsible for benefits of plums on not only the bone, but also one of the most important parts – the brain.

They play an essential role in preventing cognitive problems associated with aging (910).

Many studies concentrated on the efficiency of using plums to slow down neurodegeneration. The results were promising (11).

Furthermore, plums provide a lot of phytonutrients that limit inflammed neurological areas, which enhances your learning ability and memory.

The recommendation is to consume plums regularly so that you can stay away from neurodegenerative problems, like Alzheimer’s (1213).

On the other hand, vitamins from plums have great impacts on your nervous system as well.

Vitamin B6 enables nerve signals to transmit faster and better (14).

It is also crucial to the proper function of your brain and regulates the production of hormones that affect your mood.

For example, tryptophan can stimulate the release of serotonin affecting your appetite and sleep (15).

Bottom Line: Plums have protective effects against neurodegenerative issues and strengthen your nervous system.

3. Digestive System

Plums: Digestive System

In addition to fiber, there are many elements that contribute to benefits of plums on your digestion.

For long, fiber-rich foods have been well-known as beneficial for the digestive health (16).

Moreover, plums contain some components that are good for the digestion as well, namely, isatin and sorbitol.

They work as laxative agents that stimulate the bowel movements (17).

As a result, waste will pass through your colon more easily, preventing health problems from constipation to colon cancer.

Bottom Line: Some nutrients in plums are of great importance to your digestive health.

4. Diabetes

With anti-hyperglycemic quality, it is undeniable that one of the best health benefits of plums is to facilitate the treatment of diabetes.

According to some research, plums might result in a decrease in the level of blood glucose and triglyceride.

This quality perhaps comes from its considerable amount of lutein (1819).

Furthermore, flavonoids present in plums reduce the risk of insulin resistance as well as have positive influence on the insulin sensitivity (2021).

Bottom Line: The anti-hyperglycemic property of plums may be a great stimulant for diabetic patients to overcome their problem.

5. Eyesight

Benefits of plums on the eyes have been popular for years.

Thanks to the presence of lutein and xeazanthin, you can protect your eyes from a series of problems, especially when you get older (2223).

Besides, plums are a great addition if you want to maintain the great conditions of your skin and mucous membranes.

Some studies indicated that dietary lutein has great impacts on limiting the bad effects of ultraviolet radiation on the skin (24).

6. Cholesterol

There are many possible reasons for benefits of plums on a healthy level of cholesterol.

First of all, insoluble fiber from prunes might support the production of propionic acid that has cholesterol-lowering qualities (25).

Some studies in animals claimed that propionic acid might hinder the effects of HMG-CoA reductase.

This is an enzyme raising blood cholesterol. Therefore, it is necessary to limit it if you want to maintain a healthy level of blood cholesterol.

7. Cancer

Though it is not possible to confirm benefits of plums on the cancer prevention yet, it is still a high possibility.

Many researchers have supported the idea that plums are associated with a lower risk of some types of cancer, such as breast and gastrointestinal (26).

To explain for this quality, some studies suggested that it is the richness of phytonutrients and antioxidants in plums (27).

Plums also provide anthocyanins that makes this fruit reddish blue to fight against free radicals in the body (28).

On the other hand, the amount of vitamin A from plums has protective impacts against cavity and oral cancer.

Bottom Line: Even though it is difficult to make the final conclusion, plums are a promising agent for preventing cancer.

8. Cardiovascular Health

One of top plums health benefits that you cannot miss in this list is its effects on the heart.

Antioxidants from plums are effective to eradicate free radicals which might trigger cholesterol oxidation.

Once cholesterol oxidation happens, your risk of experiencing stroke or high cholesterol will increase significantly (2930).

In addition, potassium that is present much in plums has some great impacts on the regulation of blood pressure and the heart rate as well (31).

The supplement of this element will guarantee that there is no platelet clotting which is blamed for atherosclerosis and other heart diseases.

Vitamin B6, an oustanding component in plums nutrition, also prevents the homocysteine level from rising dramatically. It helps you avoid heart attacks effectively (32).

Bottom Line: Plums can be a beneficial supplement for your heart in many aspects.

Side Effects

In spite of generous health benefits of plums, you had better be cautious when using this fruit.

If you use it too much or improperly, you may undergo some irritations.

First, oxalates from plums may worsen the function of some body parts, like gall bladder or kidney.

As a result, if you have some problems with these parts, stop consuming plums to prevent complications.

Second, allergies may occur in some people due to the consumption of plums. It is due to the presence of sulfites in plums.

Thus, it is a better idea to ask for advice from experts or doctors before the use of plums, especially when you are experiencing other medications.

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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