Are Plums Good for You?

Plums are related to peaches and nectarines and have a sweet and tart taste. Native in America, China, Europe, and the Kaukasus, these small stone fruits work great in a variety of recipes, including pickled plums, plum wine, and plum jam. You can find plums in different sizes, varieties, and colors. While they taste good, are they good for your health?

Are Plums Good for You?

Yes, they are good for you, and that is for many good reasons. For starters, plums are not high in calories and are low on glycemic index. What it means is that though plums are sweet, diabetics can still include them in their diet without having to worry too much about experiencing unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels.

Plums are also loaded with vitamins and minerals. They are a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. They also provide you with adequate amount of thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and alpha-tocopherol. In addition, plums contain essential minerals including fluoride, potassium, magnesium phosphorous, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Neochlorogenic acid, procyanidin, and quercetin are the phenolic compounds found in plums that help reduce inflammation. They also play a role in preventing oxygen damage to cells. You should opt for red plums instead of green and yellow plums if you are interested in enjoying the benefits of the phenolic compounds.

Benefits You Will Reap from Eating Plums

Are plums good for you? Yes, they are. What are they good for? Here are some of the great benefits associated with plums.

1.        Eliminate Free Radicals

Plums are loaded with vitamin C and phytonutrients such as cryptoxanthin, lutein, neochlorogenic, zeaxanthin, and chlorogenic acid. They have antioxidant properties and work amazingly well to eliminate free radicals from your body. Plums also contain the phenols that make them more effective against free radicals – they also help treat injures caused by oxidative stress.

2.        Boost Your Immune System

Plums contain vitamin C, which work great to improve your immune system. With a stronger immune system, you will be in a better position to fight off infections and stay healthy. Oriental plums contain immunostimulatory properties and improve the production of nitric oxide in the body – nitric acid offers protection against different types of cancer.

3.        Help You Get Healthy Skin

Plums work great for your skin because they contain anti-aging nutrients as well as vitamin C, which repair cellular damage and keep wrinkles and dark spots at bay.

4.        Promote Healthy Bones

Dried plums have anabolic properties and help maintain healthy bones. Plums contain flavonoids, such as rutin and caffeic acid, which play a big role in preventing the damage to bone tissues. They also help prevent diseases such as osteoporosis in women.

Plum also has potassium, which encourages the formation of bones and improves bone density as well. The presence of vitamin K in plums makes it beneficial for your bones too– it also promotes normal clotting of the blood.

5.        Improve Digestion

Are plums good for you? Yes, they are, and one big reason is that they are a great source of dietary fiber. Fiber helps keep your digestive system healthy and prevents problems such as constipation, hemorrhoids, etc. Plums are also a good source of isatin and sorbitol, which regulate your digestive system and have a laxative effect as well, which encourages flushing of waste and toxins through the colon.

6.        Improve Cognitive Health and Nervous System

Many studies have confirmed that the flavonoids work extremely well to prevent age-related cognitive impairment. Plums are a good source of those flavonoids that reduce the inflammation in the neurological areas and improve memory and learning functions.They may also offer protection against neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Moreover, plums have vitamin B6 that facilitates the transmission of nerve signals and encourages proper functioning of the nervous system. Plums have an amino acid called tryptophan that encourages the release of serotonin, which in turn plays a big role in the appetite, sleep, and concentration.

7.        Improve Cardiovascular Health

Are plums good for your heart? Yes, many studies show that the use of plums on a regular basis may help improve your cardiovascular health. Dried plums help blood flow smoothly through the arteries, which in turn prevents several cardiac disorders such as heart attacks and strokes.

8.        Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels

Regular consumption of dried plums plays a big role in preventing hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia. The presence of fiber in plums makes them even more effective in reducing LDL cholesterol. They also contain copper and iron that encourage production of red blood cells and promote healthy blood circulation. Copper also improves the absorption of iron and protects you from various diseases, including osteoarthritis and anemia.

9.        Promote Healthy Pregnancies

Due to the presence of many minerals and vitamins, plums are quite beneficial for expectant mothers. Thanks to all the vitamins and mineral content of plums, they are great for eyesight and promote cellular health for the mother as well as the fetus. Fiber in plums keeps constipation at bay and plays a big role in improving digestion. You may want to avoid commercial available plum juices though because they contain added sugar.

Tips for Choosing Good Plums

In order to enjoy maximum benefits, you need to select plums carefully. Buy plums with a slight whitish bloom and avoid soft ones with bruises. Ripe plums have a sweet aroma and easily yield to slight pressure. You can store them in the refrigerator or keep them in a paper bag at room temperature if they are slightly firm.

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