Monday, January 9, 2017

Day 2643 - The health benefits of plums

It's plum season 

I love summer fruits.  I'm not much into apples, oranges and bananas, but I do like my berries and stone fruits.

Plums are high on my list. As I sit here with a plum on my plate I'm wondering what the health benefits of plums might be. Is there a super food in my midst?

My "research" suggests it's not quite a super food, but as with anything grown from our earth it does have some decent properties worth blogging about.

When I was a kid we had a blood plum tree in the back yard and I ate plums at all stages of ripeness. The far too juicy overripe, the way too tart under ripe, the ones half eaten by birds.

These days I source my plums from Woollies and I take the Goldielocks approach of getting mine "just right" (and preferably without any chunks missing).

Plums are low in calories with only around 30-45 calories per 100 grams which makes them a great food to eat after the over indulgence of the festive season.

They help with iron absorption, possibly on account of their high levels of vitamin C.

The potassium in plums helps to keep your blood pressure on track which in turn assists with good heart health.

The anthocyanins in the skin which gives plums the reddish blue colour helps to fight the cancer causing free radicals.

Dried plums are prunes which help to keep your bowels regular.

Plums are low GI which helps with blood sugar issues and helps fight against type 2 diabetes. 

Studies in US universities suggest that prunes can help with bone density.

Eating plums and prunes may just assist with memory improvement due to their high antioxidant content.

Plums contain vitamin C, vitamin K. copper, fibre and potassium as well as a a high content of unique phytonutrients called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid. According to The World's Healthiest Foods website "These damage-preventing substances are particularly effective in neutralizing a particularly dangerous oxygen radical called superoxide anion radical, and they have also been shown to help prevent oxygen-based damage to fats."

There are over 2000 varieties of plums in the world.  They are classified into six categories: Japanese, American, Damson, Ornamental, Wild and European/Garden.

Plums belong to the Prunus genus of plants and are relatives of the peach, nectarine and almond. 

The process of drying plums to make prunes is thought to have originated around the coast of the Capsium Sea thousands of years ago.  Prunes are a great year round alternative to plums when they are out of season and have long been recognised for their fibre and ability to keep our bowels regular.

So that's it.  That's the story of the plum.

As I sat here this morning staring at my blank bloggy screen wondering what to blog about the plum literally landed in my lap, proving yet again that when you think you've got nothing to blog about, there's always something to blog about.

Happy Monday!

Information sources:  Best Health Magazine (Canada) and The World's Healthiest Foods website

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