Practically any fruit makes for a healthy, nutritious snack; and plums are a particularly good snack, packed with goodness. Plums and their dried version, prunes are so good for health, that they are sometimes described as ‘super foods’ – low in calories but high in nutritional value.
Many if not all the benefits of blueberries (another food described as a super food) are also contained in plums which are an economical by very beneficial fruit. Not only that; plums and prunes are delicious and versatile fruits that can be simply eaten or be used as a part of appetizing dishes. We look at all the reasons why plums are good for us:
When infants are colicky or constipated, they are frequently prescribed prune juice. Even for adults, prunes (now commonly marketed as ‘dried plums’) are a safe and effective way to ward off constipation. This is because plums and prunes are an excellent source of insoluble fiber that helps bulk up the stool improving quality and speed of bowel movements.
Plums are a good source of Vitamin C which helps prevent certain infections – much of this is destroyed during the drying process, so prunes don’t contain as much vitamin C. Vitamin K is another important nutrient contained in plums – with helps in blood clotting. This fruit also contains Vitamin A which is important for healthy eyes. Plums are also a good source of some of the B vitamins.
Plums contain compounds that improve iron absorption in the body. Studies have shown that consuming prunes is good for bone health; particularly among post menopausal women. They contain significant amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, each nutrient that is vitally important for the proper and healthy functioning of the body.
Protective nature of plums
The antioxidant compounds contained in plums are as high as blueberries and these are known to protect the body against free radical cell damage. The bright pigment of the fruit itself contains several health benefits. In laboratory tests, it is seen that certain compounds contained in plums help fight cancer cells and protect against heart disease.
How to get the best out of plums
Experts advise that they be eaten raw without peeling, cooking or processing. They can be chopped up to be eaten with cereals, added to yogurt and so on.