9 Benefits Of Plum For Your Digestive And Cardiovascular Health
Among the most popular effects of plums are its laxative and antioxidant properties .
In this article I will tell you some important facts about plums, their origin, nutritional properties, health benefits and some contraindications.
Table of Contents
- 1 Characteristics of Plum:
- 2 Origins of Plum:
- 3 Nutritional Content of Plum:
- 4 9 Benefits of Eating Plums:
- 4.1 1. Important Source of Antioxidants:
- 4.2 2. Improves Digestion:
- 4.3 3. Helps Reduce Blood Cholesterol Levels:
- 4.4 4.Improves Cardiovascular Health :
- 4.5 5. Optimizes Cognitive Health:
- 4.6 6. Improve Your Skin Health:
- 4.7 7. Stimulates the Functioning of the Immune System:
- 4.8 8. Help in the Control of Diabetes:
- 4.9 9. Improves bone health:
- 5 Possible Side Effects of Plums:
- 6 How to Choose and Preserve Plums:
- 7 Ways to Prepare Plums:
- 8 Ideas To Combine With Plums:
- 9 Recipe Of Frozen Plums With Coconut And Lima:
Characteristics of Plum:
Plum is the fruit of the tree called plum tree, a deciduous species that is part of the Rosaceae family and can reach 6 meters in height. It belongs to the same family as peaches and cherries.
Plum is a common name for several species of the genus Prunus, whose distribution is very wide in the temperate zones of the Earth. It is a fleshy fruit with a woody seed in its interior (drupa). It usually measures about 7 centimeters in diameter and weighs about 65 grams. Its shape is rounded or oval, with a groove that travels and divides in its central part, giving it a mournful and globulous appearance at the same time.
There are plums of colors, flavors and very different properties, depending on the variety in question:
- With a yellow color, very juicy and acidic.
- Red, sweet and juicy.
- Of black-violet coloration, ideal to make compotes and other recipes.
- Of a showy green, which they call “Claudias” and stand out for their sweetness.
Origins of Plum:
The origin of the plum may have been in the Caucasus region, in what is now known as Turkey and Iran.
Plum finds have been made in archaeological excavations of the Neolithic age, along with other fruits such as olives, grapes and figs.
It is possible that plums have been one of the first fruits to be cultivated by humans.
Nutritional Content of Plum:
The benefits of plum are due to its content of vitamins and minerals. In general terms, they are rich in polyphenols and anthocyanins, known for their antioxidant properties.
A cup of plums contains:
- 76 calories.
- 0 grams of fat.
- 19 grams of carbohydrates.
- 2 grams of dietary fiber.
- 16 grams of sugar.
- 1 gram of protein.
This is the vitamin supply of a plum:
- 15 milligrams of ascorbic acid or vitamin C (26% of the daily requirement).
- 10 micrograms of vitamin K (13% of the daily requirement).
- 01 milligrams of thiamine (3% of the daily requirement).
- 01 milligrams of riboflavin (3% of the daily requirement).
- 7 milligrams of niacin (3% of the daily requirement).
- 4 milligrams of vitamin E (2% of the daily requirement).
- 01 milligrams of vitamin B6 (2% of the daily requirement).
- 3 micrograms of folic acid (2% of the daily requirement).
- 2 milligrams of pantothenic acid (2% of the daily requirement).
- 569 IU of vitamin A (11% of the daily requirement).
- 259 milligrams of potassium (7% of the daily requirement).
- 1 milligrams of copper (5% of the daily requirement).
- 11 milligrams of magnesium (3% of the daily requirement).
- 26 milligrams of phosphorus (3% of the daily requirement).
- 3 milligrams of iron (2% of the daily requirement).
- 1 milligrams of manganese (4% of the daily requirement).
9 Benefits of Eating Plums:
1. Important Source of Antioxidants:
Antioxidants help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, which oxidize certain substances in the body, especially lipids, causing serious chronic diseases.
Antioxidants inactivate these free radicals and slow down cell degradation, preventing pathologies such as cancer and premature aging. In addition, the consumption of foods rich in antioxidants, helps to detoxify the body, giving a healthier, lighter and younger overall appearance.
Plum is very rich in antioxidants. Among the compounds that give these properties are vitamins A and C, and phytonutrients such as lutein, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acids.
2. Improves Digestion:
Plums contain a high amount of soluble and insoluble fiber , which capture a large amount of water, generating a larger volume of fecal matter in the large intestine, which helps to improve intestinal transit.
The soluble fiber of the pulp is transformed into a very sticky and viscous mass, when it comes in contact with water, to which the fats, sugars, bacteria and toxins that it finds in the digestive tract are adhered to.
On the other hand, the insoluble fiber, of the plum skin, has a drag effect of the compounds that it finds in its way, facilitating the advance of the fecal matter.
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that infants who are already able to eat solid foods should eat plums and other fiber-rich foods twice a day as a way to prevent constipation.
3. Helps Reduce Blood Cholesterol Levels:
Soluble plum fibers interfere with the absorption of LDL cholesterol from food, lowering blood levels.
Prunes help lower blood cholesterol values by combining with bile acids and helping them to emulsify fats.
4.Improves Cardiovascular Health :
Compounds such as phenolic flavonoids, anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, quercetin and catechins, found in plums, have anti- inflammatory effects on the body’s cells. These components are involved in the prevention of problems such as hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Another compound of the plum, is the vitamin K, which has important benefits for your health:
- Together with Vitamin D, it participates in the regulation of calcium metabolism.
- It avoids the formation of deposits of calcium or atheromas in the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis, especially dangerous in the aorta and coronary arteries, which can lead to ischemia and heart attacks.
- It effectively prevents inflammatory processes.
- It acts as a protector of the inner wall of blood vessels, both of veins and arteries.
- Participates in the prevention of hypertension.
In the year 2014, a study on a Mediterranean population with a high risk of cardiovascular disease came to light in the prestigious Journal of Nutrition. This study found an association between vitamin K intake and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality from various causes.
5. Optimizes Cognitive Health:
Phytonutrients found in plums, decrease neurological inflammatory pictures, and improve learning and memory capacity. They are useful in the prevention of age-related neurodegenerative pathologies, acting as real natural treatments in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
A 2015 study, published by the British Journal of Nutrition, asserts that aging that causes impairment of cognitive abilities may be caused by sustained effects of oxidative stress on neurological physiology.
This study was designed within the framework of the observation of plum polyphenols, aimed at evaluating their action on the cognitive function of mice fed a diet rich in cholesterol for five months.
The results showed that cholesterol concentrations, present in the brain and in the blood, were lower in the group that consumed oriental plums, in comparison with the group that did not consume them. The researchers concluded that a diet high in cholesterol, but including oriental plums, can improve part of the symptomatology in neurodegenerative pathologies.
6. Improve Your Skin Health:
Vitamin C content is very good for the health of the skin, as well as for the blood vessels, as it acts as an enzymatic cofactor in the synthesis and maintenance of collagen, a protein constituent of the skin and tissues in general.
A 2007 study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, evaluated a group of more than 4,000 women aged 40-74 years in relation to vitamin C intake. Increased vitamin intake C reduced the likelihood of wrinkled skin as well as dryness in the skin, with the consequent reduction of skin aging.
On the other hand, it has been proven that vitamin C can reduce the intensity and duration of erythema or redness of the skin, following aesthetic or cosmetic procedures, such as peeling.
7. Stimulates the Functioning of the Immune System:
Vitamin C is very favorable for people with an immune system weakened by stress, because its antioxidant power, protects the cell membranes from reactive substances such as oxygen, generated during respiratory processes at the cellular level.
Several studies have shown that intake of vitamin C and zinc, improve symptomatology and shorten the duration of various respiratory diseases, including the common cold.
It has also been shown that vitamin C together with zinc reduces the risk of infection and convalescence in infectious diseases such as pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea, especially in children living in developing countries.
8. Help in the Control of Diabetes:
The diabetes is a chronic disease where glucose levels are elevated blood due to failure of insulin production by the pancreas, or by abnormal insulin production. These elevated levels of glucose can cause severe complications, if not controlled, such as kidney and eye damage.
Plums, and fruits in general, help control diabetes , thanks to the soluble fiber they contain, which causes them to have a low glycemic index, which helps slow the elevation of blood glucose levels.
In addition, the presence of flavonoids decreases the effects of insulin resistance.
9. Improves bone health:
Polyphenols and potassium present in plums have shown strong benefits for bone health, as they promote increased bone density, preventing osteopenia and osteoporosis. Such pathologies can lead to fractures, especially after menopause.
Among the main causes of osteoporosis are aging, emotional stress, nutritional deficiencies and alterations of hormonal nature, especially in postmenopausal women or with early menopause.
Possible Side Effects of Plums:
Plums contain a compound called oxalate, which in excess can cause kidney stones in predisposed people. Therefore, these people should avoid or restrict the consumption of this fruit.
It has been seen in these patients that the propensity to have high amounts of oxalates in the urine, goes along with a decrease in the amount of calcium absorbed, which causes an increase of the calcium in the kidneys, generating the oxalate calculations of Calcium.
How to Choose and Preserve Plums:
Now that you know the great virtues of plums, you must choose the best, considering that:
- Its consistency should be slightly firm, but at the same time yield to pressure.
- They are not very soft or with sunken and fragile areas.
- You should save them in the refrigerator, unless you want them to ripen quickly.
Ways to Prepare Plums:
Plums are very versatile to incorporate into your dishes. They are used in confectionery, as well as in sandwiches and salads.
Other ideas for using fresh plums are:
- Ice creams.
- Various shakes.
Dried prunes can also be used to:
- Dishes with chicken.
- Dishes with pork.
- Dishes with bacon or bacon.
- Varied cakes.
Ideas To Combine With Plums:
Plums are a blessing at breakfast, for its sweet and sweet taste, in addition to its digestibility. You can add it to yogurt or your bowl of oatmeal.
- Sliced are perfect on the oatmeal crepes.
- Added in the fruit smoothies, they are exquisite.
- Slices of plums on the salads, can bring a very special flavor.
- You can saute them on a vanilla pudding.
- Mixed with Port or Brandy, they intensify their flavor.
Recipe Of Frozen Plums With Coconut And Lima:
This is a very rich, refreshing and easy to prepare dessert.
Total time: 20 minutes.
- 1 cup of plums.
- ¼ cup of coconut milk.
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Put the plums in a bowl.
- Add coconut milk and lemon juice.
- Mix and store in the freezer until it has hardened.
- To enjoy!
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