Plums are not only sweet and delicious, they offer many health benefits too. Naturally high in vitamins A and C, plums are a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants, especially when consumed through foods, can help prevent premature aging and some kinds of cancers. A study published in 2010.(1) showed that plum extracts were able to kill aggressive breast cancer cells without harming the surrounding healthy cells.
Dried plums keep our digestive tract moving. The insoluble fiber and the soluble fiber of the plum work in unison to help relieve constipation. The insoluble fiber found in the skin doesn’t dissolve and scrubs the digestive lining. Soluble fiber in the pulp makes a gluey mass that traps fats, sugars, bacteria, and toxins and moves them out of the body. In fact, research has shown that dried plums are more effective than psyllium.(2) Psyllium is commonly found in fiber supplements like Metamucil.
Good news for diabetics! While plums are sweet tasting, they don’t raise blood sugar drastically.(3) Remember all that soluble fiber we mentioned? When we eat a plum, thanks to the soluble fiber, it enters and exits the bloodstream more slowly, stabilizing our blood sugars. Avoiding spikes in blood sugars is key for managing diabetes.
Here’s another reason to increase your intake of this sweet and juicy stone fruit. Plums are good for our bones. The polyphenols and potassium in plums enhance bone density and can protect us from bone loss.(4)
Besides being amazing for our health, plums are versatile. They can be grilled, baked, broiled, or stewed. They come in a variety of colors from green to yellow to deep purple to red, with a gorgeous yellow or red flesh inside. They are healthy for our bodies, aesthetically pleasing, and delicious. What more could we ask for in a fruit?
Guest blog for The Urban Farmer