Plums are juicy and delicious fruits that exist in diverse colors and shapes. These are low-calorie fruits with useful amounts of vitamin C belong to the genus Prunus of the Rosaceae family which also includes peaches, apricots, and nectarines. They are also packed with fiber, antioxidants, and over 15 different vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, vitamins A and K, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Immature fruits of plum were found to be a safe and promising dietary source of lowering our risk of breast cancer, according to a study published in the International Journal of Food and Sciences and Nutrition.
Researchers from Keimyung University have discovered that highest levels of tannins and phenolic can be found in the mid-mature and mature plums. Furthermore, the results of the study also revealed that the extracts from an immature plum fruit possesses cytotoxic effects and can induce cell death in MDA-MB-231 cells, which are commonly used to model late-stage breast cancer.
Meanwhile, in a separate study, plum can possibly be used as a natural way to prevent colon cancer as it contains polyphenols such as neochlorogenic acid and chlorogenic acid. These two were found to able to be capable of preventing the spread of colon cancer cells.
Aberrant crypt foci, which are microscopic lesions in the lining of the colon and rectum, can be nutritionally prevented by polyphenols and this can be an important step in the dietary prevention of cancer.
For the study, a team of researchers at Texas A&M University have used azoxymethane-treated rats and examined the effect of the anti-inflammatory and anti-tumorigenic properties of plum polyphenols on them. For ten weeks, the rats are given with either plum beverage or control beverage and administered azoxymethane at the second and third week. After the given period of time, results revealed that the plum beverage intake has lowered the proliferation of mucosal cells by 24%, reduced the activity of glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase in mucosal scrapings, lessened the proinflammatory enzymes, and reduced the number of dysplastic aberrant crypt foci by 48%.
Due to these finding, researchers concluded that plums are beneficial in lowering our risk of colorectal cancer mainly due to its polyphenols. Results of this study were published in the journal Nutrition Research.
Other Health Benefits Of Plum
Helps Control Diabetes
Plums have anti-hyperglycemic effects and are beneficial for fighting diabetes as it can increase the levels of adiponectin, a protein that plays a role in blood sugar control.
According to studies, consumption of plum extracts can aid in lowering triglycerides and blood sugar levels in the body. Also, its flavonoids help enhance insulin sensitivity in the body.
Helps Maintain A Healthy Nervous System
Present in plums is a high amount of vitamin B6, which aid in the smooth functioning of the nervous system, assist in the formation of mood influencing hormones and help in normal growth of the brain. Also, an amino acid known as tryptophan is also present in it. This amino acid plays a crucial role in improving sleep, appetite, and concentration.
Beneficial To The Gut
The fiber in plums regulates the fast functioning of the intestines. The fruit can also help treat intestinal worms.
Helps Keep Your Bowels Regular
Each plum has one gram of fiber. Eating them as is or their dried forms or a batch of softened plums can help our bowel do its work.
Helps Boost Cellular Health
Essential minerals like copper and iron are found in plums. These minerals facilitate blood purification and healthy circulation and also assist in the formation of red blood cells. Consumption of copper-rich foods helps in the absorption of iron and prevents various diseases like osteoarthritis and anemia.
Helps Protect The Heart
About 113 mg of potassium is present in one medium-sized fresh plum. Potassium is essential in maintaining blood pressure and reducing stroke risk.
Different Ways To Consume Plums
Opt for plums that are slightly firm instead of already soft or bruised. We can add them into our salads, smoothies, pudding, and pies. Also, dried plums can be added to dressings and various dishes.