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Health Benefits of Plums

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

Prunus domestica, also known as plums, are round-shaped fruits that belong to the Rosaceae genus, including peaches, apricots, and nectarines. They come in a wide range of colors and sizes, and they're more than 2,000 different varieties. Plums are classified into three groups: Japanese (Prunus salicina), European-Asian (Prunus domestica), or Damson (prunus insititia). China, the U.S., Serbia, and Romania are the top plum harvesters. California is the largest producer of plums in the United States.

They're tiny deciduous trees that reach a height of about 10-15 meters and bear fruits with varying characteristics depending on where they're grown. They're drupes or stone fruits with a smooth pit on the one hand and a crease running along one side. They have a juicy pulp that ranges from fluffy yellow to crimson red. Depending on the species, the outer skin color may range from yellow to dark red to purple to black.

Plums contain a wide variety of flavonoids and phenols, which provide a long list of health benefits. Plum's antioxidant properties may help prevent and manage osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, and macular degeneration.

Also, the consumption of plums may help improve cognition, help in skincare, and keep a healthy nervous system.

Antioxidant Properties

Vitamin C and important phytonutrients with antioxidant properties are found in plums. These properties may help in preventing damage caused due to oxygen radicals and protect the body against serious diseases. The phenols found in plums may increase their protective effect to essential fats in cell membranes and neurons against oxidative stress injuries.

May Prevent Osteoporosis

Dried plums have anabolic and anti-resorption properties, which may help preserve healthy bones. Polyphenols, in combination with the potassium content in dried plums, may help promote bone growth, increase bone density, and prevent bone loss. According to the Journal of Nutrition, eating dried plums on a daily basis may help recover bone density that has been reduced due to aging.

Manages Diabetes

Plums have anti-hyperglycemic properties that may help in the treatment of diabetes. Plum extracts may help lower the body's blood sugar and triglyceride levels. The flavonoids found in plums may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by protecting against insulin resistance.

Protects Heart Health

The consumption of dried plums daily may help blood's fluidity in the arteries. This protective effect may help prevent various cardiac disorders such as atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke.

Healthy Nervous System

Plums contain Vitamin B6 and may aid in the processing of nerve signals and the smooth functioning of the nervous system. Plums include tryptophan, an amino acid that helps in the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which improves sleep, appetite, and concentration. They may aid in the healthy development of the brain as well as the production of mood-altering hormones.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbia, S.C.

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