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8 Health Benefits and Side Effects of Plums and Prunes

8 Health Benefits and Side Effects of Plums and Prunes

Know Your Fruit - Plums and Prunes

Plums popularly known as aloobukhara are small, round shaped purple fruit with the flesh being firm and juicy and a single large seed in the middle. The outer skin of fruit may vary and appear considerably from yellow-orange to reddish-purple in color. Plums, when eaten in their dried state, are called a prune. Prune is basically a dried-plum. Taste-wise, the edible pulpy part of the plum ranges from sweet to tart; ripe plums tend to be sweeter in taste, while an unripe plum can taste incredibly tart.

Plums and Prunes Nutrition

The Nutritional Profile of One Plum Offers - 

  • Calories - 30.4 kcal

  • Carbohydrate - 7.5 g

  • Fiber - 0.9 g

  • Sugar - 6.5 g

  • Fat - 0.2 g

  • Protein - 0.5 g

  • Vitamin C - 10% RDA

  • Vitamin A - 5% RDA

  • Vitamin K - 5% RDA

  • Potassium - 3% RDA

  • Copper - 2% RDA

Health Benefits of Eating Plums and Prunes

1. Treat Obesity

 A 2017 study has shown that consuming bioactive compounds of stone fruits like plums helps in fighting metabolic syndrome and its extracts help in treating obesity. The flavonoids in plums exert anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory effects, which help in preventing obesity-related problems like cholesterol disorders, diabetes, and other cardiovascular diseases.

2. Improve Bone Strength

Prunes (Dried Plums) are ideal to avoid osteoporosis, a medical condition characterized by low bone mass and abnormal loss of bone tissue and other bone-related deficiency as they are enriched with minerals and flavonoids such as caffeic acid that the body needs to improve bone strength. The potassium content present in dried plums also encourages the development of bones.

3. Effective in Treating Digestive Disorders

Plums contain sorbitol and isatin and prunes are a rich source of insoluble fiber which relieves constipation and regulates the digestive system. Prune juice is very beneficial among the older generation, particularly among those who want to treat digestive disorders or to get relief from constipation.

4. Anti-Cancer

Eating dried plums on a regular basis offer many anti-cancer benefits as they block the growth of cancer cells and are a rich source of fiber. Plum extracts may reduce the risk of cancer. Also, Phenolic compounds found in prunes act as a preventive against a chronic disease like cancer. High antioxidant content found in these dried fruits can help reduce oxidative damage associated with cancer occurrence and lower the risk of colon cancer.

5. Protect Eyes

Plums are a rich source of Vitamin A that is required for good eyesight.

Vitamin A along with beta-carotene and carotenoids content help in maintaining and keeping your vision sharp and reduce risks of other vision-related disorders. It also protects retina tissues as you age.

6. Good for Weight-loss

Plums are packed with vitamins and minerals hence very low in calorie content. The vitamin and mineral dense fruit always keep you feeling full. Add it to your snack or combine it with nuts and other whole grain cereals to benefit from its useful properties in terms of weight loss.

7. Improve Brain Health

Eating three to four prunes on a regular basis help neutralizing cell-damaging free radicals.

The flavonoids present in plums help in reducing inflammation in the brain.

8. Lower Cholesterol Levels

The fiber in prunes soaks up excess bile in the intestine and remove them from the body via the feces thus help in eliminating excess cholesterol from the body.

Side Effects of Eating Plums and Prunes

Common side effects of eating an excessive amount of prunes include:

  • Diarrhea – Insoluble fibers are found in prunes. These fibers do not absorb or dissolve in water hence can cause or even worsen diarrhea.
  • Gastrointestinal upset – Sorbitol, a sugar alcohol found in fruits can cause gas and bloating. Sorbitol works as a laxative in the body. It draws water into the large intestine and stimulates bowel movements.

Did you Know?

  • California is the worlds largest producer of dried plums.

  • California supply approximately 40 percent of the worlds supply and 99 percent of the U.S. supply.

  • It  takes 3 pounds of fresh fruit (plum) to make 1 pound of prunes

  • A prune plum tree produces up to 300 pounds of fruit.

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