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Have you ever eaten a plum right after picking it from a tree? If you haven’t you should add that to your ‘things to do before you die’ list. All fruits are not only tasty but extremely healthy and so are plums and prunes (dried plums). They are a good source of minerals and potassium, which is extremely beneficial for the body. Plums don’t affect the blood sugar levels and are great for constipation and osteoporosis.
The answer to chronic illnesses lies in diets that consist of fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables. Fiber and antioxidants counter the effects of free radicals that cause these diseases. Add plums and other fruits to your diet if you’re suffering from a serious ailment or feel unhealthy overall. You can also add them to your diet to avoid contracting chronic illnesses in the future. More than anything else, regulating your diet in addition to exercising regularly will help you fight against these diseases.
You must have come across stories of people fighting cancer by turning to plant-based diets instead of going for chemotherapy. This is possible only by persevering and maintaining a strict diet plan along with exercising. You can follow a detailed diet plan with FITFEAST that gets you in touch with expert nutritionists in real-time for assistance. Moreover, it allows you to track your water and calorie intake.
In addition to antioxidants and fiber, plums and prunes contain 15 types of vitamins and minerals. They contain Vitamin A, C, K, B3, B2, B6, Manganese, Copper, Phosphorus, and Magnesium among other nutrients. Plums and prunes differ somewhat in their nutritional value; prunes contain higher quantities of Vitamin K and B, minerals, and calories.
Free radicals harm cells and the body requires antioxidants to fight them. Plums and prunes are rich in antioxidants and reduce inflammation. They are packed with polyphenol antioxidants that improve bone health and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease as well. Studies suggest that the polyphenols in plums and prunes are more effective when it comes to battling inflammation.
They protect the cells from damage that could lead to chronic diseases. Studies have shown that when compared to peaches and nectarines, plums contain twice the amount of polyphenol antioxidants. Prunes have successfully been used to reduce inflammatory markers in the blood associated with lung and joint diseases. Plums also contain anthocyanin – a type of polyphenol – that reduces the risk of cancer as well.
Certain studies suggest that eating prunes might be good to treat bone conditions characterized by low bone density; prunes may be beneficial for osteoporosis and osteopenia patients. Interestingly, the studies show that consuming prunes regularly might not only prevent damage to the bones but reverse it as well. It is believed that the antioxidants present in prunes might have these benefits. Moreover, prunes have compounds that improve hormone levels that are associated with bone formation. The contents of Vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium in prunes have positive effects on bones.
Prunes consist of high proportions of fiber that might relieve constipation when consumed directly or in the form of juice. The insoluble fibers in prunes do not mix with water, which prevents constipation and adds bulk to your stool. This speeds up the digestion process.
Prunes contain sorbitol – sugar alcohol – that is a natural laxative. Prunes are considered better than commonly used laxatives such as psyllium. 50 grams of prunes each day for 3-4 weeks improve stool consistency. You should keep in mind that overeating prunes might cause diarrhea. Finally, never add sugar to prune juice.
Plums contain considerably high amounts of carbs, but they do not spike blood sugar levels post-consumption. This happens since plums increase the level of the adiponectin hormone that regulates blood sugar. The fiber in plums eases the absorption of carbs after a meal, which regulates blood sugar levels. Eating plums and prunes are associated with a lower risk of type-2 diabetes. However, do not overeat plums as they contain considerable amounts of calories.
Unhealthy lifestyles have significantly increased heart problems. We need to include foods in our diet that improve our cardiovascular health. Plums and prunes can reduce cholesterol levels and high blood pressure when consumed regularly. Studies have shown that eating plums or prunes or drinking prune juice regularly for 8 weeks considerably reduces total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in addition to lowering blood pressure. Several other studies have found the same results; lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increased HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Since plums are high in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, they have positive effects on the heart.
Drinking plum juice is associated with skin rejuvenation. The fruit firms the skin and reduces wrinkles; they make skin look younger. Moreover, they aid the treatment of scars by increasing blood circulation to the scar. The whole process reduces the fineness of the scar and helps the skin heal faster. Moreover, plums help reduce dark spots, freckles, and other skin conditions. Finally, plums improve elasticity and skin texture as well.
Make some plum jam and enjoy spoonfuls on bread for breakfast or dessert after meals. Something neither you nor your children will be able to resist. What’s more, is that it is easy to make.
Plums add texture to salads and tarty juiciness, which makes the salads even better. Slice plums and add them for some sweetness to basil and spinach salad. Top the salad with some orange vinaigrette and enjoy a delicious meal. You can make the salad more filling with some couscous.
Plums taste exquisite in the form of juice or smoothies or cocktails. Peeled, pitted, and sliced plums when added to milk, yogurt, and blueberries make for a great breakfast smoothie. Plums can be added to sangria as well. Or simply juice some plums and enjoy a refreshing drink.
Plums can be added to cakes, pies, and crumbles to make them even more delicious and visually appealing. Or a simple plum and almond cake makes parties so much fun.
Poach some plums in red wine. Add some grated lemon zest and you’re done. If you want a more sophisticated cocktail, puree some plums with water and sugar and top with Champagne in wine flutes.
Plums are perhaps the juiciest fruits around and should not be missed. Look up interesting plum recipes and enjoy its various benefits.