Plums are starting to appear on the shelves of supermarkets and greengrocers. These delicious fruits, however, can also be enjoyed all year round, in the form of dried plums, jam and juice. Let's see the properties, benefits and warnings of plums in all their forms, to understand why it is important to include plums in our diet.
Plums provide antioxidants, such as phenolic compounds and carotenoids, vitamins, such as vitamin C, E, A, K and group B, and minerals, among which potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus stand out. The dried version of plums, the prunes, very tasty and available all year round, sees the calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium content increase by up to 6 times for the same quantity of fruit analyzed. In dried plums, the presence of vitamin A and vitamin K increases while the intake of vitamin C is reduced .
Plums against free radicals and cellular degeneration
Plums, both fresh and dried, are a concentrate of phenolic compounds, which are precious antioxidants that counteract free radical damage and aging processes . Although most of the studies on the subject have been conducted in the laboratory on animal populations, it is also possible to detect a neuroprotective action of plums, which have been found useful to counteract the damage of free radicals and neuroinflammation, to decrease the formation of amyloid beta protein aggregates, a characteristic of Alzheimer's disease, and to improve memory and learning . The antioxidant action of plums is also associated with the anti-tumor properties shown by these fruits .
Bone-friendly dried plums
Prunes increase bone density, helping to combat osteoporosis, which is especially useful for post-menopausal women . Studies have shown that 50 grams per day of dried plums are able to protect bones and prevent and counteract bone loss .
Plums and heart
Prunes contain a high percentage of pectin, a fiber with an antioxidant action. Well, thanks to this characteristic, including prunes in your diet helps reduce cholesterol, the accumulation of fat in the liver and the risk of arteriosclerosis .
Constipation? Help from plums...
Plums, particularly in their dried version, have laxative properties that help in case of constipation . The laxative properties can be traced back to the presence of fiber, sorbitol and antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid .
Alternatively, plum juice has also been shown to improve intestinal transit and counteract constipation .
Antioxidant plum jam
Plum jam is a delight that we can savor on a slice of brown bread for breakfast. But this jam is also a precious source of energy to face the day and preserves a high quantity of polyphenols, which also give plum jam an interesting antioxidant power .
Plums, if consumed in moderation as part of a healthy and varied diet, do not cause unwanted effects and are well tolerated. However, you shouldn't overdo it, especially with the fruit in dried form and with the juice, which are more suited to being consumed in large quantities. In fact, an excessive dose of prunes and juice can cause gastrointestinal disorders, bloating and diarrhea.