With a sweet taste and a pleasant sour note, here are the plums, which brighten up the September table! These delicious fruits are also a valuable source of beneficial properties for health, as we will see in the next few paragraphs, helping to support the proper functioning of the heart, brain and bones. So, green light for the consumption of plums! And when is it no longer plum season? There is no problem, because plums are available all year round in their dried form, also in this case characterized by very interesting properties for health. But let's see in more detail.
Plums, nutrients and properties
The strength of plums are certainly the antioxidants, such as flavonols, among which quercetin stands out, and anthocyanins, substances responsible not only for the dark blue color of the fruit, but also for its beneficial, anticancer and anti age properties, useful for the heart, bones and brain. The peel contains up to 20 times more antioxidants than the pulp (Usenik et al, J Sci Food Agric, 2013). But fresh plums also contain interesting amounts of vitamin C, which instead is significantly reduced, at least by 80%, in the dried fruit (Michalska et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2017). These fruits are also a source of B vitamins, folate, vitamins A, E and K, but also calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese, carotenoids and fiber. Fibers improve intestinal transit and, especially in dry fruit that is particularly rich in fiber, counteract constipation with a mild laxative action and increase satiety (Igwe et al, Phytother Res, 2016).
Plums and memory
Plums, thanks to their content in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances, have been shown to protect the brain, helping to prevent neurodegenerative diseases and improving memory and cognitive function (Igwe et al, Phytother Res, 2016). In fact, the intake of plums has helped to control the formation of accumulations of beta amyloid proteins, which are a characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (Kuo et al, Br J Nutr, 2015). Not only that, plum juice and fresh plums have been shown to improve cognitive function even in elderly people (Shukitt Hale et al, Nutrition, 2009).
Plums and bones
Plums improve bone health. In fact, it has been observed that the intake of plums, especially in dried form, has led to an increase in bone density in menopausal women, that is people with a greater risk of developing osteoporosis (Igwe et al, Phytother Res, 2016).
Plums and heart
Plums improve cardiovascular health parameters (Igwe et al, Phytother Res, 2016). In fact, plum juice and fresh plums, given the antioxidant action, help to counteract the accumulation of fat and inflammation that, in the long run, can lead to heart disease and diabetes (Noratto et al, J Agric Food Chem , 2009 - Hong et al, J Med Food, 2021). Not only that, plums also contain chlorogenic acid, which is a compound that can also be found in coffee. Chlorogenic acid helps to keep blood sugar levels under control, thus preventing diabetes (Miao et al, Advances in Pharmacology, 2020).
Plums and allergies
Plums are antiallergic. Although it has not yet been possible to understand the mechanism of action of plums, it has been observed that supplementing one's diet with these fruits, even in dried form, can lead, in allergic people, to a reduction in Immunoglobulins E, which are antibodies involved in allergic reactions, but also in symptoms related to allergies such as sneezing and runny nose (Igwe et al, Phytother Res, 2016).