Plums are the fruit of the Prunus domestica of the Rosaceae family. Plums are harvested from June until October but can also be enjoyed throughout the year in the dried version. Fresh and dried plums have slightly different properties since the drying process changes the content of some substances, but let’s see better in detail.
Soft and tasty, plums are the fruit of summer. Fresh plums bring few calories, around 35 Kcal per 100 grams, but different mineral salts, such as copper, iron, potassium and magnesium, and vitamins, such as A, C and K (USDA Database). These fruits are rich in antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, able to counteract tissue aging and free radical damages (Milala et al, J Food Sci Technol, Oct 2013). Not only that, plums are considered able to protect the brain by counteracting age-related cognitive decline (Keservani et al, Scientifica, Feb 2016), these fruits fight also high levels of blood sugar and cholesterol thanks to their fiber content and antioxidant substances (Mirmiran et al, World J Diabetes, Jun 2014).
Dried plums are more caloric than the fresh ones, about 220 Kcal per 100 grams, but they are very rich in healthy properties since the drying process increases the nutrient content. Dried plums provide minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper and potassium, and vitamins, such as A and, to a greater extent than fresh fruit, group B and K (USDA Database). In addition to this, dried plums also bring more fiber than the fresh fruit, thus resulting to be useful in case of constipation. But dried plums are also a very interesting source of carbohydrates and of a substance, called chlorogenic acid, which, according to scientific studies, has a powerful antioxidant action and also fights anxiety (Keservani et al, Scientifica, Feb 2016). These dried fruits also have a protective role on bone health by counteracting the decrease in bone density especially in women after menopause (Wallace et al, Nutrients, Apr 2017). In particular, this effect was reported with the intake of 50 grams of dried plums, about 5-6 plums, per day for 6 months (Hooshmand et al, Osteopors Int, Jul 2016). But this protective effect of dried plums is, in fact, more general and is beneficial in all forms of osteoporosis, both in women and in men. Moreover, this action has proven to be so powerful not only to prevent but also to block and reverse the process of loss of bone density already in progress (Hooshmand et al, Aging res rev, Apr 2009). The intake of dried plums is also associated with a decrease in risk, about 18% less, of developing type 2 diabetes. This protective effect was greater than the fresh plum, which are able to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by 11% (Muraki et al, BMJ, Aug 2013). Finally, dried plums contain inositol, a substance useful to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides (Tabrizi et al, Lipids health Dis, May 2018) and helpful in the case of polycystic ovary syndrome, by restoring ovulation and improving the hormone profile (Laganà et al, Trends Endocrinol Metab, Nov 2018).