Plum: health benefits and harms

Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay

The history of the appearance of plums in nutrition
Plums belong to the Pink family. These trees grow mainly in the northern temperate regions – the plum is very resistant to frost. One plant can bear fruit for about 60 years.

Plum occurred as a result of crossing cherry plum and blackthorn. This plant was cultivated in the Mediterranean, Central Asia. Gradually, plums spread throughout Europe.

Plums are especially important in the culture of China and Japan. There, this plant is planted, including for beauty. Five plum petals symbolize happiness and its components: well-being, longevity, spiritual purity, happy destiny, and nobility.

In Japan, the Ume Matsuri holiday has been celebrated since the end of February. Everyone admires the flowering plum trees and holds tea ceremonies. In Bulgaria, the day of plums and plum brandy is also celebrated every year – strong alcohol made from this fruit.

Plums are used not only for food – dyes are extracted from leaves and bark, and wood is used as raw material for creating musical instruments.

The benefits of plums
The calorie content of plums is small due to a large amount of water in the fruits. It has been proven to be a good dietary supplement while losing weight. Flavonoids and phenolic components in plums inhibit the growth of fat cells. If you eat plums in moderation, they will speed up the fat-burning process.

Plums are rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanins, ascorbic acid, carotenoids, vitamin E. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress by protecting cells from the aggressive effects of free radicals. Scientific research supports the link between plum consumption and improved memory.

Plums, especially dried fruits, contain a lot of potassium. It has been noted that plums reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease since potassium is essential for the normal functioning of the heart.
This fruit serves as an excellent prevention of constipation by naturally gently stimulating peristalsis. This is helped by pectins and dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble.

Caloric content per 100 grams 46 kcal
Protein 0.7 g
Fat 0.3 g
Carbohydrates 10 gr

Plum harm
Plums are a low-calorie food product, but the sugar content can fluctuate (therefore, restrictions on their use in diabetes mellitus are natural).

Plums contain a lot of organic acids, therefore, with gastritis with high acidity, erosive gastritis and duodenitis, gastric ulcer, and/or duodenal ulcer, it is necessary to avoid draining in the diet. Since plums have a laxative effect, people with a tendency to diarrhea, a decrease in the enzymatic activity of various parts of the gastrointestinal tract, and, accordingly, impaired digestion of food, plums can also be contraindicated even in minimal quantities.

It is important to consider and in what form plums are consumed. To prevent the oxidation of phenols during the drying process, the plums are treated with sulfites. This is how dried prunes are obtained. For people with hypersensitivity to sulfites, such dried fruits can be dangerous.

The use of plums in medicine
Plum in fresh, dried form, as well as its decoctions, has a laxative effect. For constipation, lazy bowel syndrome helps in bowel movement. Also, pectins and dietary fiber improve digestion, serve as a breeding ground for intestinal microbiota.

Plum pulp is added to some pharmaceutical laxatives with a natural composition. Plum bark is also used in homeopathy.

How to choose and store plums
Plums are very different depending on the variety; it is rather difficult to orientate on the color. After all, there are yellow, red, black plums. If the plum should be yellow, then choose fruits without a green tint. Black plums should not be with red barrels.

The easiest way is to clarify the variety and taste of plums from the seller, since yellow fruits are sweet, and black ones are sour.

Pay attention to the peel – it should not have cracks or dents. If the wax bloom is preserved, this is good, then the plums were harvested recently.

The ripe fruit is quite elastic, but not too soft – such a plum is already overripe and may have begun to ferment. The stalk of ripe fruit is dry, it may fall off by itself.

Plums should be stored in plastic with holes to drain moisture in the refrigerator. Ripe fruits will last for a maximum of a month.

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