Being Healthy With Plums
Many of the healthy chemicals and anti-oxidants in fruits and vegetables are in different colour agents and so people should try to eat a rainbow of different coloured fruits. Plums are small, juicy, bright red coloured fruits available during the months of May to September. They are considered to be one of the rainbow coloured fruits. These delicious fruits are very sweet and contain a seed inside. These fruits contain a number of health promoting properties. Experts feel that plums are the new super foods containing almost all the disease fighting properties. They found that these fruits exceeded all other fruits in the number of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients. Anti-oxidants are molecules that sweep through a body looking for free radicals to knock out. They play a key role in boosting our immunity and improving our cardiac health. They have more nutritional benefits than one can ever imagine. They are a rich source of Vitamin C, a natural anti-oxidant, Vitamin A, beta carotene, other health promoting flavonoids, iron, various minerals etc. Even dried plums contain many anti-oxidants. Dried salted plums are often used as snacks. Dried plums provide many essential vitamins that our body requires. These dried plums are known as prunes.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PLUMS
■ Inclusion of plums in our daily diet such as breakfast, lunch or just evening snacks will definitely give increased protection to our vision. The anti-oxidants and carotenoids present in plums prevent the development of age related macular degeneration or any other severe form of illness associated with vision loss. This has been proven by a recent study on the properties of this fruit, according to which plums are very much protective against vision destroying diseases due to the abundant amounts of vitamins present in it.
■ Another anti-oxidant that fresh plums contain in abundance is Vitamin C, which helps us develop resistance against infectious agents, fight against inflammation, and scavenge harmful free radicals. They also protect the body from the risk of asthma, colon cancer, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin C has an ability to absorb iron into the body. Thus one can take plums instead of Iron supplements to fulfill the iron deficiency. Iron helps in the red blood cell formation while Vitamin C gives relief from cold, cough and flu.
■ Plums are rich in dietary fiber which helps in the functioning of digestive system and therefore are used in times of constipation. Prunes and prune juice is often used to help regulate the digestive system.
■ Fresh plums are low in calories and contain no saturated fats. Vitamin A present in plums gives us protection from lung and oral cavity cancers.
■ Plums are rich in minerals like potassium, fluoride and iron. Potassium is important to cardiovascular, muscular and nervous system. It also balances the cell and body fluids that helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
■ Plums are rich in B-complex group of vitamins which act as co-factors to help our body metabolise carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Vitamin K helps clotting factors function in the blood and helps to reduce Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly.
The important point to be noted is not to peel your plums. You must eat the skin because that is where many of the color agents and anti oxidants are present.
PLUM JAM IS VERY DELICIOUS AND EASY TO MAKE
Take 2 cups of chopped plums and 2 cups of sugar, mix well and boil for 10 minutes on a low flame. Check the consistency of it. If it is thick then put off the flame and let it cool and store in a bottle.
Prune kernel oil is made from the fleshy inner part of the pit of the plum.
According to various dieticians if everyone eats 2 or 3 plums a day that would be great for our health.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna