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    Plum

    PLUM

    Plums belong to the same family as peaches, nectarines, and apricots. But plums are much more diverse than their stone-fruit cousins. They can be large or small, with red, purple, green, yellow, or orange skin, and pink, yellow, or orange flesh.

    They first grew in China thousands of years ago. Then plums made their way to Japan, parts of Europe, and America. Today, more than 2,000 varieties grow all over the world.

    Plums belong to the same family as peaches, nectarines, and apricots. But plums are much more diverse than their stone-fruit cousins. They can be large or small, with red, purple, green, yellow, or orange skin, and pink, yellow, or orange flesh.

    They first grew in China thousands of years ago. Then plums made their way to Japan, parts of Europe, and America. Today, more than 2,000 varieties grow all over the world.

    Plum Nutrition Facts

    The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one fresh plum measuring about 2 1/8″ in diameter (66g).2

    • Calories: 30
    • Fat: 0.2g
    • Sodium: 0mg
    • Carbohydrates: 7.5g
    • Fiber: 0.9g
    • Sugars: 6.6g
    • Protein: 0.5g
    • One medium plum contains nearly 8 grams of carbohydrates. There are 6.6 grams of naturally occurring sugar and almost 1 gram of fiber in each plum.
    • The glycemic load of a single plum is estimated to be about 2, making it a low glycemic food. Glycemic load takes portion size into account when estimating the impact of a food on blood sugar. If you eat more than a single serving, the glycemic load will be higher.

    Fats

    Plums are a low-fat food, with less than 1 gram of fat per serving.

    Protein

    Plums are not a rich source of protein. There is about a half of a gram of protein in a single plum.

    Vitamins and Minerals

    Plums are not a significant source of vitamins and minerals. However, you will get about 6.3mg of vitamin C or about 10% of your daily recommended intake. Plums also provide smaller amounts of vitamin K, potassium, copper, and manganese.

    Health Benefits

    There are limited studies on the health benefits of plums, but research has indicated a few potential benefits.

    Reduce Cell Damage

    The vitamin C in a plum provides certain health benefits. Vitamin C is an important water-soluble vitamin that is responsible for repairing cells, supporting the immune system, and slowing down the aging process.3

    Plums also contain phytonutrients, particularly phenols, which have antioxidant effects.4 Antioxidants may help prevent cell damage that may lead to cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration, and aging.

    Improve Heart Health

    Plums contain soluble fiber, which is known for being cardio-protective and helpful in reducing bad cholesterol.6 Limited studies on the fruit have shown that plum consumption is associated with improved cognitive function, bone health parameters, and cardiovascular risk factors.4

    Lower Diabetes Risk

    Results from three cohort studies demonstrated that greater consumption of certain whole fruits is significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Plums were included in the study and identified as a low-glycemic fruit. Study authors indicated that replacing fruit juice with whole plums was associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes.

    Plum Health Benefits

    The vitamin C in plums helps your body heal, build muscle, and form blood vessels. It’s great for your eyes, too.

    Here are other ways that plums are good for your health:

    • Heart disease.  Phytochemicals and nutrients in plums lower the inflammation that triggers heart disease.
    • Anxiety . A plum a day may keep anxiety away. When your antioxidants are low, anxiety can be high.
    • Constipation Relief. Plums, like prunes, can also help keep things moving through your system. They have a lot of sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that acts as a natural laxative.
    • High blood pressure and stroke. The potassium in plums is good for blood pressure control in two ways. It helps your body get rid of sodium when you pee, and it lessens tension in the walls of your blood vessels. When your blood pressure is lower, your odds of getting a stroke go down.
    • Rich in antioxidants. These substances protect the body against the cell and tissue damage that can lead to diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer.
    • Reduce blood sugar. Plums are chock full of fiber, which helps slow down a blood sugar spike after you eat carbs. They can also boost your body’s production of adiponectin, a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar levels.
    • Bone health. Research on animals shows prunes (dried plums) may help reduce bone loss, and may even reverse it.

    When It’s Best

    Fresh plums are available from June through October since their peak season is August and September.

    When you select plums in the produce section of your market, look for fruit that is free of nicks and blemishes. They should be even in color, appear to be plump and smell sweet.

    Avoid purchasing plums that are rock-hard. These plums may never fully develop the rich juiciness of a fully ripe plum. Instead, pick plums that are slightly soft and give a little to the touch.

     

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