Superfood 101: Plums!

While plums have been around for eons, science has now heralded them as a super-food – bursting with vital nutrients and packed with disease-fighting properties. Read on to learn some of their awesome health benefits…

Packed with anti-oxidants

Anti-oxidants are nutrients that tackle and render ineffective the free radicals in our body. Free radicals are the bullies of the cellular world – they have an unpaired electron in their shell and are highly reactive towards other cells. They set off a chain reaction by stealing electrons from another cell, thereby damaging its structure. The cell with the stolen electron now becomes a free radical and similarly attacks another cell. Such a chain reaction that leads to cumulative damage to our bodies is dubbed as oxidative damage – according to the Free Radical Theory of Ageing (FRTA), it’s these free radicals that cause us to age, inside and outside. Anti-oxidants tackle and destroy free radicals to a large extent, thereby slowing the process of ageing and preserving “youth” for a longer period of time. Plums are bursting with anti-oxidants – equivalent to a handful of blueberries – and far more economical too.

Bursting with phytonutrients

Phytonutrients are naturally occurring chemicals found in plants – they are not essential to our survival; however, consuming them makes our body function at an optimum. They are disease-fighting in nature and sometimes act as anti-oxidants too. Plums have neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids that help prevent oxidative damage to the fat content of our body. Other phytonutrients in plums also help in fighting age-related macular degeneration (loss of vision).

Nutrient rich

Plums are rich in vitamins A, C and E as well as minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron.

Low in Calories

High in complex carbohydrates and fiber while being low in fat and calories – plums are an excellent snack for a weight watcher and also keep your digestion working at an optimum. They also have a low glycemic index and so keep you feeling full, longer.

Enriched with polyphenols

Studies have shown that polyphenols in plums and its dried version, prunes, can actually increase bone density in women, thereby helping prevent the much-dreaded osteoporosis.

Beauty benefits

Plums are bursting with fruit acids called AHAs that act as a natural exfoliant. These acids, upon application to the skin, slough away dead skin cells to reveal younger and fresher skin underneath. The younger skin not only looks better but also absorbs all cosmetics (moisturizer, serum) better, thus making for an improved complexion all over. To apply – simply squish a plum into a bowl and then massage the fruit onto your skin gently. Keep on for 5-10 minutes and then wash off for a renewed visage.

The best plum of them all

There’s nothing simpler than washing a plum and then biting into the fruit to enjoy all its goodness. Select the deepest colored plums to get maximum benefits from this powerhouse of nutrients and ensure you eat the skin as well – the deep-colored skin is healthier than the flesh. However if you are not a fan of its juicy sweet-sour taste then by all means make that cobbler, relish or jam – roasting, stewing and poaching are all good cooking methods that retain the health benefits of the plum.

We wish you sweet days ahead…