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The plum is a wonderful, juicy fruit that belongs botanically to the family of Rosaceae (1). This fruit belongs to the genus Prunus domestica, which also includes peaches, nectarine, and almonds. It is one of the few fruits that come in a panorama of colors. The plant which bears this fruit is a small shrub that is widely grown all across the world, especially in China, United States, Japan, and Europe.
Selection and storage
Plums can be available year around, but they are at their best between May until September. In the stores, look for fresh fruits featuring rich color and may still have a slight whitish "bloom" on their surface indicating fresh harvest.
Avoid those with excess softness, or with cuts or bruises. Ripe fruits just yield to gentle pressure and feature a sweet aroma.
Preparation and serving method
Wash plums in cold running water just before using. Fresh ripe plum can be enjoyed as is, with its peel. Incise lengthwise deep into the flesh until it's hard seed resistance felt, and then remove the pit. The skin may be peeled off using a paring knife as in apples. However, its peel not only provides good fiber but also carries some of the health benefiting antioxidant pigments. Therefore, just wash the fruit and enjoy without discarding the peel. They can also be baked or stewed.
1. Great for Relieving constipation and digestive problems.
Filled with dietary fiber, sorbitol, and isatin.
2. Protects your heart.
A medium fresh plum contains 113 mg of potassium that helps manage high blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke.
3. Protect against cancer and cell damage.
Cleans up harmful free radicals thanks to anthocyanins, the reddish-blue pigment in some plums.
4. Prevent diabetes.
Plums have a low glycemic index, so eating plums can help you control your blood sugar and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes according to the Dietitians of Canada.
5. Improves bone health.
In a study one group ate prunes, the other group ate dried apples and both took calcium and vitamin D supplements. The prune group had substantially higher bone mineral density in the spine and forearms. (Florida State and Oklahoma State Universities)
6. Low in Calories.
This is very beneficial when dieting. A small plum contains only 30 calories.
7. Plums destroy breast cancer cells.
Plum extracts can kill aggressive breast cancer cells; the surrounding healthy cells were not harmed by the treatment. (ScienceDaily.com)
8. Improves brain memory.
Plums are full of antioxidants that have been shown to slow the development of Alzheimer’s disease. (The University of Harvard Health Research) They also contain anthocyanin and quercetin, beneficial for preventing brain cell breakdown.
“You can’t evoke great spirits and eat plums at the same time.” – George William Russell