Plums are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They have a relatively long shelf life and can be enjoyed in many different ways.
Some varieties are sweet, while others are more tart. You can eat them fresh, cook them into a meal, bake them into a dessert, or make them into a jam.
They can also be dried and eaten as prunes.
And in addition to being a tasty treat, plums also offer some impressive health benefits.
Plums and Prunes are Very Nutritious
Plums and prunes are low in calories yet densely packed with nutrients.
Both plums and prunes are excellent sources of:
- B Vitamins
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Prunes may provide higher levels of B vitamins and vitamin K and more calories per weight.
Plums and Prunes May Reduce Chronic Disease Risk
Plums and prunes are also rich sources of antioxidants and other plant compounds that have been linked to health benefits.
Antioxidants are substances that scavenge harmful toxins called free radicals, which contribute to inflammation and oxidative stress damage throughout the body. This damage has been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
Although these fruits are not a cure for those illnesses, their antioxidants may help neutralize some of the free radicals responsible for disease development and progression.
Plums and Prunes Can Improve Your Digestion
The fiber, water, and antioxidant content in plums and prunes may also promote regularity and healthy digestion.
Fiber adds bulk to stools, which helps them move more easily through your digestive tract. This can reduce constipation and other digestive issues like bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.
They also contain sorbitol, a natural laxative that can help relieve constipation. However, too much sorbitol can cause diarrhea, so it’s important to eat plums and prunes in moderation if you’re susceptible to digestive issues.
Plums and Prunes May Boost Your Bone Health
The nutrients in plums and prunes may also support bone health.
Vitamin K and copper are essential for bone formation, while potassium helps maintain bone density. Manganese is another mineral that’s needed for bone health.
Some studies suggest that the antioxidants in plums and prunes may also help reduce bone loss associated with aging. This can help lower your risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and fragile bones.
Recent research suggests that 5 or 6 prunes per day is optimal for promoting bone health.
Plums and Prunes May Aid Weight Loss
If you’re trying to lose weight, plums and prunes can be a helpful addition to your diet.
They are high in fiber, which can help you feel fuller for longer and avoid overeating. This may be one of the reasons why people who eat dried fruits tend to be healthier and less obese than people who don’t.
And with plums, you get the added benefit of water content, which can further increase feelings of fullness and help reduce calorie intake.
Plums and prunes can also be healthier alternatives to other manufactured snacks, such as candy, cookies, and baked goods.
Plums and Prunes Can Improve Heart Health
In addition to helping with weight loss (which can help reduce your risk of heart disease), plums and prunes may also reduce high blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.
These two biomarkers are significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
High cholesterol can clog your arteries and lead to a heart attack or stroke, while high blood pressure can damage your arteries and lead to heart failure.
If plums or prunes aren’t currently a part of your diet, adding them may be a simple way to improve your overall health. There are many different varieties, so if you don’t like one type, there’s sure to be another that you’ll enjoy.