Plums: Health benefits and Side effects

plum health benefits and side effetcs

Edited By Dr. Asha Jyoti Bharati

Plums are juicy, drupe fruit that belongs to the subgenus Prunus (family Rosaceae). This fruit is mostly consumed in America, China, and Europe. Nowadays their demand is growing very fast because of their flavor and appearance (1). There are more than 2000 varieties of plums. Only a few are commercially important. The most commonly grown species are the only difference is in their flesh color like yellow, white, green and red prunes.

  1. European plum (Prunus domestica)
  2. Japanese plum (P. salicina)
  3. Damson plum (P. insititia)

White coating of Plum

Edible white coating of plum helps in enhancing the resistance from the external environment and the shelf-life of the fruit. Generally, plum is treated with a different coating material such as carbohydrate, protein and lipid-based materials (2).

Nutritional value of Plums

The plum fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and enzymes and also has high nutritional and medicinal value (3).

Compound Amounts/ 100 g.
Water 87.23 g
Energy                                                                     46 kcal
Protein 0.70 g
Total lipid (  Fat)s 0.28 g
Carbohydrates 11.42 g
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
Sugar 9.92 g
Calcium 6 mg
Iron 0.17 mg
Magnesium 7 mg
Phosphorous 16 mg
Potassium 157 mg
Sodium 0
Zinc 0.10 mg
Folates 5 µg
Niacin 0.42 mg
Riboflavin 0.03 mg
Thiamin 0.028 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.029 mg
Vitamin A 345 IU
Vitamin E 0.26 mg
Vitamin C 9.5 mg
Vitamin K 6.4   µg

Health benefits of Plums

1. Memory enhancer

Eating plums (75 mg/kg) helps in enhancing memory. As it contains large amounts of polyphenols and phytochemicals like Neochlorogenic acid, chlorogenic acid, crypto chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, anthocyanins, flavanols and flavonoids (4).

2. Prevents obesity

Plum juice is rich in dietary polyphenols and also carbohydrate free. Therefore it helps in modifying the fecal bacterial composition thus decreases the body weight (5)

3. Antioxidant

High antioxidant activity of fresh and dried plums are because of anthocyanins, flavonoid and phenolic compounds such as chlorogenic acid, neochlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, coumaric acid, rutin and proanthocyanidin (6).

4. Antidiabetic

Consumption of plum decreases blood glucose and plasma triglyceride. As it contains chlorogenic acid which may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes (7).

5. Healthy Bones

Dried plum is rich in minerals like boron, copper, magnesium, and manganese which help in maintaining the calcium balance of the body (8). Thus significantly increases the bone mineral density of ulna and spine in comparison with dried apples and prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women (9).

6. Laxative

Plims act as a natural laxative because of polyphenols, dietary fibers, and sorbitol. Hence eating plums is helpful in mild constipation (10).

7. Improve digestion

Carotenoids and polyphenols found in plums reduced gastrointestinal inflammation and stimulated digestion (11).

8. Healthy heart

Dried plums help in slowing down the development of atherosclerosis and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Compounds like pectin and fibers also lower the liver and plasma cholesterol thus having anti-inflammatory properties (12).

9. Treats influenza

Plum concentrate juice contains lectin-like molecules which may prevent and reduce infection caused by the human influenza A virus (13).

10. Prevents Hepatitis C Virus Entry

Flavonoid rutin in plum prevents hepatitis C virus (HCV)  entry. It may act as an antiviral agent for the development of anti-HCV therapeutics in the management of HCV infection (14).

11. Treats anxiety disorder

Chlorogenic acids found in plum also contain anxiolytic activity. Therefore,  plum is safe and significantly reduce moderate to severe General Anxiety Disorder symptoms (15).

12. Anti-cancerous

Dietary fiber and polyphenols mainly chlorogenic and neo-chlorogenic acids in plums helps in lowering colon and breast cancer risk (16).

13. Prevents age-related cognitive disease

Plums are rich in natural antioxidants thus protects from oxidative stress and inflammatory on neurologic processes decline in cognitive performance occurred in animals and humans.

14. Antimicrobial

Plum contains a phenolic compound which shows antibacterial activity against the human pathogenic bacteria Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Protease mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus (17).

Side effects of Plums

1. Allergy

The person who is allergic to birch pollen should not eat a plum. As both have similar types of proteins. Therefore, results in allergic symptoms in the mouth and throat with itching and inflammation (18).

Difference between Plum and Prune

Prunes are the dried fruits of some cultivars of plums. It contains concentrated source nutritive, laxative and digestive compounds. Hence used for the treatment of hypertension, diabetes, jaundice, and fever. Plums are healthier than prunes. As prunes are dried out by different techniques which produce detrimental effects on the quality of fruits, mainly oxidative damage, browning, loss of flavor and extensive shrinkage, which reduce the sensory and nutritional quality of the products. Therefore consuming plums instead of prunes are good for health (19).




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