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Health Benefits of Plums
A plum is a sweet tasting juicy fruit that is available during the warm months of summer. It comes in a variety of colors and flavors and can also be preserved by drying and pickling. Dried prunes are nothing but dehydrated plums. Some European varieties of the fruit are also available during the fall season. Both plums and prunes have several health benefits and are well known for their high content of phytonutrients that act as antioxidants in the body.

Most of the health benefits of plum stem from the two ingredients known as neocholorogenic acid and chlorogenic acid. Also, widely known as phenols, the health benefits of these nutrients are widely documented through years of study and research.

Antioxidant protection: Perhaps the most well-known benefit of this fruit is its ability to neutralize disease-causing oxygen radicals in the body. These radicals are carcinogenic and can cause a lot of cell destruction and damage to the internal organs. The nutrients present in plums can destroy these oxygen radicals, therefore preventing them from causing any envisaged harm. The particular nutrients present in plums can neutralize the superoxide anion radicals, which can damage fats and neurons in the brain.

Improved iron absorption: Apart from the antioxidant properties of plum, another great benefit of this fruit is its high vitamin C content. While vitamin C itself is a very vital nutrient and a known antioxidant, it also enhances the body’s ability to absorb bioavailable iron from the foods that we consume. In addition to this, vitamin C also helps improve the body’s natural ability to fight disease and infection. Children, pregnant women, and those who are recovering from long-term illnesses can especially benefit from the extra dose of vitamin C.

Controlling cholesterol: Another one of plum fruit benefits is that the high amount of vitamin C in the fruit can also prevent oxidized cholesterol from building up in arteries and hardening them. Therefore, plum can be effective in preventing diseases like hardened arteries or arthrosclerosis. Vitamin C can also help prevent other diseases such as asthma, osteoarthritis, colon cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Prevent macular degeneration: Macular degeneration is an age-related condition that affects the eyes. As the delicate tissues of the eyes degenerate due to old age, a person may have compromised sight, or may eventually even become blind. Research has shown that those who consume about three servings of plums regularly are able to prevent macular degeneration. The incidence of this disease in plum-eating populations has been reported as 36% lower than the general population.

Plums are rich in nutrients: Apart from the many medicinal benefits that plums provide, they are also a rich source of vitamin A. They contain readily available beta carotene, which has its own health benefits, and are also rich in potassium and dietary fiber.