The Health Benefits of Plums

Plums are a small delicious, fleshy and succulent fruit of the Rosaceae family like its relatives the nectarine and peach. They tend to have a sweet and tart taste, with a pleasant fruity aroma. Plums can be eaten as is or used in a variety of recipes, including plum wine, pickled plums and plum jam. Dried plums are often used in baked goods including muffins and cakes. Plums are very low in calories and offer quite a few beneficial nutrients, so incorporating them into your diet can be good for your overall health and wellness.

Low in Calories

Plums are typically low in overall calories which can be helpful if you are dieting. Each small plum contains only about 30 calories, or just 1.5 percent of the daily recommended intake of 2,000. You can easily burn off the calories in plums by taking a four-minute swim or doing some chores around the house for 15 minutes.

Low in Fat

Plums are very low in fat, with less than 0.2 grams in each small fruit. Additionally, plums hardly contain any saturated fat which has been known to increase your risk of heart disease by raising your cholesterol levels if you are getting it from an unnatural source.

Low in Carbohydrates

If you’re on a carbohydrate-restricted weight-loss plan, plums may be one of the few fruits you can eat, as each small plum contains just 7.5 grams of this nutrient. This makes a plum better for low-carbohydrate diets than a medium banana, which contains 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

Low Glycemic Index Rating

Plums have a low glycemic index, or GI, rating of 24. Low GI rating means that eating a plum does not cause radical changes in your blood sugar levelsespecially if you are a diabetic.

Rich in Vitamin C

Plums are a good source of vitamin C. A small plum may contain 7 percent of the daily suggested intake. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, so it can help protect your cells from free radical damage. Vitamin C also helps produce carnitine, norepinephrine and collagen, all of which are essential for proper cell functioning. Carnitine is a substance that helps the body turn fat into energy. Your body makes it in the liver and kidneys and stores it in the skeletal muscles, heart, brain, and sperm. Norepinephrine is a type of neurotransmitter, which is a chemical responsible for moving nerve impulses between neurons. It is found in both the central and sympathetic nervous systems, and it is made by the adrenal gland. Besides acting as a neurotransmitter, this chemical also acts as a stress hormone. Collagen is a protein made up of amino-acids, which are in turn built of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Collagen contains specific amino acids Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline and Arginine and makes up approximately 30% of the proteins within the body. These are tough and strong structures found all over the body: in bones, tendons and ligaments. Collagen is a part of the connective tissue that in the skin helps in firmness, suppleness and constant renewal of skin cells. Collagen is vital for skin elasticity.

Rich in Vitamin A

Plums also contain vitamin A, and a small fruit provides about 8 percent of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin A promotes healthy vision, reproduction and bone growth, among other benefits.

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