Growing up, I remember my dad stocking up on plums in the summer, and prunes and prune juice in the winter. Although I understood that they were extremely beneficial from a digestion perspective, I now realize that the benefits go way beyond a regular bowel movement.
- Increased Iron Absorption: Plums and prunes help increase absorption of iron into the body, leading to improved blood circulation and growth of healthy tissue. This is especially good for women and for those who are anemic or suffer from iron deficiency.
- Immune Booster: Because of their high vitamin C content, plums and prunes are wonderful for boosting your immune system.
- Free-Radical Fighter: As an antioxidant, Vitamin C is also instrumental in neutralizing and fighting free-radicals. This is important because it can help ward off diseases including colon cancer, asthma, heart-disease, amongst others. Further, these free-radical fighting properties help with anti-aging.
- Bad Cholesterol Fighter: Cholesterol becomes unhealthy when it becomes oxidized. When it is oxidized it builds up in the arteries and causes damage to our blood vessels. As a result of their high Vitmain C content, plums are great for protecting against this oxidation process.
- Digestive Health: As mentioned above, plums and prunes are high in fiber, which aids in digestive health and regularity.
- Eye Health: Regular consumption of plums can prevent macular degeneration and other eye conditions.
Although we generally think of plums as a small, round, purple-colored fruit, they actually come in over 2,000 varieties, a wide range of colors – including yellow, red, amber and green, with inside flesh colors even including pink; and a variety of shapes, including round, oval and heart-shaped. 100 of those varieties are available in the United States. So, this summer, get a dose of healthful benefits by enjoying fresh plums from your local farmers’ markets.