Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Scientific name: Prunus

Description: Plums can be yellow, green, red or even white but the most popular varieties are colored deep purple or reddish purple. They are small deciduous trees which can grow to a height of 10-15 m and bear smooth fruits/drupes or stone fruits. The flesh is sweet, very juicy and has a big seed in the center. They exist in diverse colors and shapes with over 2000 different varieties.  Here are some of the cultivars of plum:

Damson (purple or black skin, green flesh)
Greengage (firm, green flesh and skin)
Mirabelle plum (dark yellow)
Satsuma plum (firm, red flesh and skin)
Victoria plum (yellow flesh with red or mottled skin)
Yellowgage or golden plum (yellow flesh and skin)

 Plums can be used to make jams, pickles or wine, canned or dried which are then referred to as prunes.

Medicinal Properties:

Plums are an excellent source of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C (help increase the absorption of iron into the body), folate, and vitamin K (phylloquinone).  They are also a good source of vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B-6, and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol). Aside from vitamin C, the other antioxidants plums contain are zea-xanthin, lutein, cryptoxanthin which are health promoting compounds.  It also contains pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, copper, magnesium,  selenium and zinc. They also supply dietary fiber and are low in calories, low in fat, low in carbohydrate, low in glycemic rating.

Health benefits:

1. Protect your heart
The potassium in plums helps manage high blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.

2. Anti-cancer
The reddish-blue pigment in some plums called anthocyanins can help protect against cancer by getting rid of harmful free radicals. Plums are known to destroy breast cancer cells.

3. Improves bone health.
Plums contain calcium, phosphorous and other minerals that is good for the bones.

4. Improves brain memory.
Plums are full of antioxidants that have been shown to slow the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases related to memory loss. It also contain anthocyanin and quercetin, beneficial for preventing brain cell breakdown.

5.Keep your bowels regular
The dried plums also known as prunes contains lots of fiber that help you move your bowels regularly.

Contraindication: Plums are rich in Oxalates, oxalic acid which are not good to those with kidney stones.