Although they can be unfairly underrated, when it comes to plums you get a lot of nutritional bang for your buck. Plums come in a variety of colours, sizes and textures and contain an abundance of nutrients, making them a great snack when you’re craving a sweet mid morning or afternoon treat. Apart from their juicy and deliciously sweet taste, here are 5 convincing reasons why plums should be one of your favourite fruits this Autumn:
Help with your digestion
Plums are a good source of fibre, with one serving (two plums) providing around 2.6g of fibre. This high fibre content helps to regulate your digestive systems and relieve and/or prevent constipation and other digestive issues. Dried plums (aka prunes) have been known to be good laxatives and even more effective in aiding digestive disorders like constipation.
Can prevent cell damage
Plums are a rich source of phenols, a type of potent antioxidants, which help to protect the body from nasty free radicals, which can cause damage to your body. Whilst ageing is a natural process, consuming a high intake of antioxidants can help prevent premature ageing and reduce wrinkling. Dried plums contain a higher antioxidant content than fresh plums as the antioxidants are able to withstand the drying process and therefore are present in a more concentrated form when dried.
Good for your heart
Plums provide a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps manage high blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke. Plums are also a source of Vitamin K, a nutrient that plays a part in allowing our blood to clot when necessary (e.g. when you cut yourself), and preventing our blood from clotting in other situations (e.g. on planes), depending on what is needed by our bodies at the time.
Assist with weight control
Fresh plums are naturally low in energy (calories/kilojoules) and are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre, meaning they provide a whole lot of nutritional goodness without adding much energy to your diet. In fact two plums provides just 190 kJ, making them a great snack for people who are watching their weight. The fibre content from two small plums acts to slow down the rate at which food leaves the stomach, providing a sense of satisfied fullness, meaning you are less likely to overeat and gain weight.
Improve blood sugar control
Plums have a low glycemic index (GI), which means they are slowly digested and absorbed when eaten and therefore have a minimal effect on our blood sugar levels. This slow, sustained response means plums assist in preventing or managing diabetes. Despite this, it is important to eat plums in moderation, as even too much of a healthy food can have negative effects.
Fun Fact about plums
Plums trees are grown on every continent except Antarctica. Plums are an ancient fruit and it is thought that they may have been cultivated even in the ancient times.
Our favourite ways to enjoy plums:
- Added to plain Greek yoghurt for a natural sweet flavour
- Added to smoothies – blend up some fresh plums with some other frozen berries, low fat Greek yogurt and some skim milk and enjoy!
- Made into plum jam – peel and blend juicy plums, adding a few different spices (e.g. cinnamon, nutmeg ginger). You can even add some apple and make a plum-apple sauce.