Plum is a delicious fruit found all over the world. It is a fruit of the subgenus Prunus of the genus Prunus, hence the botanical name is Prunus Domestica. Plums are usually of medium size, that is between 3 to 8 centimeters in diameter, and slightly oval. The flesh is firm and juicy while the back is smooth. It has a natural waxy surface which sticks to the flesh. Plum is a drupe, which means that its fleshy fruit surrounds a single hard seed. In Nigeria, Plum is also widely consumed. Many people in Nigeria refer to these fruits as Nigerian plum or hog plum. However, in the local Nigerian tribes, it is called Iyeye or Ebo in Yoruba, Ngulungu in Igbo and Isada in Hausa. The fruit is said to have medicinal uses, but the health benefits of Nigerian plum should be known by everyone. It is definitely one the healthy Nigerian fruits.
How does plum taste? The taste of the plum fruit can be sweet or sour. It is juicy nonetheless and can be eaten fresh or used in a jam -making or other food recipes. The juice can also be extracted and fermented into plum wine. This article will discuss the health benefits of Nigerian plum, and the nutritional value of plum.
Nutritional value of Plums
Plums contain a lot of healthy nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
They are a fantastic source of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, C (ascorbic acid), folate, and vitamin K. They are also a good source of B complex vitamins like B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B-6, and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol).
Some of the vital minerals present in plums include potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride. They are also very rich in dietary fiber and have very low calories or harmful fats.
Below is the nutritional content on a 100g of plum
Total lipids (fat) 0.28g
Dietary fiber. 1.4g
Sugar content 9.92g
Calcium Ca 0.006g
Iron, Fe 0.00017g
Magnesium, Mg 0.007g
Phosphorus, P 0.016g
Potassium, K 0.157g
Sodium, Na 0g
Zinc, Zn 0.0001g
Vitamin C, ascorbic acid 9.5mg
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.13g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.04g
Fatty acids, total trans 0g
In summary, plums are composed of 87% water, 11% carbohydrates, 1% protein, and less than 1% in fat. So what are the health benefits of Nigerian plum?
7 Health Benefits of Nigerian Plum
1. Skin Health
Plums are rich in vitamin C, and many other antioxidants, which gives the body a healthy, radiant, and glowing skin. Consuming plums can reduce dark spots and wrinkles in the face, due to the presence of its anti-aging nutrients. Did you know that plum juice extracts are also used to produce various skin care products such as face wash and face packs? Plums are indeed great for the skin.
2. Great food for Pregnancy
Plums are one the healthy Nigerian foods for eat during pregnancy.
Plum products are beneficial for pregnant women because they abound with numerous vitamins and minerals. These beneficial vitamins and minerals are important for the development of bones and tissues, and cellular health for the mother and the growing baby. The rich fiber content in plums helps your digestive system by preventing constipation and diarrhea. Consumption of plums as a part of your healthy balanced diet will help your body fight various infections and maintain its overall health.
3. Relieves Stress
Consumption of plums also helps in relieving stress and anxiety. Medical studies have shown with strong evidence regarding the stress-relieving effects of plums. Studies have shown that the anxiolytic and antioxidant properties of chlorogenic acids present in plums helps in curing anxiety-related behaviors and the harmful effects caused by oxidative stress.
4. Weight Loss
After you have seen how low the calories are in plums, you will definitely have to agree that plums are great for weight loss. This notion was backed by a research study conducted by the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology, Health, and Society. The research comprised of 100 overweight and obese low fiber consumers. They all tested to find out if including prunes as an integral part of a weight loss diet stopped or helped in controlling their weight throughout 12 weeks.
Finally, the research study proved that the consumption of dried plums (prunes) as part of a weight loss diet could, in fact, hasten the process of weight loss. So if you are looking for a fruit to add to your weight loss meal plan, you should add plums.
5. Improves Digestion
Plums are such an excellent source of dietary fiber. The components, sorbitol, and isatin help in boosting the functioning of the digestive system.
Dried plums are particularly said to be very good for your digestive health.
6. They have Antioxidant Properties
Plums contain a lot of powerful antioxidants. It contains vitamin C and phytonutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, epicatechin, neochlorogenic, and chlorogenic acid. These antioxidants possess effective cancer-fighting qualities which help in preventing the damage caused by oxygen radicals.
Plum juice extracts have been said to reduce the growth of breast cancer cells. It has also has been shown to induce apoptosis reduced risk of head and neck cancer. Dried plums could also lower the risk of colon cancer by increasing healthy gut bacteria.
7. Boosts your immune system
Plums are using in boosting the body’s immune system. This is due to the presence of vitamin C content, which is very rich in. Vitamin is known for promoting the body’s resistance to infections and inflammations. Hence, Vitamin C found in plums aids the body to build resistance against free radicals and infectious bacteria. They are one the foods that boost your immune system.
Plums equally contain vitamin A, which improves vision, bone growth, and reproduction.
Side effects of plums
There are also some side effects of plums you should know about. These side effects of plums usually result from too much consumption of plums. They include
Intestinal gas and bloating: Plum contain sorbitol, a sugar that can cause gas and bloating. Sorbitol is a major component of foods that you fart.
Dark stools: Consuming an excessive amount of plums can cause you to defecate dark stools.
Diarrhea and constipation:
How to eat plums and stay healthy
Plums are great for your health, and you should consume them regularly. But you should know how to eat plums to avoid its side effects and gain it’s incredible health benefits.
You can eat plums as:
- In Salads
- Drink the juice.
Don’t overconsume plums, go for at least 138kcal daily.
The health benefits of plums cannot be understated. You should consume it regularly if you want to live a healthy life.
However, you should be careful when it comes to buying commercially available plum juices. Some of them might contain high amounts of sugar and preservatives.