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Plum – The Powerhouse of Vitamin C

Plums offer a wide variety of health benefits as they are extremely nutritious. They contain many antioxidants, fibres, various minerals and proteins. Plums help reduce the risk of various chronic diseases. So we are here to tell you about the amazing benefits of the it and the following points:

What does the plum contain?

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These are stuffed with a mixture of healthy components, minerals and vitamins. They are regarded as the powerhouse of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B1 and vitamin K and also the minerals like calcium, zinc, potassium, fluoride, phosphorus and magnesium.

We can consume the plum as fresh or they can be consumed dried. Dried plums or prune are well known for improving the various health conditions like osteoporosis and constipation.

Some of the ingredients found in the plum are:

  • Ellagic acid

Plums are a very good source of ellagic acid and ellagic acid is a type of organic acid. The dried fruit of plum contains around 3.5 ounces per 100 grams of ellagic acid. The amount of ellagic acid generally depends upon the soil, climate, tree and storage conditions.

Ellagic acid is a polyphenol and it is well known for its strong antioxidant action. This antioxidant action is linked to several health benefits that include, antimicrobial, anticancer, prebiotic and anti-inflammatory effects. 

Animal studies have shown the anticancer activity of the ellagic acid by blocking the growth of the tumour and killing of various cancer cells. Ellagic acid is also found in walnuts, almonds and strawberries but plum is the richest source.

  • Antioxidants

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Plums are also one of the excellent sources of antioxidants. They possess around 13.5 times more antioxidant activity than the blueberries and around 5 times the amount of the polyphenols.

Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals and these free radicals are produced naturally in the body but environmental pollution, smoke or poor diet can lead to increase in their number and if not neutralized, they can cause oxidative stress and various health problems lie autoimmune diseases, diabetes, brain degeneration and kidney and heart diseases.

Antioxidants present in the plum binds to the free radicals and prevents the toxic effects. Antioxidants include:

  • Flavonols

Flavonols are associated with the health of the heart and possess anticancer, antiviral and stroke reducing effects. Kaempferol and quercetin and type of flavonols present in the plum.

  • Anthocyanins

Anthocyanins are the coloured pigments that are found in the fruits and vegetables and are associated with the urinary tract health. They also possess anti-ageing, improved eye health and memory and also anti-cancer properties.

  • Lutein

Lutein is a carotenoid that is directly linked to the health of the eye and protects against heart diseases and macular degeneration.

  • Aromatic Acids

Aromatic acids are the ellagic acid and the gallic acid. Ellagic acid we have talked about earlier and gallic acid helps in preventing neurodegenerative disorders.

Kakadu Plum – The richest source of Vitamin C

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The Kakadu Plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana) is also known as billy goat plum or gubinge. It is a small fruit that is generally found across Northern Australia. It is also known as the world's highest source of natural vitamin C.

It has a sweet taste and leaves a pleasant bitterness in the end. Traditionally Kakadu plum was used as a soothing balm for the limbs and as an antiseptic. It was also used to treat headaches, colds and flu.

Kakadu plum is recognized for its high nutritional value. Kakadu plum being the richest source of vitamin C in the world provides over 3000% of your daily need. It is an interesting cocktail of polyphenols and antioxidants.

Studies have found that people having diets high in vitamin C had a lower risk of heart disease by 16% other than normal people. Foods rich in vitamin C fastens the absorption of the plant sources of iron. Addition of only 100 mg of vitamin C in the diet improves around 67% of the absorption. As we know that vitamin C itself is a powerful antioxidant.

It boosts the immune system, plays a major role in the synthesis of collagen, absorption of the iron, the health of the heart and reduces the oxidative stress. The content of the vitamin C in the Kakadu plum decreases very rapidly as soon as the fruit is picked therefore they are usually frozen for the sale and transport.

Nonetheless, Kakadu plum remains the highest source of vitamin C either fresh or cooked.

Health benefits of plum

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1. Protection against Immune System Deficiencies

If you are undergoing stress, drinking alcohol, smoking or engaged in some nutrient-depleting activities, vitamin C is the first ingredient you should opt for. This happens when our immune system is compromised. Taking natural vitamin C or vitamin C tablets can prepare the defence system of the body by boosting up the immunity. Therefore vitamin C plays an important role in the defence mechanism of the body.

2. Reduces the appearance of wrinkles

Kakadu Plum is the richest source of vitamin C and possesses a great number of antioxidants. Therefore it can reduce the age spots and wrinkles. It reduces hyperpigmentation, provides collagen support, and can also prevent photoaging.

Topical application of vitamin C for at least three months reduces the wrinkles and also even the skin tone and texture. Also, the minerals present in plum helps to prevent premature aging.

3. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases

Kakadu plum being the richest source of vitamin C is a very good choice for the prevention of coronary heart disease. Plum contains a soluble fibre, which is known for reducing the bad cholesterol and also for cardio-protective effects. A decrease in heart failure is seen with the increase in the plasma vitamin C. Studies show around 9% reduction in the risk of heart-related diseases by increasing the intake of vitamin C.

Kakadu plums are Australian native fruits and have the highest percentage of vitamin C in the world. Plums are high in various antioxidants and many minerals like copper, iron, fibre yet they are low in calories. Also, research has found various other health benefits like anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticancer and anti aging effects.

FAQs

1. What are the benefits of plum?

Plum is said to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti aging and cancer prevention effects as it contains a huge number of antioxidants and phytonutrients. It also reduces the blood sugar level (type 2 diabetes) and improves bone health and also lowers down the blood pressure.

2. Is plum good for skin?

Plum increases the circulation of the blood to the skin and helps in the development of the new skin which ultimately reduces the appearance of the scars. Plums also improve the elasticity and texture of the skin.

3. How many plums can I eat in a day?

80 grams of plum can be taken per day. 2-3 medium-sized plums are sufficient in a day. As they can be eaten raw or cooked, you can easily add them into your diet.

4. What is the best time to eat plums?

The best time to eat plum is in the morning after having a glass of water. Try to avoid eating the fruit in the night as it may not be digested properly. Maintain a gap of at least 30 minutes in between a meal and a fruit snack.

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