Why are plums pleasant for our gut?
Plums are a type of stone fruit that belongs to the same family as peaches, nectarines, and apricots. Plums can be eaten fresh or dried; when they are dried they are called prunes. When it comes to choosing whether to eat them as a fresh fruit or dried, though they have the same nutritional value, dried prunes are much higher in sugar but still very effective as a remedy for constipation because 1 cup of prunes contains 12 grams of fiber. When it comes to eating a fresh plum, look out for them during the summer months. They are a great source of nutrients and fiber fueled, providing 1 gram per 1 serving!
Not only are plums jam-packed full of nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium; they are also a great addition to our diets as they provide fuel for our good gut bugs and help to promote better gut health. Plums are low in fat, which could make them a beneficial snack for a person looking to lose weight. In addition, there is research to show that plums and prunes can help a person feel fuller, meaning they are less likely to overeat. Prunes may also promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which aids nutrient absorption and removal of toxins. In regards to using plums to relieve constipation, prunes have been shown to alleviate constipation by softening and bulking our stool because they naturally contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol, which acts as a natural laxative when eaten.
Along with its natural laxative effects, plumes also provide anti-inflammatory effects because they contain antioxidants, such as polyphenols. Polyphenols regulate the gut microbiota by preventing and ridding the intestines and gut of ‘bad’ bacteria. By reducing the amount of ‘bad’ bacteria within the gut, this helps to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel disease (IBD). Though this fruit is commonly given to elderly folks in its dried form or as prune juice, it is also a great option for pregnant women who are suffering from constipation, a common side effect of pregnancy. Talk about #goodgut plant benefits!
Ways to eat it
Eat plums fresh or dried as prunes
Add them into smoothies or salads
Make them into fruit kabobs
Cook them down to jams
Include them in desserts
Recipe: Purple Fruit Salad
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
2 cups seedless grapes, halved
2 cups blueberries or blackberries, halved
2 cups plums, diced
2 Tbsp purple basil (optional), chopped
Combine grapes, blueberries (or blackberries), plums, and basil (if using) in a large bowl.
Heal With Each Meal!
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Casner, C. (2021, September), Purple fruit salad.
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Petre, A. (2019, July 8). What are Polyphenols? Types, Benefits, and Food Sources. Healthline.