Wonderfully delicious and juicy plums botanically belongs to the Rosaceae family of "drupe" fruits in the genus, Prunus. Other fellow Prunus fruits include peaches, nectarine, almonds, and damson. Scientific name: Prunus domestica.
Plums are low in calories and contain no saturated fats; however, they hold numerous health promoting compounds, minerals, and vitamins.
Certain health benefiting compounds present in the plums such as dietary fiber, sorbitol, and isatin has been known to help regulate smooth functioning of the digestive system, and thereby, help relieve constipation problems.
Total antioxidant strength of plums measured in terms of ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity) Fresh berries are a moderate source of vitamin C which is also a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation and scavenge harmful free radicals.
Fresh plums, especially yellow Mirabelle type, are a moderate source of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is essential for good eye sight. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucusa and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A has found to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Plums are plentiful in minerals like potassium, fluoride and iron. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
In addition, the berries are a moderate sources in B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins acts as cofactors help the body metabolize carbohydrates, protein and fats. They also provide about 5% RDA levels of vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for many clotting factors function in the blood as well as in bone metabolism and help reduce Alzheimer's disease in the elderly.