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 Diet & Nutrition

December 2011
A Plum a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!
Prachi Patodia Saraf
Although it is unclear as to which nutrient in dried plums may improve bone health, research has shown that dried plums boosts bone formation and strength. According to PubMed, dried plums are a good source of the mineral boron, which is hypothesized to help prevent osteoporosis.

Plums and Osteoporosis
As much as 100g of prunes are sufficient to provide our daily requirement of 2-3mg of boron. Prunes also contain phytoestrogens (chemicals found in plants that have hormone estrogen like benefits) which have positive effect on bone mass.

Health benefits
  • Plums are full of vitamins and minerals and boost immunity.
  • Plums are rich in vitamins A, C, B complex, potassium, copper, iron, zinc and magnesium.
  • They are also loaded with phenols (strong disease-fighting antioxidants), which decrease inflammation and might protect against diseases like cancer.
  • Animal studies suggest that prunes (dried plums) can reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and keep arteries clear.
  • Plums are diuretic (help flush out water from the body) which makes them good for hypertensive people.
  • They are a great source of fibre, promote digestive health and are known for their laxative effect. Five dried plums have three grams of fibre.


How to include plums in your diet
  • Be creative and make plum lassi with a dash of cinnamon.
  • Sip chilled plum soup or enjoy the sweet taste of plum with salad leaves.
  • Drink a plum and banana juice or make a sorbet.
  • Spread the delicious plum jam over bread by boiling plum and adding flavours like ginger.
  • Enjoy sweet plum sauce with a dash of pepper with Chinese foods and plum chutney with Indian foods.
  • Treat yourself to mouth-watering plum desserts like plum cake or plum parfait served with vanilla ice cream.
Umeboshi Plum
Umeboshi means dried plum. Traditionally, this naturally picked plum has been used throughout Japan, China and Korea for its incredible health-promoting properties. 
  • It is full of antioxidants, helps in anti-ageing and strengthens the immune system.
  • It is a strong alkaline food. Illness usually happens when the body becomes acidic, from a slightly alkaline state. Umeboshi plum helps balance and restore the body’s alkali-acid balance, thereby improving health.
  • It has been used for antibiotic purposes like as an antiseptic, anti-typhoid, and for treating bacterial and viral infections.
  • It has been used for improving digestion and gastrointestinal problems like stomachache, diarrhea, flatulence and constipation.
  • It stimulates the function of the liver and is supposed to be a good hangover cure.
  • It is highly recommended for pregnant and menstruating women as it improves the absorption of iron and calcium.
  • It has been used for other health conditions like post-surgical recuperation, colds, flu, vomiting, anaemia, bad breath, morning sickness, fatigue, acne and headache.


    
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