Plums

Food
Plums

Though often behind its cousins peach and nectarine among popular summer fruits, plum has nothing to admire from them. There are more than 2000 species of this fruit from the Prunus tree family round the world, ranging from deep purple Alsatian damson, tart yellow greengage or mirabelle to red. Plum is available on stalls in France from July to October. This water-rich (82.5%) juicy fruit has high Vitamin C concentrations making it ideal for providing energy and strengthening immune system before resumption. Plum equally steps-up quick metabolism in your body system. Rich in insoluble fibers that stimulate and protect intestinal flora, plum facilitates digestion and stabilizes glucose levels in the blood. As such, it is believed to reduce the risk of diabetes mellitus type 2 by 11%.

Nutritional facts

But that's not all! The light fruit (about 30 kcal per fruit) contains essential antioxidants like phenolic acid that can partially eliminate ‘bad’ cholesterol which causes many cardiovascular diseases (1). Vitamin C found in high concentration in plum (up 8%), and its antioxidant effects have a beneficial impact on health as a whole (2). As a matter of fact, studies have shown that regular consumption of the vitamin may not only prevent anemia by facilitating the absorption of iron (3) in the body, but also limit the symptoms of chronic diseases such as asthma or osteoarthritis (4).

How to store and Ttaste plums ?

The advantages of plum for your health are as numerous as the ways of cooking and serving it. Like all fruits, it is better conserved at room temperature when not too ripe, but should be stored in a refrigerator when ripe. Fruits from organic farming are preferable for eating whole to avoid as much as possible the ingestion of pesticides highly concentrated in fruit peels.

You can of course eat raw plum to make the most of its nutritional properties. Its tart flavor blends well in salads with other summer fruits like strawberry, peach or melon for a cocktail of vitamins and antioxidants. The sweet body of plum can also be marvelous in tasteful pie or clafoutis recipes: the celebrity of cherry plum clafoutis cannot be over emphasized. For pleasant variety, you may include it in your savory recipes: it is delicious with goat cheese or feta, and perfectly complements ham or meat like lamb.

Sources : Passeportsanté.net, lanutrition.fr, whfood.net.
References : (1) Kurl S, Tuomainen TP, Laukkanen JA et al. Plasma vitamin C modifies the association between hypertension and risk of stroke. Stroke 2002 Jun;33(6):1568-73. 2002. (2) Khaw KT, Bingham S, Welch A, et al. Relation between plasma ascorbic acid and mortality in men and women in EPIC-Norfolk prospective study: a prospective population study. European (3) Ballot D, Baynes RD, Bothwell TH, et al. The effects of fruit juices and fruits on the absorption of iron from a rice meal. Br J Nutr 1987 May;57(3):331-43. 1987. PMID:13550. (4) Nakatani N, Kayano S, Kikuzaki H, et al. Identification, quantitative determination, and antioxidative activities of chlorogenic acid isomers in prune (Prunus domestica L. ). J Agric Food Chem 2000 Nov;48(11):5512-6. 2000. PMID:13580.

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