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Plum regulates intestinal transit and prevents diabetes

Plum regulates intestinal transit and prevents diabetes

Prunus domestica, popularly known as plum, has a few dozen varieties, is a sweet and juicy fruit, and can be consumed fresh or dehydrated. Depending on the type, it will have a diverse nutritional profile. The plum regulates bowel function, helps in the prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, has high antioxidant power and improves bone density.

Nutritious fruit

Both versions, fresh and dry, have high nutritional density and are rich in phenolic compounds (185 mg / 100 g of prune) with antioxidant action, such as chlorogenic acid and anthocyanidin, the pigment that gives the purplish color of the fruit. Plums are also sources of soluble and insoluble fiber, which contribute to a number of beneficial effects in the body.

The fresh plum, with only 25 calories, has an excellent vitamin C content (one unit contains 10% of basic daily requirement RDA), vitamin A and potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure.

Prunes are already dehydrated and so they are sweeter and concentrated in simple sugars (five units yield 120 calories), but have a low glycemic load and does not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, possibly because of its high fiber content (4 grams in 5 units), fructose and sorbitol. It is a good source of vitamin A, B complex, and contains lots of vitamin K (40% of RDA), boron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Antioxidant action

Plum (fresh and dried) several researches for its high content of phytonutrients such as neochlorogen and chlorogenic acid, which are part of the polyphenols group. Its antioxidant function is well documented: these two acids neutralize a free radical very harmful to the body, the superoxide, which oxidizes fatty tissues, and thus these phenols help to protect the cell membranes (of all the cells of the body!) That are composed of fat. The antioxidant action is enhanced by the generous presence of vitamin C, vitamin A and anthocyanidin in the fruit.

Protects against osteoporosis

A clinical study published in the journal Aging Research Review (2009) suggests that prunes may be able to reverse osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. In the study, women who consumed 100 grams of plums (10 units) per day had an improvement in markers of bone formation after only three months compared to the control group. Another study done in 2011 and published in the British Journal of Nutrition reached a similar result, confirmed by the improvement of bone density in the densitometry examination. This beneficial effect on bone health may be associated with its high concentration of boron and vitamin K, accompanied by calcium, three nutrients directly linked to the formation of new bone, thus preventing the occurrence of osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Controls glycemia and Appetite

Rich in plum-soluble fiber helps normalize blood sugar levels because it slows the absorption of glucose (present in carbohydrates) after a meal. Soluble fiber also increases insulin sensitivity and thus can play a useful role in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. And there is more: fiber promotes feelings of satiety, so plum is an excellent snack or dessert for anyone who wants lose weight because it will keep you hungry for longer by slowing gastric emptying time.

Regulates the bowel

Prune is known for its ability to prevent constipation. The soluble fiber of the fruit helps increase the volume and decrease the transit time of the fecal matter through the intestine, which will act as a clock, thus reducing the risk of colon cancer and hemorrhoids. The insoluble fiber of the plum feeds the beneficial bacteria present in the large intestine, which ferment the fiber, resulting in the production of butyric acid. This fatty acid acts as the primary fuel for the bowel cells and contributes to keeping the colon healthy. In addition to the fibers, the plum contains sorbitol, a natural laxative, which helps to retain water by softening the stool.Contraindications

Dried prunes contain oxalate (11 mg in 5 units), which can be a problem for those who form kidney stones (80% of them are calcium oxalate crystals). When there is too much concentration of oxalate in body fluids, it can crystallize, causing stones to form in the kidneys and gallbladder.

How much and how to eat

The indicated quantity is 1 to 2 fresh plums per day, if it is large in size. If they are small the portion increases to 3 to 4 units.

Plums are versatile, can be consumed in the natural, or enter into the preparation of juices and vitamins, in the fruit salad, in the preparation of jams, mousses and gelatins. They are welcome at any meal of the day, at breakfast, in the snacks, and as a healthy dessert after the main meals.

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