According to scientists, plums are a ‘super-food’ that people should consume regularly. They have found that the fruit is very effective in helping to fight and prevent diseases.
Researcher Dr David Byrne, of AgriLife Research, said studies revealed that one plum contains about the same amount of antioxidants as a handful of blueberries.
Antioxidants are substances that patrol through a body looking for free radicals to expunge. Free radicals are molecules that damage cells and help cause diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Dr Luis Cisneros, who assisted with the Texas-based research, said: ‘Blueberries have some stiff competition. People tend to eat just a few blueberries at a time – a few on their cereal or maybe as an ingredient mixed with other fruit in a fruit salad. But people will eat a whole plum at once and get the full benefit.’
Principal dietition, Catherine Collins, at St George’s Hospital, spoke about the research saying:
‘Plums are very good for us and because they tend to come in punnets for about £1 they are fairly cheap.
‘If everyone was eating two or three small plums a day that would be great. Many of the healthy chemicals and antioxidants in fruit and vegetables are in the different colour agents and so people should try to eat a rainbow of different coloured fruit. Plums are also low in calories and fat free. The important thing is not to peel your plums – you must eat the skin because that’s where many of the colour agents and antioxidants are.’
The scientist tested the entire content of plums then examine the effect they may have on fighting breast cancer cells.
Dr Byrne concluded that one health benefit the team discovered was that nutrients in plums inhibited breast cancer growth without negatively affecting normal cell growth. He said more research will have to be done on this cancer finding.