Plum, the natural laxative and its properties

The plum is a juicy fruit with a sweet and sour taste at the same time. We also know it for being the laxative fruit par excellence. In addition, they are rich in vitamins and are known for the great contribution of fiber.

Therefore, plums are a very beneficial food for the body. They are popularly known benefits that their consumption can contribute to our health and that we explain below.

What is the plum?

The plum is the fruit of the plum tree (Prunus domestica) , a tree that reaches 5 meters in height, belonging to the Rosaceae family and the genus Prunus , as well as the peach, nectarine and almond tree.

They are red and yellow fruits , of different intensities depending on their maturity. It is fleshy and with a single seed inside. Likewise, types have yellow, white, green and red pulp, depending on the variety and maturity. When prunes are dried, they become the foods we know as prunes .

The vitamins and minerals of the same amount of plums and prunes vary very little. Raisins contain slightly more vitamin K, B, and minerals. In addition, they also provide us with more calories, fiber and carbohydrates than fresh ones.

The plum is classified in the group sweet fruits such as pomegranates , the grapes , the cherimoya , the soursop , the watermelon or pear .

The fleshy part of the plum is juicy and firm in consistency, while its peel has a waxy texture. Plums can be found in different sizes, shapes, colors, and flavors (depending on the variety).

Origin of the plum

The origin of the plum seems to go back to the areas of the Caucasus , Anatolia (area of ​​present-day Turkey) and Persia (present-day Iran). The main producing countries are Argentina, Chile, South Africa, the United States. In Spain , plum cultivation stands out mainly in Aragon, the eastern Mediterranean and in the provinces of Seville and Lleida. Here they are one of the most consumed summer fruits.

The varieties of the West , that is to say, the European ones that were brought to the American continent after the conquest of the new world, have their origin in the Caucasus area.

On the other hand, there are other varieties that have their origin in the East , more specifically in China . In this country the plum symbolizes tenacity in the face of adversity, as it blooms in winter. Similarly, in Japan it represents wealth and abundance, its flowers announce spring.

There are historical references that confirm that it was already cultivated in Egyptian culture and that they were also used in a dried form as prunes.

Plum growers

The main producing country is China by far exceeding 2,500 tons of plums per year, followed by the US, which only reaches 850 tons. Similarly, but to a lesser extent, other countries also produce it, such as Romania, the former Yugoslavia, Germany and all countries with a temperate and subtropical climate.

Production in Spain is led by the Region of Murcia, followed by the Valencian Community and Andalusia.

Types of plums

There are more than 200 varieties of plums and we can classify them in different ways, but we will focus on classifying them based on the color of their skin . So, plums can be classified into the following types: yellow or white, red, black, and green .

Yellow or white plums

These plums are tangy in taste and rich in juice. They are characterized by their slightly acidic flavor, their abundant juice and their meaty and fibrous texture. For this reason they are very refreshing and aromatic foods.

Red plums

Very juicy indoor red plums with a sweeter flavor than the yellow one. They are characterized by having an intense flavor sweeter than the yellow ones. Likewise, its yellowish flesh is fleshy and juicy, which is why these plums are very refreshing and hydrating.

Black plum

Plums that normally have bluish or black skin and are more suitable for cooking.

Its pulp is yellowish, very fleshy, juicy, with a very sweet flavor. Although it is very good if we eat it raw as fresh fruit, this variety of plums stands out for being the most suitable for cooking .

They are often used for pastry recipes and for making fillings for sweets, cakes or tarts, and can also be used for liqueurs. Likewise, we can use them for recipes of different sauces that accompany elaborate dishes.

Green plum

These plums are also known as Claudia and are characterized by their sweetness. They are the smallest, their skin is green and their interior is yellowish.

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It is very juicy and refreshing. Therefore, it is the tastiest and sweetest variety of plums so it is ideal to eat it raw, it is delicious.

It is a seasonal fruit with great consumption in the summer diet, since it is very easy to eat. One of the reasons is that we do not have to do not peel it and the bone immediately separates from its skin.

Main varieties of plum

In our markets we can find the following varieties of these foods.

Queen Claudia de Oullins

They are very common in France, it is light green and yellowish in color with very juicy pulp. We can find it in the markets of Aragon where it is very popular.

Arandana

They are medium in size with dark garnet skin. The skin is not overly sweet. This variety is one of the last to reach the markets.

 Laetitia y Larry Ann

They are one of the largest. They are usually imported from others because there is not much national production.

Metley

These plums are popularly known as strawberry plums because of their purple skin, their juicy pulp with an intense pinkish color and a flavor that reminds us of strawberry.

Red beauty

It is the variety that we first see in our markets. It has red skin, yellow flesh, fleshy and juicy with a less sweet and somewhat acidic flavor.

Golden Japan

It is one of the sweetest varieties, yellow in color. We find it in the markets in the middle of the summer.

Santa Rosa

Its color is intense red and its interior yellow with a characteristic, juicy and sweet smell. It is not usually found very often in our markets, as it matures very early and spoils easily.

Claudia Green Queen

It is the queen of sweetness, that is, we find the sweetest variety. It is dark green with a light green interior. We can eat it raw and fresh or to use it in different recipes for compotes and jams. We can find it in the markets in the months of July and August.

Plum season

The plum season in Spain takes place between the months of June and August , although some varieties are also harvested in May and September .

You can check the calendar of the fruit season to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season they provide us with more benefits for our health, they have a better aroma and are tastier , among other advantages.

How do you eat plums?

It is one of the fruits of the spring and summer season and we usually consume them in the summer months. Certainly, they are more appetizing to include them in our diet in this hot season, due to the amount of water that it contributes to the body and because it hydrates and refreshes us . That is why they are very nutritious foods with beneficial properties for our health.

It can be consumed both peeled and with skin. Of course, we always recommend eating it with the skin on , after washing it well. In this way we take advantage of its high fiber content in addition to other nutrients.

As is usual in this blog, we usually always recommend eating raw and fresh fruit, since it provides us with all its nutrients, without exception.

In addition, it can also be consumed as ingredients in different recipes such as plum galette. We can also use them in recipes for salads , fruit salads , cocktails , jams , compotes , jellies. In addition, we also use it in pastries , sorbets , ice creams and in a myriad of healthy recipes thanks to its delicious flavor. In the same way, it is easy to combine with other foods, which makes it an ideal food for our diet.

In the case of plum jam, in addition to other fruits, it is advisable to add a splash of lemon that serves as a preservative, prevents oxidation and compensates for the lack of acidity.

Some nutritionists recommend eating plums on an empty stomach. In this way you can better benefit from its nutrients, fully assimilating all its properties , virtues and benefits for your health.

Plum properties

They are foods with a high water content. In addition to carbohydrates of different types, among which sorbitol stands out , which causes its laxative action .

Plums are very rich in vitamins , among which group E stands out, allied against aging and with a great antioxidant power. Likewise, that of group A is more abundant in those of darker color and those of group C, which varies according to the type.

It also has a diverse amount of minerals, among which  potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium stand out. Therefore, we can affirm that, thanks to these minerals, plums help to improve depressive states, in addition to anemia.

They also have anthocyanins and malic acid. In addition, it is rich in fiber, sorbitol and derivatives of hydroxyphenylxanthine. Therefore, it is a perfect and beneficial natural laxative for constipation and to regulate intestinal transit .

Average nutritional value per 100 grams of plum

Calories11,42 kcal
Carbohydrates11.42 g
 • Sugars9.92 g
 • Dietary fiber1.4 g
Fats0.28 g
Protein0.7 g
Retinol (vitamina A)17 μg
 • β-carotene190 μg
Thiamine (vit. B1)0.028 mg
Riboflavin (vit. B2)0.026 mg
Niacin (vit. B3)0.417 mg
Pantothenic acid (vit. B5)0.135 mg
Vitamin B60.029 mg
Folic acid (vit. B9)5 μg
C vitamin9.5 mg
Vitamin E0.26 mg
Vitamina K6.4 μg
Football6 mg
Iron0.17 mg
Magnesium7 mg
Manganese0.052 mg
Match16 mg
Potassium157 mg
Sodium0 mg
Zinc0.1 mg
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Plum benefits

Both plums and prunes are very rich in nutrients. They contain more than 15 different vitamins and minerals, in addition to fiber and antioxidants.

As a result of its nutritional characteristics, it is an energetic, alkalizing, cleansing, refreshing, light and invigorating food. In addition, it has the following beneficial health characteristics:

1. Ideal for weight loss diets

This fruit is a great source of energy and fiber and is highly recommended if we follow a weight loss diet. Therefore, they are ideal for weight loss diets, not only for their vitamins and minerals, but for their clearly cleansing properties .

2. Intestinal regulator

First of all, the prune has a great laxative power that can go from moderate to intense depending on the amount of this fruit ingested. [1]

It is also rich in fiber and sorbitol, so it is recommended for people with constipation.

Therefore, we recommend it, but always moderating its consumption due to its laxative effect.

3. Iron intake

It is a food recommended for people with iron deficiency , anemia or women with heavy menstruation. This is thanks to its high iron content, which is why its consumption in the diet is recommended, since it can provide benefits to our health.

4. Favorable for proper bone health

There are studies that link the consumption of these fruits with a lower risk of suffering from bone diseases characterized by low bone density such as osteoporosis. [2]

Therefore, the consumption of plums not only prevents bone loss, but they are also favorable to help reverse the problem.

In addition, they provide us with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, [3] phosphorus, magnesium and potassium that have protective effectors in the bones.

5. For a healthy heart

Regular consumption of plums has been linked to a protective effect on the heart. They are favorable to help maintain normal blood pressure and also to regulate blood cholesterol.

All this, probably thanks to the high content of fiber, potassium and antioxidants. Therefore, both the consumption of plums and prunes is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. [4]

6. Natural energy supply

It is an energetic food thanks to the fact that they have very little fat. Likewise, they have a great caloric power due to carbohydrates, they provide us with natural energy that is more beneficial for health and longer lasting in our body.

Due to its contribution of natural energy, it is recommended for those who perform physical activity or for students who need an extra contribution of mental energy . 

7. Diuretic effect

Thanks to the fact that it is a food rich in potassium, it helps to eliminate body fluids. Similarly ,  it can help with the problems of water retention and cardiovascular problems.

8. Detox natural

Thanks to its laxative effect and its amount of water, it eliminates excess toxins and releases the purifying load of the liver. In addition, it is an excellent food against constipation.

Therefore, a simple way to detoxify the body with these fruits is through their juice in addition to other beneficial properties for your health.

9. Natural antioxidant

These fruits are powerful natural antioxidants that help us reduce inflammation and keep free radicals in our body at bay. 

According to various investigations, these foods provide us with more than twice as many antioxidants as nectarines or peaches . [5]

10. Favorable for controlling blood sugar

This study explains that although these fruits are rich in carbohydrates, they do not seem to increase blood sugar very aggressively. [6]

They also provide us with a large amount of fiber that slows down the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed after eating. As a consequence, blood sugar increases gradually and without spikes.

In addition, it  increases the levels of adiponectin , a hormone that plays a role in regulating blood sugar, among other characteristics. [7]

Conclusions

It is a very nutritious fruit rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients. As a consequence of the nutritional properties beneficial to health, the plum is an essential fruit in our diet.

Therefore, we find a delicious fruit that we recommend its consumption. Especially when there is the possibility of constipation problems.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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