Medicinal plants

Plums - ingredients, uses and preparation


Plums taste sweet and stimulate digestion

The standard one plum is a cross between the cherry plum and the sloe. Most of the world's cultivation takes place in China. The fruits of the plum tree contain mostly water, but also vitamins, minerals and trace elements. They are digestive and clean the intestines.

Ingredients

Plums offer numerous vitamins, including:

  • Provitamin A,
  • various B vitamins,
  • Vitamin C,
  • Vitamin D,
  • Vitamin E and
  • Vitamin K.

Vitamin C is not present to the same extent as, for example, in cherries, but overall plums provide a wide range of vitamins.

They contain minerals:

  • Sodium,
  • Potassium,
  • Calcium,
  • Magnesium,
  • Phosphorus,
  • Sulfur,
  • Chloride,
  • Zinc,
  • Copper,
  • Manganese,
  • Fluoride,
  • Iodide as well
  • Trace elements of iron, zinc, copper, manganese, fluoride and iodide.

Sweet energy

Plums provide a particularly high amount of fructose, provide energy quickly, and are well suited for athletes and for physical activity in general. Dried plums are an excellent snack on long hikes. Due to their high sugar content, plums are also richer in calories than other fruits: 100 grams contain approximately 47 calories, prunes even 225 calories. However, those who suffer from fructose intolerance should not eat plums - this can result in abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Effect and application

Plums help against constipation and are a natural laxative. They are also diuretic. They contain cellulose and pectin, and the fibers swell in the intestine. In addition, the indigestible fibers clean the intestines of waste materials. Indirectly, they even help prevent cancer. Dietary fiber also helps lower cholesterol.

In folk medicine, plums were a remedy for liver complaints and gout. The diuretic effect is suitable for flushing uric acid, which promotes gout, out of the body. The increased urine flow due to the plums also relieves the kidneys. The vitamin E in the plums supports the collagen formation in the skin and firms it, and it also prevents wrinkles.

Buying plums - what should you pay attention to?

Ripe plums are firm, overripe soft and often infested with worms. You should store the plums cool and shady and eat them quickly. Only wash the fruit immediately before eating, otherwise you will also wash off the protective layer that maintains moisture.
Tip: You cut the fruits cleanly in half when you cut them open at the seam. This is how you can remove the core from the pulp.

All sorts of plums

Plum describes a variety of similar drupes. The differences in size, taste, shape and color are great. They include mirabelle plums, real plums, plums, Japanese plums and cherry plums.

Real plums are oval or round, a seam runs from the base of the stem to the lower part of the stone. The flesh is firm, green to yellow, juicy and sweet. The stone cannot be easily removed. Plums are softer and flatter, their stone is elongated and can be easily removed from the fruit. We further differentiate: oat plum, half-plum, mirabelle, ziparte, spilling, powder, pems and zwispitz as well as bidling.

The prune originated somewhere between the Caucasus and Morocco, and our plum, which is widespread in Germany, goes back to a hybrid of sloe and cherry plum. The Romans brought them across the Alps to Central Europe in the first century BC. In ancient times, the plum was a popular remedy for constipation.

From a biological point of view, plums

Plum trees grow bulky and reach a height of up to ten meters - mirabelles remain significantly smaller. The bark is greyish brown and smooth. Wild cherry plums and sloes have thorns, but the cultivars do not. Plums belong to stone fruit, the fruits have a core, which in plums takes the form of an ellipse up to a ball, can be flat or bumpy and contains a bitter seed. Plum wood is dense, hard and difficult to dry.

Dried plums

Plums are especially popular as a snack when dried. This sulfurized dried fruit is ideal for long hikes. The fibers promote the gastrointestinal balance and bind water in the body. This makes the intestines work faster and the risk of constipation disappears. Prunes quickly fill you up with fiber. Despite their high calorie content, they are therefore a good addition to a diet - they stop cravings. In addition, prunes contain fewer calories than granola bars or chocolate.

Dried plums also contain the valuable substances to a greater extent than fresh fruits, because the removal of water increases the concentration of vitamins and minerals. However, the sulfur compound in the sulfurized plums destroys vitamin B1. To get this, you have to eat the plums fresh.

Prunes against flatulence

Flatulence is not a disease, but it is uncomfortable. It arises when gases accumulate in the intestine. Prunes contain phenols that regulate these flatulences. The dried fruits also clean the digestive system. However, the following applies here: keep your measurements. If you eat more than 150 grams of prunes a day, the fruits swell so much in the stomach that the flatulence increases and stomach ache can result.

Prunes against indigestion

Dried plums are a first choice remedy for constipation. This arises because the movements of the large and small intestines are too slow and the enzymes are now missing to implement the ingested food. Prunes in moderation can compensate for this malfunction. To stop constipation, drink plenty of water with the dried fruit. The treatment usually takes one to two days. The plums swell up and stimulate intestinal activity, the muscles work again and bring the leftovers that clog the intestines to the exit.

By the way: You can eat the dried fruits more easily if you soak them in water overnight. It is best to eat the dried fruit before breakfast by drinking a glass or two of water. Three prunes per meal are enough to stimulate digestion. The water softens the stool, making stool easier.

Help you lose weight

The fiber in the prunes saturates quickly and sustainably. Due to their sweetness, prunes are a good alternative to sweet fattening foods.

Plums in the kitchen

Plums are one of the most versatile foods. They nestle with salt as well as with sour, go with fat roast pork as well as dessert. Even more: their sweet aroma often makes hearty dishes easily digestible. Dried plums wrapped in bacon are delicacies for a finger food party, dried plums harmonize with cakes, pies and sweet casseroles. In desserts, the plums replace the added sugar.

Plums form a delicate contrast in combination with cheese. So you can remove the core of plums and replace them with a piece of blue cheese. Or you can put the onions with the cheese in port wine. The tart sheep's cheese also goes well with plums. Plums harmonize with cinnamon, various curry blends, turmeric, ginger and thyme.

Plums are easy to bake. You don't need fat for this, because the plums remain soft in their own juice and keep their consistency. They bake the plums at 180 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes. You can either eat prunes or add them as icing on the cake to puddings, rice pudding, semolina pudding or vanilla ice cream.

Plum jam

The plum harvest time is short, from the second half of July to September. Plum jam is a good way to preserve the nutrients, especially in winter. This is also known as plum honey or squeeze stick. It serves as a spread or as a filling, but also enriches sauces or can be used as a marinade for roasts.

You need very ripe and sweet plums for this. Core them, crush them and mix them three to one with sugar. Then let the mixture rest for a day. The sugar has now drawn most of the juice out of the cells. They cook everything on medium heat for about three hours, stir regularly and are ready when the mass has turned into a dark mush. Cinnamon, cloves and star anise go well with the seasoning. Fill the mus into glasses that you have previously rinsed with boiling water. It stays there for years. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch

Swell:

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  • Neumann, Karlheinz, The biologically important ingredients of plums and the causes of their laxative effects, Springer Verlag, 2013
  • Erickson, Nicole et al .: Oncology nutrition practice: treatment algorithms, intervention checklists, advice recommendations - at hand, Schattauer Verlag, 2016
  • Gonzales, M.E .: Successful Treatment of Varicocele: Varicocele in the 21st Century - Guide to Natural Treatment Without Surgery, Books on Demand, 2018

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