Health Benefits of Plums (Aloobukhara)

Plums, popularly referred to as Aloo Bukhara in Hindi, are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and are used in the traditional medicine for the various health benefits, unique flavour and taste. Though it does not offer ideal weather conditions for its mass plantations, yet India produces around 12 varieties of Plums. Most of the plums in India are in the form of prunes, chutney, sauce etc. barring couple of summer months, when they are abundantly available across India.

Plums are medium-sized fruits. Two of the most common varieties have  dark purple-red skin with yellow flesh internally, both of which are edible. It has an inedible stone in the centre. Plums have a sweet and tangy taste. The fresh form of the fruit is known as plum while the dried form is known as prunes. 

Nutritional Facts of Plums ‘aloobukhara’

Plum is a lo-calorie fruit, rich in antioxidants and numerous minerals, particularly potassium. 

As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of plum contains 76 calories, 2.3 gm of fiber, 18.8 gm of carbohydrates, 16.4 gm of sugar, 15.7 mg of vitamin C, 0.4 mg of vitamin E, 10.6 mcg of vitamin K, 0.7 mg of niacin, 8.3 mcg of folates, 3.1 mg of choline, 0.3 mg of iron, 9.9 mg of calcium, 26.4 mg of phosphorous, 11.6 mg of magnesium, 259 mg of potassium, and 0.2 mg of zinc, and 3.3 mcg of fluoride.

Potential Health Benefits of Plums

1/5. Boosts digestion

The fibre, sorbitol, and isatin content of aloobukhara help in regulating the digestive system. 

1. Sorbitol and isatin have a laxative effect thus, helpful in treating constipation.

2. Certain polyphenols and carotenoids of plums aids stimulate gastrointestinal digestion.

3. Prunes help in improving stool frequency and consistency.

2/5. Promotes eye health

1. The vitamin C and beta-carotene contents of plum help in promoting eye health and in preventing age-related macular degeneration and cataract. 

2. The lutein, carotenoids, and zeaxanthin content protects against the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.

3/5. Boosts immunity

Plums Aloo Bukhara possess immune-enhancing properties. The high vitamin C content of plum helps in strengthening the immunity system. Vitamin C builds the body’s resistance against infections. 

4/5. Boosts bone health

1. The boron content of plum is essential for the preservation of bone density and maintenance of bone health. 

2. The rich content of flavonoids and phenolic compounds helps in reversing the loss of bone.

3. The vitamin K content of plum helps enhance calcium balance in the body, thus boosting bone health. 

4. Consumption of prunes is linked with a decrease in the risk of osteoporosis. 

5/5. Other possible Benefits…

Plums produce several health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as aids diabetes, prevents cancer, protects the heart, promotes cognitive health,improves blood circulation,lowers cholesterol levels, promotes skin health, reduces the appearance of scars, treats hair fall, promotes hair growth, reduces cell damage, helps in weight loss, prevents oxidative damage, and provides relief from anxiety.

Various worldwide studies have pointed towards the benefits of plums towards stabilising bone loss in menopausal women, can aid people suffering from hepatic ‘liver’ diseases, they are a natural diuretic, can help manage cardiovascular health and are a must of any weight loss plan.

How to incorporate Plums in the Diet?

Plums can be best consumed fresh or dried along with the skin. They can be added in several different ways and to different types of dishes. Plums can be grilled, baked, or poached. Some of the ways by which it can be incorporated into the diet are as follows…

  • As juice.
  • In to salsa.
  • Added into salads.
  • Added to a smoothie.
  • Slice plum to tea or water.
  • Topped into yogurt or granola.
  • Used to make jams, preserves, or sauces.
  • Used in the pudding, ice pops, tarts, or pies. 

How to prepare Plum and Preserved Lemon Chutney?

Heat the oven to 120C and put a bowl in the oven for around 20 mins.

Take 320 gm of diced onions, 350 ml of red wine vinegar, and 250 gm of golden granulated sugar in a large pan over high heat. Once the mixtures boil, lower the heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for around 15 mins until the onions soften. 

Add 70 gm of the skin of preserved lemons, chopped into small pieces, 750 gm of chopped plums, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground mace, ¼ tsp grated nutmeg, ½ tsp ground peppercorns, ½ tsp ground mixed spice, and 1 tsp of sea salt. Bring it to boil add and then lower the heat and stir continuously.

Reduce the chutney for approximately 45 – 60 mins until it thickens and has reduced by a third.

Remove from the heat, put it into a jar, and seal it while the chutney is still hot. Keep it sealed, for approximately 1 year. 

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