Plums – the cheap & cheerful superfood!


Houston: Plums have had their status as a ‘super-food’ by scientists confirmed yet again, by scientists.

They found the purple fruit matched or exceeded blueberries in antioxidants and phytonutrients, which help prevent disease.

Researcher Dr David Byrne, of AgriLife Research, said tests revealed one plum contains about the same amount of antioxidants as a handful of blueberries.

Antioxidants are molecules that sweep through a body looking for free radicals to knock out.

Free radicals are atoms or molecules that lurk where diseases like cancer and heart disease are found.

Scientist Dr Luis Cisneros, who helped 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.’

The US team examined the full content of plums then tested the effect of the compounds they found on breast cancer cells and cholesterol in the lab.
The scientist carried further research which threw up information which they hope can be used for breeding efforts to produce better fruit.

Dr Byrne noted that one benefit the team found was that the phytonutrients in plums inhibited breast cancer growth without adversely affecting normal cell growth.
He said this type of research needs further study.

Dr Cisneros added blueberries, peaches and nectarines have similar benefits to plums.

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