Umeboshi plums, sometimes called sour plums, are more closely related to the apricot than the plum. A staple fruit in Japan, umeboshi plums are also widely enjoyed in China and Korea. Round, wrinkled, and sour-tasting, umeboshi are intensely flavorful, so they’re often used to flavor white rice. The fruit is harvested by the end of June when they are said to reach their peak acidity. Aside from their telltale taste, people in Asia and America revere umeboshi for their nutritional content. If you haven’t tried them, you might want to experience the impressive health benefits of umeboshi plums.
Supports Digestive Health
Umeboshi plums are high in fiber, and that’s good news for your digestive health. Healthy, fiber-rich foods can help keep the digestive tract functioning smoothly. If you suffer from bouts of indigestion or bloating, you can typically reduce these discomforts by eating umeboshi plums. In Asia, they are a traditional treatment for diarrhea.
Promote Optimum Liver Function
The liver works hard to fulfill its metabolic responsibilities in the body. It is also essential for enabling blood clotting. A poor diet, obesity, excess alcohol, toxic buildup, and infection can all take their toll on this vital organ. Umeboshi plums improve liver health, and even regular use of the fruit’s extract is shown to deliver healing properties to the liver. With its potential to reverse liver damage, researching are testing this fruit’s potential as a treatment for people with liver disease.
Improves Bone Health
Rich in polyphenols, umeboshi plums offer support for bone health. Polyphenols provide antioxidant protection against the development of conditions such as osteoporosis. Specifically, these healthful polyphenols promote the production of collagen, which provides structure and strength for your bones and, as you may have heard recently, is also good for your skin.
Controls Blood Sugar
Millions of people have diabetes, and as many as 7 million don’t even know they have it. People with diabetes and prediabetes must protect their blood sugar levels from instability and elevation. Studies have demonstrated umeboshi plums can help regulate blood sugar levels; that hefty serving of dietary fiber helps absorb glucose, which can prevent blood sugar spikes.
Gastric Ulcer Prevention
Gastric ulcers, commonly caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria, can lead to tremendous discomfort. Researchers believe umeboshi plums can help protect the stomach lining from developing these ulcers. When the lining of the intestines and stomach become inflamed, they can be vulnerable to ulcer development. Umeboshi plums boast compounds that effectively combat Helicobacter pylori bacteria and the inflammation they cause.
Supports Weight Loss
Low in calories and high in fiber, umeboshi plums are ideal for people trying to manage their weight. Eating umeboshi plums makes you feel fuller, longer. Since they are so flavorful, they make a wonderful side dish or healthy snack between meals. If your goal is weight loss, be sure to include healthy fiber-rich foods like umeboshi plums.
Contains Heart-Healthy Properties
In the United States and many other western nations, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Therefore, it behooves everyone to adopt a heart-healthy diet. Umeboshi plums boast heart-healthy properties that can help ward off heart disease. For instance, the plums can effectively block processes that lead to hardening of the arteries, a form of heart disease. The skin of the umeboshi is particularly associated with its heart-healthy benefits.
A study that was published in the journal Tumori reported that umeboshi plum extract was able to stop the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. The fruit even managed to kill cancer cells while sparing any harm to healthy cells. Another study showed a similar result in liver cancer cells. Some researchers think umeboshi plum extract could provide similar protections against skin and breast cancer. More research is needed, but this extract could wind up fueling future cancer treatments.
Fights Oral Disease
With their natural antibacterial properties, umeboshi plums help protect the mouth against oral disease and even the development of cavities. Studies have shown the fruit is effective for killing bacteria that can cause cavities and gingivitis. A weekly serving of umeboshi plums can promote optimum oral health.
High in Antioxidants
With their wealth of antioxidants, umeboshi plums can improve the health of the whole body. Antioxidants combat the daily oxidative stress that occurs due to a combination of normal cellular function and pollution in our air, water, and food. Oxidative stress causes free radicals, which antioxidants can help control. If left unchecked, these free radicals can lead to the development of disease. Eating umeboshi plums can help keep free radicals from getting out of control.