7 Best Benefits of Damson Plums

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The most important health benefits of damson plums include their ability to improve the digestive system, lower cholesterol, protect against heart disease, strengthen bones, increase energy, optimize sleeping patterns, decrease your risk of certain types of cancer, and boost the immune system.

Damson Plums

Damson plums are a rather mysterious subspecies of plums that most people have never heard of, as they are often overshadowed by their slightly larger cousins. They have a similar taste, although slightly astringent in terms of their flavor, but they are found in many of the same culinary preparations. The scientific name of damsons is Prunus domestica subsp. insititia, and in terms of its origins, many think that it came from Asia Minor, although now it is most commonly found in England. It grows wild in certain parts of the United States, but it has become typically associated with British culture, particularly given their historical love of jams and jellies, which damsons are perfect for. [1] [2]

There are far more sugars in damsons than in normal plums, which is why they are so sought after as flavoring agents and ingredients in various pastries, desserts, candies, and even main meals. Damsons can also be made into a form of sloe gin, as well as damson wine, but the main places you’ll find it is in sweet treats! Now, besides the delicious quality of these unusual fruits, what makes them such a positive part of the human diet?

Close-up of damson plums with leaves in a basket

Damson plums are a small variety approximately the size of a large cherry. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutritional Value of Damson Plums

Aside from their high sugar content, which isn’t necessarily a great attribute, damson plums are very high in vitamin C and riboflavin, as well as dietary fiber, but their real value comes in their minerals, including significant levels of potassium, phosphorous, copper, manganese, and magnesium. Furthermore, damson plums have certain antioxidant compounds that have a healthy impact on those who eat them. [3]

Health Benefits of Damson Plums

Let’s have a look at the benefits of plums in detail.

Aid in Digestion

As with the majority of fruits, damson plums are very high in dietary fiber, which is a key part of our digestive health, as it helps to move food through our digestive tract, eliminating constipation, bloating, cramping, and more serious conditions as well, such as gastric ulcers. Fiber can also help to maximize nutrient intake and aid in weight loss efforts since your digestive system will be working at optimal levels. [4]

Improve Heart Health

The fiber found in damson plums is also an excellent way to reduce excess cholesterol, as fiber can scrape “bad” cholesterol from the system and eliminate it from the body, thereby helping to maintain a proper cholesterol balance in the body. Furthermore, the high level of potassium in damson plums acts as a vasodilator, relaxing the tension on blood vessels and reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system. [5]

Increase Energy Levels

The significant levels of copper and iron found in damson plums make them great fruits for improving your circulatory system and boosting your RBC count. Anemia (iron deficiency) can be a major health concern, but copper and iron are two vital components of red blood cells and can keep your circulation at peak levels, energizing the body and ensuring proper oxygenation of the body. [6]

Anticancer Potential

A study published in the Phytotherapy Research by Ezinne O. Igwe and Karol E. Charlton, University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, states that phytonutrients present in the skin and in the natural coloring of the fruit can prevent or even reverse the development of breast cancer cells. As this is the most critical form of cancer in women, adding some damson plums to your plate is never a bad idea! [7]

Aid in Sleep

Historically, damson plums have been praised for their ability to deliver a solid night of restful sleep. This is likely due to the high concentration of magnesium and vitamin C, both of which help to regulate sleep, but people still use damson plums as regulatory sleep aids when you simply aren’t getting enough rest. [8]

Boost Immunity

The high level of vitamin C in damson plums makes it a very effective booster for your immune system, as vitamin C is one of the main lines of defense against illness, and it also stimulates the production of white blood cells by the immune system to scour the body and keep it healthy. [9]

Increase Bone Health

The optimal combination of minerals found in damson plums, including manganese, copper, iron, and phosphorous make it important for bone health as well, given that those minerals contribute to bone mineral density and the prevention of osteoporosis. [10]

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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