4 Best Benefits of Lemon Plums

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The top health benefits of lemon plums include its ability to improve your immune system, boost your digestive health, lower cholesterol levels, prevent the negative effects of free radicals, increase eye health and help in weight loss.

What Are Lemon Plums?

Lemon plums are one of the most unusual fruits you might stumble across in a local grocery store or market, primarily because they have only recently begun spreading to international markets. A native fruit of Chile, lemon plums, as their name implies, have the color and shape of a lemon (although rounded on one side, and nippled on the other). However, the taste is very similar to a regular plum, with a slightly tangier lemon aftertaste that differentiates it from your garden variety plums you can find widely in stores. Lemon plums are thought to be some sort of hybrid crossover of the two fruits, and may actually be the same fruit known as the “Inca Plum”, which has the scientific name Prunus salicina.

After being picked, the ripening time is unusually long, somewhere between 250-300 hours. The color will change from the bright, lemon-yellow to a rosy, red blush, but be patient, as it could take more than a week after you get the lemon plum home before it will be ideal to eat. The fruits are quite rare, so keep your eyes peeled in the markets during their season.

You can find these fruits primarily in North and South America; beyond that, the market simply hasn’t been established yet. However, like many other citrus fruits, they have a good level of nutrients and health benefits for your diet!

Nutritional Value of Lemon Plums

Lemon plums, very similar to other citrus fruits, are low in calories, but high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and dietary fiber, all of which can significantly impact your health!

Close-up of lemon plum on a white surface

Lemon plum looks like a lemon, tastes like a plum! Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Lemon Plums

Let us look at the most important benefits of lemon plums in detail.

Aid Digestion

Like most other fruits and vegetables, lemon plums have a significant level of dietary fiber, meaning that eating lemon plums can be very beneficial for digestive health. Fiber bulks up the stool, facilitating easy digestion and helping food pass through the digestive tract. This prevents constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders, such as cramping, bloating, and excess gas, as well as more serious conditions like gastric ulcers. Furthermore, dietary fiber helps to lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), which can help lower the risk of developing atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.

Promote Weight Loss

As a low-calorie, high-nutrient, fiber-rich fruit, lemon plums can help people trying to watch their weight by providing necessary nutrients without packing on excess pounds, while also helping them feel full, thereby eliminating the chances of overeating.

Boost Immunity

Vitamin C has long been hailed as one of the best vitamins for strengthening the immune system. Lemon plums are rich in vitamin C and act as an antioxidant, boosting white blood cell counts, preventing the activity of free radicals, and also playing a significant role in the creation of new cells, wound healing, and various other metabolic processes.

Antioxidant Activity

Vitamin A is the other important vitamin found in high quantities in plum lemons. Vitamin A is also a carotenoid when excess vitamin A changes into beta carotene. This can help improve vision, reduce the occurrence of macular degeneration, improve the quality of skin, reduce premature aging, and inhibit the activity of free radicals in the body.

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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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