Why plums are tops for taste and health.

Why plums are tops for taste and health.

1. "Plum" is often used to describe a deep purple hue, but in fact plums come in a wide spectrum of colors, asuch as black, yellow, red, pink, even green.

2. Dark plums (purple, black) are full of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that give them their color and are associated with helping to keep the heart healthy and the brain sharp.

3. Without the plum, we wouldn't have prunes! Oh, but excuse us, we call them "dried plums" now. (In 2000, the prune was renamed to make it easier to market-apparently prunes' reputation as a fruit to keep you regular was no longer a selling point.)

4. They have an au naturel protection; called a "bloom," it's a natural wax coating the fruit produces to keep its skin from losing water. Look for the whitish-silvery bloom: it's also a sign a plum hasn't been overhandled.

5. This juicy sweet treat has only about 36 calories.

May/June 2010