Umeboshi plums have been a staple in Japanese cuisine for centuries. Also known as the “sour plum,” “Japanese apricot” and “Japanese plum,” the umeboshi plum is made from dried and pickled ume fruit, a type of fruit closely related to the apricot. Umeboshi are round and wrinkled with a distinctly sour taste thanks to its high content of citric acid. In fact, ume fruits are harvested at the end of June, right when their juices have reached peak acidity. Due to their intense flavor, umeboshi is typically combined with white rice and consumed as a side dish or inside a rice ball. Umeboshi paste and umeboshi vinegar are also available for an easy way to spice up any dish. In terms of nutrition, umeboshi contains a good chunk of the potassium, manganese and fiber you need in a day. Plus, it’s low in calories, giving you the most nutrition bang for your buck. Besides boasting a pretty impressive nutrient profile and distinct flavor, this pickled plum has also been shown to have many beneficial effects on health.
Health Benefits of Umeboshi:
1- Umeboshi is low in calories but contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals such as, manganese, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin A, thiamin, fiber, and antioxidants. (1,3,4)
2- Umeboshi is alkaline-forming in the body, thanks to its high concentration of citric acidic, which has a powerful alkalizing effect. In fact it has twenty-five times more citric acid content than lemon juice. And citric acid helps drive nutrients into your cells and enhance nutrient absorption. (1,3,5)
3- Umeboshi fruit contains potent natural compounds and properties which may help protect the liver’s health. (1,3,6)
4- Umeboshi plums contain a high amount of fiber, they can help support digestion, and promote gastrointestinal health. (1,7,8)
5- Umeboshi plums contain various potent compounds which may be effective in the treatment and prevention of cancer. (1,3,9)
6- Umeboshi plums can benefit bone health thanks to their high amount of polyphenols. Polyphenols are a type of plant compound that act as antioxidants, neutralizing the harmful free radicals that can contribute to chronic disease. (1,10)