Java Plum or Black Jamun — The Wonder Fruit!

Java Plum or Black Jamun — The Wonder Fruit!

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Black jamun is also known as jambhool, black plum or java plum. The black jamun tree is an evergreen tree which grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions globally. It is an important minor crop in India, where it grows abundantly. This plant is native to India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and also Philippines and Indonesia.

It is scientifically known as Syzygium cumini. The crop has migrated to places such as Florida, Trinidad-Tobago, some African countries as well.

All parts of this plant are used for curative reasons. The flesh of the fruits (or pulp), seeds, leaves, steam- bark etc.

The ripe fruits are dark purple to almost black in color with a sweet n sour taste. The fruit is green when raw, which then changes color from green to pink to purple and finally dark purple. It is a highly perishable fruit and hence should be bought and consumed fresh and immediately. Storing ripe fruits for more than a day is not recommended.

It has shown a wide range of medicinal uses traditionally and in alternative medicine. For example, it is believed to have positive effects on cough, asthma, diabetes, ulcers, diarrhea, inflammation, stomachache, pimples and ringworm.

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Java Plum/Black Jamun Nutrient Content

There is wide range of nutrients available in java plum/black jamun fruit which has a lot of health benefits.

These fruits are rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium and phosphorus.

The peel, fruit pulp and seed contain high amounts of a group of antioxidants called polyphenols and Vitamin C. Bioactive compounds described for black plum comprise of tannins, anthocyanin (pigment), sterols, triterpenes, coumarins, glycosides, alkaloids, reducing compounds and saponins. Bioactive food compounds are naturally occurring substances in or obtained from plant and some other foods, in small amounts. These compounds have actions in the body that may promote good health. They are being studied in the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases. (https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/bioactive-compound)

The fruit also has a very good amount of fiber, both insoluble and soluble fiber such as pectin.

Since the fruit is power packed with nutrients, it has shown to be helpful against many ailments.

Black Jamun and its Health Promoting Functions

Research has revealed it to be effective in scavenging free radicals (which damage the cells/tissues in the body) thus showing potential antioxidant property, displays antidiabetic property, may help in reducing increased cholesterols and triglycerides in blood, anti-inflammatory property and can be heart protective, may also help in improving immunity. It may also help in taking care of liver health. Similarly, studies are being conducted to find out if there is any association between the consumption of the seeds or the extract of seeds or pulp and cancer.

Black Jamun is known to improve blood sugar control. This fruit is 83.7?85.8% water and around 14% carbohydrates and an excellent combination of nutrients. Thus it can be a perfect food to be included in the diet of people watching their weights and want to shed the extra kilos in a healthy way!

Black Jamun intake and management of Diabetes Mellitus

The seeds of black plum are claimed to have alkaloid, jambosine, and glycoside jambolin or antimellin, which stops the conversion of starch to sugar in your digestive system. This can be one of the reasons why it helps in lowering blood glucose levels in diabetics.

Since it also contain soluble fiber in good amount, which can be another reason behind controlled blood glucose levels, as the soluble fibers reduces the stomach emptying time and also slows the absorption of glucose from the intestine.

You can enjoy ripe, whole black plums or can juice them. The whole fruit tastes sweetish sour and a bit astringent. It will be an unusual but pleasant treat for your taste buds, for sure! If juicing, remember to drink fresh and avoid storing it. Also, the seed powder and juice is available at the health or medical stores, but before consuming it check with your doctor if you require it and the dosage.

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References

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304274138_Jamun_A_traditional_fruit_and_medicine

https://www.practo.com/healthfeed/9-fruits-that-protect-against-diabetes-3978/post

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygium_cumini#cite_note-10

http://www.foodandnutritionjournal.org/volume5number1/physicochemical-and-nutritional-characterization-of-jamun-syzygium-cuminii/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304274138_Jamun_A_traditional_fruit_and_medicine

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609276/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4951409/

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