Everything You Need to Know About Kakadu Plum, The Next Big Superfood
This tiny fruit is making headlines because it packs some powerful potential health benefits.
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Kakadu plum is starting to pop up everywhere in foods and even skincare products. Never heard of it before? You’re not alone – it’s a relatively new ingredient for much of the world. Native to Australia, this pale green, little fruit, the Kakadu plum, goes by many different names, like billy goat plum, salty plum, green plum, and wild plum. Now, Kakadu plum is starting to pop up everywhere in foods and even skincare products.
So, what’s so special about this hot new superfruit? Well, it’s supposedly fantastic for your health. Here’s what you need to know about the Kakadu plum and its potential benefits.
What is the Kakadu Plum?
Indigenous people in Australia have been eating this fruit and using it for medicinal purposes for centuries. The fruit can be eaten whole or made into a jam, preserve, sauce, or chutney.
What do Kakadu plums taste like? These little fruits aren’t like the plums you’re used to; they have a bitter, salty taste.
But it’s more than just an ingredient. Natives also use Kakadu plum for mosquito bites, skin sores, colds, flus, and headaches.
Kakadu plums are extremely rich in vitamin C with 3.5 ounces of the fruit providing over 3,000% of the daily value. This is the highest recorded natural source of vitamin C from any food! The fruit is also loaded with fiber, vitamin E, copper, iron, and tons of antioxidants, making it a true superfood.
Benefits of Kakadu Plum
Though each individual plum is small, this fruit is quite nutrient-dense. Thanks to the inclusion of the vitamins and minerals mentioned above, eating Kakadu plum can have a number of potential benefits for your health and wellness from head to toe.
Kakadu plum is great for your skin because it’s so rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is used in a lot of skincare products because of its antioxidant effect, which can protect the skin from free radicals and play a role in collagen synthesis. Because this tiny fruit is jam-packed with this particular nutrient and a good source of vitamin E, Kakadu plums have become the rage for optimizing the skincare routine.
Fight Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
Ellagic acid is one of the many antioxidants found in Kakadu plums, and it can reduce inflammation. Other antioxidants found in the plum include flavanols, anthocyanins (also found in blueberries), and lutein, which all reduce oxidative stress by reducing the number of free radicals in the body. These antioxidants can also prevent photoaging.
Better Blood Pressure
Rich in vitamin C, the Kakadu plum may help regulate blood pressure by acting as a diuretic and removing fluid from the body. In addition, the plums have a positive potassium to sodium ratio, which is essential in maintaining a balanced blood pressure.
Reduced Risk of Certain Illnesses
The high vitamin C content of these particular plums also assists with supporting the immune system and preventing illnesses. In addition, the antioxidants reduce the risk of some cancers. And the ellagic acid protects against diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Wow – talk about a ton of benefits here.
Fight Bacteria Inside and Out
Research has shown how the fruit and leaf extracts can prevent foodborne bacteria from getting us sick. There’s a natural antibacterial component present in the Kakadu plum, which is also beneficial in skincare products.
The Best Way to Use Kakadu Plum
Eating the fresh fruit is the best way to reap all the potential health benefits. However, it’s pretty sour – which is why it’s so often made into a jam or jelly.
You’ll lose some of that potent vitamin C if you cook the plum and make jam because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and does leach out when heated. However, since there’s so much vitamin C in each Kakadu plum, enjoying them as a preserve, jelly, or chutney will still get you the benefits you seek.
Fresh Kakadu plums also aren’t easy to find in local grocery stores just yet, because of the challenges of transporting the fresh fruit. However, you can easily find Kakadu plums in freeze-dried or powdered form (just like when buying camu camu or acerola cherries). Use the powder just like any other – add it to a smoothie, sprinkle it over yogurt or oatmeal, or include it in protein balls.
Using Kakadu Plums for Skincare
One place you’ll find a growing number of Kakadu plum products? Skincare products. You can reap some of the nutrient-focused benefits of this tart plum by applying it to your skin as part of your daily routine.
Vitamin C and vitamin E are known for their powerful skincare benefits. Studies have shown that using them in topical applications is effective in restoring the skin’s elasticity, reducing the risk of aging, and protecting the skin from sun damage. Because Kakadu plums are the highest food source of vitamin C (55 times higher than an orange) and contain more antioxidants than a blueberry (4.7 times more), they are being widely used in serums, moisturizers, soaps, and creams for radiant skin.
Stimulate the growth of collagen, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and increase the skin’s natural plumpness by using products which contain Kakadu plums. The vitamin C and antioxidants from the Kakadu plums will brighten the skin while also protecting it from the sun, helping to fight dark spots formed by sun damage.
When considering what skincare products to buy that contain Kakadu plums, look for products that have the extract listed. It might also be under Terminalia Ferdinandiana, which is its scientific name. You can use the products in both your morning and evening routine and all skin types can benefit. However, run a small patch test on your skin first, just to confirm there are no negative side effects. Keep your skin vibrant and glowing with this powerful, little fruit, the fabulous Kakadu plum.