Damsons (Prunus domestica): Antioxidants

Damsons (Prunus domestica) are an edible drupaceous fruit from a species of plum tree. Damsons are often used for jam (conserves) as well as in pies and crumbles. They have a tart taste and a deep rich red colour in both their skin and flesh. This red colour relates to the phytochemistry of the damson, which contains high amounts of the flavonoid group of phytochemicals. In particular, anthocyanins confer the deep red to purple colour that is present in damsons, and in this regard damsons are similar to most commercial plums. Plums are also relatively high in hydroxycinnamates, especially neochlorogenic acid, and chlorogenic acid. Damsons may therefore provide significant antioxidant protection to those who consume them, and as such can be incorporated into a healthy diet. In addition damsons are relatively high in fibre including pectin, and this may confer additional health effects. Eating a range of plums, damsons, prunes and other dupes may protect from a number of Western lifestyle diseases. 

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself


Donovan, J.L., Meyer, A.S. and Waterhouse, A.L. 1998. Phenolic composition and antioxidant activity of prunes and prune juice (Prunus domestica). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.  46(4): 1247-1252

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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