When I see smooth, plump, purple plums in the farmers’ markets these days, I no longer see them just as plums. They make me think of the bloom of youth and young people around me whose faces radiate youth and health. I remember a time when I too looked like that. Alas, these days my morning encounters with a mirror in the bathroom show me, not a rosy plum, but a somewhat wrinkly prune. The years have taken away my underlying tissues and the skin now adapts to the loss with both deep and superficial wrinkles. Panaceas are offered, but age will have its way.
Given that reality, it seems to me that the old saying, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” might be a good way to go. With that in mind, I began to read about the lowly wrinkled prune that was once a smooth-skinned plum. Perhaps that would give me some ideas.
I found that the prune is quite remarkable. Its aging has concentrated and made easily available its
Vitamin A that helps to minimize night blindness, dry eyes, macular degeneration and cataracts
Antioxidants (higher than blueberries) that positively affect the immune system
Potassium that makes them heart healthy
Fiber that tends to prevent or manage constipation
Boron, vitamins B and C that can reverse osteoporosis
Iron that contributes to healthier hair
Vitamins and minerals that together contribute to healthy skin and delay wrinkling.
In addition to all its potential to keep its eaters healthier, the lowly prune
has a stable, long shelf life
is easily portable
is so concentrated that even small amounts offer good benefits
is adaptable in getting along with other foods
offers changes through its aroma and taste
is versatile, usable in many ways.
What a cluster of positive attributes in a dried-up fruit that, with a bit of adapting, may be worth seeking to emulate in my own pruney state. At least they’re something worth thinking about.