Updated: March 14, 2019
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The Superpowers of Umeboshi

Do you know what umeboshi is? Or why it is considered a superfood? Find out!

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What is Umeboshi?

Preparation of Japanese Salt Plums.
Umeboshi are Japanese fermented plums. They are traditionally made by harvesting ume fruit when they ripen around June and packing them in barrels with salt. A weight is placed on top and the fruit gradually exudes juices, which accumulate at the bottom of the barrel. Their taste is famously salty and sour.
Umeboshi are dyed red using purple perilla herbs (called akajiso).
It is said that Umeboshi originated in China over 2,000 years ago, and were first introduced to Japan 1,500 years ago; not as food, but as a medicine!
From the 12th century, it became very popular among priests and samurai who attributed extremely powerful effects to it. Umeboshi were historically given as part of the samurai's field ration and claimed to combat fatigue and protect against aging.

Health Benefits of Umeboshi

The health benefits attributed to the fermented plum are various! Umeboshi is believed to act as a system detoxifier and digestive aid with alkalinizing effects on the blood. It is used in the prevention of nausea, and for systemic toxicity, including hangovers. Its high citric acid content is the main source of its benefits.

Citric acid helps the body to absorb calcium, soothe headaches, activate metabolism, prevent fatigue and even has antibacterial and antioxidant effects.

Umeboshi plums are an excellent source of iron (important for hemoglobin production, stress reduction, and immune function), calcium, thiamin (important for healthy nervous system, metabolism, and digestion), and riboflavin (formation of antibodies, healthy metabolism, and cortisol production).

In Japan, if you have a cold or an upset stomach, it means that rice porridge (okayu) and umeboshi are guaranteed to make an appearance. This homemade medicine has been used for centuries by families to cure everyone from children to seniors.

Rice porridge, or okayu, with umeboshi.
With all these benefits, why not incorporate umeboshi in your diet? Your body will thank you!

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