5 Benefits of Kakadu Plum
Kakadu Plum, commonly referred to as Gubinge, Billy Goat Plum, or if you’re a Latin speaker, Terminalia ferdinandiana, is a fruit found exclusively in the outback in Northern Australia.
Kakadu Plum as a fruit is small, reaching no larger than the tip of your thumb, and weighing up to 5 grams in total. The fruit itself remains pale green in colour, isn’t sweet, and is quite tart and somewhat astringent.
The two primary regions where Kakadu Plum grows is the Northern Territory, and Western Australia, with trees producing fruits at different times depending on the region. According to the Northern Australia Kakadu Plum Alliance, Kakadu Plums are harvested in January and February in Western Australia, with Northern Territory’s season running a bit later between March and late April.
Most plums are Wild Harvested and are collected by hand, with many Aboriginal Australians employed in the industry. Kakadu Plums have been harvested for thousands of years by Indigenous Australians for medicine, which was used to treat colds, and headaches. They were also used as an antiseptic.
Why eat Kakadu Plums? Here’s 5 reasons why.
1. Nutritional properties
With many people looking to feel full, yet lower their caloric intake, Kakadu plums are dense with nutrients and are low in calories. Apart from being a source of fiber, 100 grams of Kakadu Plum Powder contains:
Calories: 59 Protein: 0.8 grams Carbs: 17.2 grams Dietary fiber: 7.1 grams Fat: 0.5 grams Sodium: 13 mg Vitamin C: 3,230% of the Daily Value (DV) Copper: 100% of the DV Iron: 13.3% of the DV
Being a source of fibre, it natural helps to fight constipation, various cancers, digestive issues, as well as promoting good gut health.
What’s made Kakadu Plum so famous is its rich Vitamin C content. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant which protects your body against free radicals.
Whilst the Vitamin C content has put Kakadu Plum on the map, it’s an excellent source of copper, which your body uses to heal and keep bones, cells, connective tissues healthy, as well as to aide your immune system.
Kakadu Plum also is high in essential micronutrients including folate, iron, and Vitamin E which are needed for good health.
2. High Vitamin C content
We’ve briefly explored the importance of Vitamin C for our health. Many times we’re told by loved ones to have an orange if we’re feeling unwell and to keep up with our vitamin C to ward off colds.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning your body can’t produce it, and inside your body Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant which helps to rid your body of free radicals that cause harm to your cells. You also need Vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to heal wounds.
In Kakadu Plum, lab tests have revealed the incredible Vitamin C content found inside each fruit. A typical orange contains around 53mg of Vitamin C, whereas one Kakadu Plum contains 3.5%-7.0% of Vitamin C compared to its weight, meaning it contains somewhere around 100 times the amount found in an orange, and many times much more than this!)
Because Vitamin C is so vital to general wellbeing, Kakadu Plum has revolutionized the health food industry by providing a natural Vitamin C supplement easily added to any diet. As Kakadu Plums are most commonly dried, and ground into a fine powder, it’s become a natural, yet effective way to obtain your daily Vitamin C. Easily pour some powder into oatmeal, smoothies, into soups, or even in a dessert for a superfood kick!
3. Sustainable Product
It’s no secret that agriculture is one of the largest causes of global warming. With forests being cut down for grazing, crops being planted on grasslands once habitat for birds, and massive fruit orchards covering areas larger than football stadiums, our environment is suffering.
One aspect of Kakadu Plums that is often ignored is the environmental impact compared to other imported species of fruit in Australia. Because Kakadu Plums tend to be wild harvested, there are next to no chemicals used in production, and with grass growing, birds eating the plums, and a literal forest growing around each tree, it’s a great way to eat without damaging the environment or wasting a ton of water.
“Aboriginal communities and families have and continue to nurture the natural environment where Kakadu Plums and other native foods flourish, in contrast to the unprotected land which has been cleared for cereal crops and grazing.” - NAAKPA
4. Economic opportunities for remote Indigenous Communities
Organisations such as the Northern Australian Kakadu Plum Alliance have helped to create economic opportunities for remote Indigenous Communities. Places such as Maningrida, Arnhem Land, employ 5% of the local population in the Kakadu Plum Industry. This is helping to drive economic growth for these communities, giving opportunities not previously available.
“Aboriginal communities and families have been harvesting and using Kakadu Plum for many millenia. During that time, they have acquired detailed knowledge of the plant’s characteristics, growing patterns and uses, and have woven this into their traditional knowledge.” - NAAKPA
5. Kakadu Plum is good for your skin!
Kakadu Plum is a powerful ingredient due to its gallic and ellagic acid content. They are both believed to help repair damaged skin, and to reduce the breakdown of collagen. Kakadu Plum has also been identified to contain specific compounds which have been linked to reduce inflammation caused by your skins response to UV light. Due to this, Kakadu Plum has started to become a featured ingredient in many cosmetic products.
So there you have it! Australia’s new superfood is not only delicious, nutrious and beautiful but provides support to many remote communities. A daily dose of Kakadu Plum can help fight the signs of aging, protect your cells, as well as to nourish your body naturally.