My little dude was eating a sweet soft plum for dessert last night (he waited all season!) and asked me if it was "the healthiest plum in the whole entire world" because, ya know, 5 year olds ask questions like that. I started to tell him about the wondrous Umeboshi Plums, which leads me to this month's food focus.
The first time I read about them was in The Kind Diet written by Cher Horowitz (aka Alicia Silverstone) which was the book that helped me go from chronic dieter to a whole foods vegan. I was in a heavy duty detox during that time, after years of college drinking and not eating much food but a lot of coffee. Many days felt like hangovers.
Alicia explained this macrobiotic food favorite as a great cure for a hangover so even though I wasn't drinking, I thought why not? It helped! It's used as a food and a medicine in China, Korea, and Japan.
These little (very strange-looking) pickled plums are actually from the apricot family. They are high in iron which is what gives them their pinkish color. They go through a fermentation process, which make them a fantastic digestive aid. They also have an alkalizing effect on the body, have antibacterials properties, neutralizes fatigue and promote the elimination of toxins, which is why it helped me so greatly during my transition to clean eating.
I would highly suggest adding small pieces to your meals or even on their own - if you dare! Its an acquired taste, but the benefits are big!
The Kind Diet. Silverstone, Alicia. 2009.
150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. Bowden, Jonny. 2007.