Properties and Benefits of Mirabelles: Today, I am going to talk to you about something wonderful – wonderfully delicious and wonderfully healthy: mirabelles (Prunus domestica syriaca). They have a beautiful name, don’t they? But I bet you are wondering what they could be! Well, mirabelles, also known as mirabelle plums, are a species of Prunus domestica, but they are not quite your ordinary plums.
Though they are related, mirabelles are actually a new type of fruit, a super-fruit if you ask me, considering that most European centenarians eat it on a regular basis. There is little research on the properties and benefits of mirabelles because they are not usually found in markets. However, their appearance and taste reveal important information on their nutrient content and health effects.
What do mirabelles look like? They are small, round or slightly oval-shaped; they have an edible thin skin that covers the fleshy interior developed around a hard kernel containing one bitter seed. As far as colour is concerned, prepare yourselves to be amazed: mirabelles can range in colour from golden-yellow to combinations of yellow and cherry-red or dark-red and purple! Why is this so amazing? Because each colour in a fruit is indicative of different powerful natural substances that are highly beneficial for our health.
For instance, when they are unripe, mirabelles are extremely sour which means that they are rich in vitamin C (the most potent natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory). Romanians for example use unripe, green mirabelles (yes, they are all green when they are unripe) in soup to make it sour.
The golden-yellow mirabelles are rich in beta-carotene (another powerful natural antioxidant that protects us from free radicals which cause the gradual deterioration of all our internal organs), zeaxanthin and flavonoids. They lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol and they reduce blood pressure and cancer risks.
The red varieties are indicative of nutrients such as lycopene (some studies suggest that people with high levels of lycopene are less likely to develop some forms of cancer), Quercitin (a flavonoid with anti-viral and anti-inflammatory benefits) and ellagic acid (a phytochemical known to purify blood). Last but not least, the dark-red and purple varieties are rich in reveratrol (resveratrol is known to slow down the aging process and improve cardiovascular health) and potent phytochemicals.
Basically, mirabelles are a mix of powerful natural antioxidants, anti-inflammatory substances and other important phytochemicals and their rich palette is only a reminder of the numerous health benefits they bring. Though these wonderful rustic fruits have not yet gained the attention of health specialists, they are highly beneficial for our health.
But remember, although my affirmations regarding the properties and health benefits of mirabelles rest upon general knowledge and scientific deduction, they are not based on scientific evidence.
The best way to convince yourself if something is good for you is to try it. I have and after eating mirabelles regularly for approximately one month now, it seems to me that my skin is glowing, I feel more energised for hours after eating only a handful of them and I am not so sensitive to cold weather any more (and it is rather cold where I am now). I can only hope you feel just as good as me after trying some.
And once you taste only a couple of deliciously ripe mirabelles, I am certain you will eat some more. Mirabelles have a sweet smooth flesh beneath the thin outer skin and, believe it or not, each variety has its own subtle flavor. Moreover, most mirabelle trees produce fruit in incredible amounts, as you will have surely noticed from the pictures posted. So a single tree might keep you satisfied from July to September.
However, mirabelles are mostly used to make jams and the famous eau-de-vie. Though eau-de-vie is an alcoholic beverage, people at the countryside who drink it on a regular basis do not seem to suffer the devastating effects of alcohol consumption and even live to be 100 years old. Amazing, isn’t it? Well, mirabelles are amazing. Even their name says so: ‘mirabelle’ from the Latin word ‘mirabilis’, meaning ‘wondrous’.