Davidson Plum is a superfood
Davidson plum (Davidsonia pruriens) is a tree that’s native to Australia and mostly found in the coastal and upland rainforests of north-east Queensland. The tree bears intensely sour purple plums. The taste is because of the high acid, low sugar content.
The fruit of the Davdison plum is considered a superfood because it’s rich in flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and several other important secondary metabolites, such as anthocyanins as well as proanthocyanidins.
There are preliminary studies that have proclaimed that the extracts of Davidson’s plum fruit inhibited in vitro cancer cells, metabolic syndrome enzymes, and contained high antioxidant activity.1 It’s also rich in phenolic compounds, vitamin E, folate, lutein, zinc, magnesium, and calcium.2
Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins are phenolic compounds which were identified as the active components responsible for most of the health benefits of Davidson plum.3
Free radicals and oxidative stress
Free radicals and other reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROs and NS) are generated by various metabolic processes in the body. An excess of ROS or oxidants in the body can lead to oxidative stress which can affect the ability of the cells to mount an effective antioxidant response. This can lead to oxidative damage and dysfunction of tissues. Oxidative stress results in macromolecular damage and is implicated in various disease states such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, neurodegeneration, and aging.4
The body is equipped with antioxidants, either generated endogenously or given as supplements, which are capable of scavenging ROS and reducing the oxidation of cellular molecules. Substantial quantities of antioxidants in the body can alleviate oxidative stress.5
Laboratory studies have confirmed the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the Davidson plum, suggesting that it may be beneficial in counter-acting oxidative damage which is a major cause of cell ageing.10
Davidson Plum versus Blueberry
- The antioxidant capacity of the Davidson plum is higher compared to the blueberry. Polyphenolic-rich fraction obtained from Davidson's plum exhibited significantly higher antioxidant capacity than blueberry.4
- The antiproliferative activities against cancer cells of Davidson's plum are comparable to those of blueberries.
- The extract had comparable antiproliferative activity to blueberries against the colon adenocarcinoma (HT-29) and HepG2 cells.6
Research has also shown that Davidson plum not only has a higher anti-oxidant capacity than blueberry, but also higher levels of lutein than avocado and a high ratio of potassium to sodium.7
Table 1. Nutritional Information Of Davidson Plum And Blueberries
Davidson Plum (per 100 grams as frozen fruit)*
Davidson Plum (per 100 grams dry weight)*
Davidson Plum (per 100 grams of raw fruit)**
Energy 264 Kj
H20 78.2 gm
Protein 1.0 gm
Total fat 0.2 gm
Carbohydrates 14.3 gm
Sugar (total) 3.9 gm
Total saturated fatty acids(-)
Zinc (Zn) 0.426 mg
Magnesium (Mg) 138.1 mg
Calcium (ca) 217.35 mg
Iron (Fe) 1.24 mg
Selenium (Se) 0.0
Phosphorus (P) 94.45 mg
Sodium (Na) 1.77 mg
Potassium (K) 1465.5 mg
Manganese (Mn) 19.55 mg
Copper (Cu) 0.638 mg
Molybdenum (Mo) 11.0 µg
K : Na 828
Total fat 0.2 grams o
Carbohydrate14.3 grams Total sugars 3.9 grams
Starch 10.4 grams
Vitamin C30 mg
Potassium 364 mg
Magnesium 27 mg
Sodium 45 mg
Phosphorus 18 mg
Calcium 16 mg
Niacin 0.17 mg
Energy value (100 g serving) 192 kJ (est)
Dietary Fiber 3-3.5% of fruit weight
Vitamin C 10 mg/100 g
Polyphenols 48-304 mg/100 g
Anthocyanins 2-495 mg/100 g
Table 2. Total Phenolics And Antioxidant Capacity Of Davidsonia pruriens And Davidsonia jerseyana
Variety of David Plum
Dry Matter Content
Total phenolic content
(mg GA Eq/g DW)
(mg C 3G Eq/g DW)
48.60 ± 2.48
47.80 ± 1.2
50.25 ± 6.34
98.65 ± 6.5
4.58 to 5.28b
38.93 ± 0.99b
A 2019 study8conﬁrmed that Davidson plums contain polyphenols, especially anthocyanins and ﬂavonoids. The major anthocyanins were cyanidin sambubioside, cyanidin glucoside, peonidin sambubioside andpeonidin glucoside. The major ﬂavonoids were quercetin derivatives including rutin.
Health Benefits Of Davidson Plum
Improve cognitive health and function
One of the important effects of free radicals in the body is the oxidation of cells. This has been identified as a major cause of aging and age-related signs including reduced memory capacity and cognitive dysfunction.
Senior cats and dogs are not as efficient as younger dogs in counteracting the effects of free radical damage. They tend to display signs of increased oxidative stress as they age.
Among the major organs of the body, the brain is one of those that are extremely vulnerable to oxidation. Without protection from antioxidants, the brain cells will undergo oxidation that can eventually cause damage and death of neurons and eventually decline in cognitive function.
Results of several scientific studies have shown that a diet rich in antioxidants supports cognitive health and function by helping counteract the effects of free radicals on the brain.11
The major polyphenols in Davidson plum, anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, have neuroprotective actions including protection of neurons against neurotoxin-induced injury, suppression of neuroinflammation, as well as promote learning, memory, and cognitive dysfunction.
Ameliorate metabolic syndrome8
In a 2019 study, rats fed a high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet developed abdominal obesity, cardiac problems, high lipid levels, hypertension, inflammation in the heart and liver, knee osteoarthritis, impaired glucose tolerance, and elevated plasma liver enzyme concentration.
Supplementation of Davidson plum showed improvement of symptoms. Researchers attribute this to the action of anthocyanins and ﬂavonoids and their metabolites in the Davidson plum supplement. Anthocyanins and its metabolites may exert their beneﬁcial eﬀects through their modulation of gut microbiota.
Also, polyphenols in Davidson plum, such as quercetin, are thought to work together to produce the noted anti-inflammatory and anti-adipogenic (fat producing) and anti-osteoarthritic changes.9
Vitamin C-rich Davidson plum supports a healthy immune system. Vitamin C has been shown to prevent the growth of free radicals which are the precursors of various serious diseases, including cancer.
Davidson plum extract also possessed the highest antioxidant capacity and anti-proliferative activity against a panel of cancer cell lines. This included cancers of the pancreas, breast, lung, brain, skin, colon and ovary.1
The high vitamin C content of Davidson plum also enhances the effects of chemotherapeutic drugs.
Promote skin and hair coat health
Vitamin E and and zinc in Davidson plum support healthy skin and hair coat.
Antiviral and antibacterial properties
The immune-boosting properties of vitamin C help boosts the body’s ability to fight against infections caused by bacteria or viruses.
Potassium in Davidson plum enhances the metabolism process. It plays a significant role in the digestion and metabolism of carbohydrates to convert them into viable sources of energy in the body. Also, potassium supports the body’s utilization of amino acids as building blocks of muscle.
Anti-obesity and bone health
Anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants, are also excellent for supporting healthy weight by promoting the metabolism of fatty lipids.
The anti-obesity eﬀects of anthocyanins include limiting lipid absorption, promoting energy expenditure, enhancing fat metabolism,inhibiting food intake and modulating gut microbiota. Davidson plum reduced liver fat deposition and inﬁltration of inﬂammatory cells.10
Davidson plum contains more lutein than an avocado. It’s a primary source of lutein, a type of carotenoid that is significant to eye health. Lutein gives the plums their vibrant red color. The pigment compound protects the eye from damaging ultraviolet rays. Vitamin E in these superfruits also prevents free radicals from breaking down the cells of the eyes.
Davidson plum is one of the most nutritionally powerful native Australian fruits. And it’s one of the ingredients of Bestie Cod and Plum Superfood Oil Blend. The formula is perfect for improving joint pain and mobility, fighting oxidative stress, and promoting cognitive function in pets.
Dr. Merliza Cabriles, DVM
Dr. Merliza Cabriles is a Licensed Veterinarian and a University Professor with many years of experience in food animal and pet companion medicine. Her passion for writing and pet parent education and support are echoed in the articles she has written for various websites in the pet niche, including bestie’s! She enjoys cultivating positive relationships with her clients and dedicates her time to educating and supporting pet parents in providing the best care for their pets. In her spare time, she enjoys trekking and traveling.
List Of References - Davidson Plum
- Tiffany L.K.ChuenabQuan V.Vuong, et al. Antioxidant and anti-proliferative properties of Davidson’s plum (Davidsonia pruriens F. Muell) phenolic-enriched extracts as affected by different extraction solvents. Journal of Herbal Medicine Volume 6, Issue 4, December 2016, Pages 187-192
- Focus on Davidson Plum (Davidsonia jerseyana; Davidsonia pruriens).Rural Industries R&D Corporation Factsheet: Davidson Plum. ISBN: 978-1-74254-729-9 Pub. No. 14/112
- Karunrat Sakulnarmrat, GeorgeSrzednicki, and Izabela Konczak. Composition and inhibitory activities towards digestive enzymes of polyphenolic-rich fractions of Davidson's plum and quandong. LWT - Food Science and Technology Volume 57, Issue 1, June 2014, Pages 366-37
- Paul D. Ray, Bo-Wen Huang, and Yoshiaki Tsuji. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis and redox regulation in cellular signaling. Cell Signal. 2012 May; 24(5): 981–990.
- Zewen Liu and Zhangpin Ren et al. Role of ROS and Nutritional Antioxidants in Human Diseases. Front Physiol. 2018; 9: 477.
- Karunrat Sakulnarmrat, George Srzednicki, and Izabela Konczak. Bioprospecting Davidson's plum and quandong: Cytoprotective and proapoptotic activities. LWT - Food Science and Technology Volume 61, Issue 2, May 2015, Pages 622-629.
- Agrifutures Australia. Davidson Plum. Date accessed: September 28, 2022.
- Oliver D John, Peter Mouatt, Sunil Panchal, and Lindsay Brown. The edible native Australian fruit, Davidson’s plum (Davidsonia pruriens), reduces symptoms in rats with diet-induced metabolic syndrome.May 2019Journal of Functional Foods 56:204 - 215. DOI:10.1016/j.jff.2019.03.018
- Hayley Blieden. A Davidson Plum Role. Published March 5, 2020. Date accessed: September 29, 2022/
- The Daily Telegraph. Volunteers sought for Davidson's plum research. March 29, 2013 - 6:00AM. Date accessed: September 28, 2022.
- Dodds, W. Jean. Nutrition and Thyroid Function Affect Canine Behavior and Cognition. Date accessed: December 7, 2022.