Healthsomeness Written Logo

Plums

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Plums Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 87.2 g
Calories: 46 kcal
Protein: 0.7 g
Carbohydrate: 11.4 g
Dietary fiber: 1.4 g
Sugars: 9.9 g
Fat: 0.3 g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 9.5 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.4 mg
Vitamin B9: 5 μg
Vitamin A: 17 μg
Vitamin E: 0.3 mg
Vitamin K: 6.4 μg
Calcium: 6 mg
Iron: 0.2 mg
Magnesium: 7 mg
Phosphorus: 16 mg
Potassium: 157 mg
Zinc: 0.1 mg

Plums are a sweet and juicy fruit with a wide range of culinary uses. Not actually a single species, the term ‘plum’ refers to a number of slightly different fruiting plants. Regardless of the slight differences, nearly all plums are great to eat fresh off of the tree, dried (in which case they are known as prunes), or even pickled.

Versatile enough to be used in sweet and savoury dishes (it does equally well with a crumble or with crispy duck), the plum is an interesting fruit with a wide variety of culinary application.

But of course, we are really interested in the health benefits of these fruits. Plums may not be fantastic in a purely nutritional sense, but with a wide range of antioxidant compounds present in them, and some mild cardiovascular and digestive effects, they are an excellent choice for anyone who is health conscious with a bit of a sweet tooth.

Nutritionally, plums have some limited benefits for the cardiovascular system, but they’re certainly no kale. 100g contains 46 calories, and for those relatively few calories you receive 15% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin C, and 4% DV of potassium.

In addition, 100g of plum contains 5% DV of dietary fibre, which is important for digestion. In fact, a sugar which plums are high in, sorbitol, has a mild laxative effect, one of the reasons prunes are considered good for digestion. Prune juice has been shown to have a mild laxative effect, which is important for those suffering from constipation, or more serious gastrointestinal symptoms.

In terms of health benefits, plums have one real standout benefit: they are extremely high in antioxidants. The antioxidant activity of prunes and plums is well documented, but why is it significant? Well, antioxidants prevent damage by free radicals, which often damage DNA (leading to mutations and cancer), and cells (leading to cell death and tissue damage).

New constituent antioxidants are being discovered, and analysed, all the time, but it is the presence of two unique phytonutrients with antioxidant properties called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid, in high concentrations, that give plums their place on this list.

These antioxidants neutralise a particular free radical called a superoxide anion radical, which is especially damaging to our bodies.