Plums cut in half on table

The health benefits of plums

Low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals, Registered Nutritionist Nicola Shubrook explains why plums are so good for you.

What are plums?

Plums are a medium-sized stone fruit. The most popular variety has a dark purple-red skin with yellow flesh inside, you can also find plums that are green-yellow. All varieties have a stone in the centre of the fruit which is not edible. When dried, plums are known as prunes.

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Plums are in season in the UK from August to September.

Discover our full range of health benefit guides and check out some of our favourite plum recipes, from our roasted beets, plum and pecan salad to our plum betty.

Nutritional benefits

An 80g serving provides:

29Kcal / 124KJ

0.5g Protein

0.1g Fat

7.0g Carbohydrate

1.7g Fibre

192mg Potassium

An 80g serving counts as one of your five-a-day, which is about two small fruit or one medium-sized plum. Check out our printable infographic to find out what else counts towards your 5-a-day.

A person holding some plums in their hands

Top 5 health benefits

1. Rich in antioxidants

Plums are packed with plant compounds which have antioxidant properties, this means they help prevent oxygen from reacting with other chemicals and causing damage to cells and tissues. They are especially rich in anthocyanins, the compounds also responsible for the plum’s dark coloured skin. In fact, studies suggest plums are richer in these protective compounds than other fruits including peaches and nectarines.

2. May have anti-inflammatory properties

The protective plant compounds in plums appear to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help prevent disease including cancer, diabetes and obesity.

3. May help manage blood sugar levels

Plums are especially rich in a polyphenol called chlorogenic acid, a compound also found in coffee, this appears to help balance blood sugar and regulate appetite.

Consuming the whole fruit ensures you benefit from its rich fibre content, which helps slow the release of its natural sugars.

4. May support heart health

Plums are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, which ensures blood clots normally. They also supply potassium and vitamin C as well as being rich in protective polyphenols all of which are associated with reduced cardiovascular risk factors.

5. May enhance cognitive function

Animal studies suggest that the rich polyphenol content of plums may help mitigate age-related cognitive decline.

Are plums safe for everyone?

Some people are allergic to plums. They fall into the ‘birch pollen’ category of allergens, along with apples and peaches, and they may cause itching and swelling of the mouth or throat in those affected.

Allergy symptoms normally develop within minutes, and you should see your GP if you experience an adverse reaction. However, if this develops into a severe reaction, known as anaphylaxis, it is a medical emergency.

Read more about allergies on the NHS website.

Now read…

The health benefits of prunes
The health benefits of blackberries
The health benfits of apples


This article was reviewed on 28th July 2021 by Kerry Torrens.

Kerry Torrens BSc. (Hons) PgCert MBANT is a registered nutritionist with a post graduate diploma in personalised nutrition & nutritional therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food

Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.

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