Are Plums Good For Weight Loss? Exploring The Facts

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Plums are gaining attention for their potential health benefits, as recent research highlights their positive impact on inflammation, antioxidants, and memory improvement. Scientists are particularly intrigued by the high phenolic content in plums, especially anthocyanins, renowned for their natural antioxidant properties. This article explores the promising findings in plum research.


Eating fruits and vegetables has numerous health benefits due to their low energy, high fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They're like nature's superstars, often linked to improved well-being.

Specifically, plums, especially in juice form, could play a role in weight loss and metabolic health. A study in Zucker rats found that drinking plum juice prevented weight gain and improved metabolic markers like hyperglycemia and insulin resistance, possibly due to plums' rich polyphenol content with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Moreover, plums might impact gut health, which is connected to obesity and metabolism. In obese Zucker rats, consuming carbohydrate-free plum juice changed the gut microbial ecology, leading to a significant decrease in body weight.

It's crucial to note that these findings are from animal studies, and effects in humans may vary. Additionally, the specific amount of plum or plum juice for weight loss in humans hasn't been determined.

Generally, higher fruit intake is linked to lower obesity rates and reduced waist circumference in children and adolescents. Including plums in a balanced diet could potentially aid weight management, but more research is necessary to confirm these effects and establish appropriate dosages.

Plums behind history

Did you know plums are not just tasty but also come with fantastic health benefits? They belong to the same family as apricots, peaches, and nectarines, but they stand out with more variety. Plums come in various sizes and colours – purple, yellow, orange, and red – and can be big or small.

Originating in China thousands of years ago, plums made their way to Japan, the US, and parts of Europe. Fast forward to today, and we have over 2,000 plum varieties worldwide.

Now that you've got a glimpse of plum history, let's explore the health perks of enjoying these versatile fruits.

Nutritional composition of plums

Plums are not just tasty but also low in calories, with only 30 grams per 100 grams. They're carb-rich (9.6 grams per 100 grams) and almost fat-free.

Besides being a guilt-free snack, plums are a nutrient powerhouse. Packed with vitamins and minerals, they help with blood clotting, stress management, reducing fatigue, forming healthy red blood cells, and supporting the immune system.1

Thanks to their natural sugars, plums provide a quick energy boost. However, pairing them with protein can slow down the sugar-release process.

You can find plums in farmer's markets and stores from May to October, peaking in July and August. Optimal plums for immediate enjoyment have a slight "give" when gently squeezed. Extend their ripeness by refrigerating them.3

Health benefits of plums

Plums offer a range of health benefits:2

  • Lower blood pressure: A 2010 study found that participants who consumed prune juice and prunes experienced lower blood pressure compared to a control group.
  • Protection against cell damage/cancer: The reddish-blue pigment in plums, called anthocyanins, helps eliminate harmful free radicals, offering protection against cancer and cell damage.
  • Ideal for weight loss: In a study, those who ate prunes daily for 12 weeks lost weight and reduced their waistline, suggesting plums could be beneficial for weight loss.
  • Low in calories: With only 30 calories per small plum, they make a satisfying and low-calorie snack, making them suitable for those watching their calorie intake.
  • Great for bone health: Research indicates that consuming prunes along with vitamin D and calcium supplements can significantly improve bone density.
  • Effective for constipation relief: Plums, rich in dietary fibre, and dried prunes are known to relieve constipation, as supported by recent studies.
  • Improves memory & brain health: Plums, rich in antioxidants like anthocyanin and quercetin, may support a healthy brain and potentially slow the development of Alzheimer's, according to Harvard Health Research.
  • Boosts heart health: With 113 mg of potassium in a medium-sized fresh plum, they can help reduce the risk of stroke and manage high blood pressure, promoting heart health.
  • Helps prevent diabetes: The low glycemic index in plums may aid in controlling blood sugar, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes, as suggested by health experts.
  • Destroys breast cancer cells: Early studies show that treating cancer cells with plum extract may effectively eliminate aggressive cancer cells while sparing surrounding healthy cells.3

The colour of the plum matters

  • Black Plums: Black plums, the dark-coloured, purplish-blue varieties commonly seen in grocery stores, offer a range of health benefits. They are known to treat stomach pain, relieve urinary and digestive problems, and contain gallic acid with anti-HIV properties. Rich in magnesium, they contribute to Alzheimer's prevention, Type 2 diabetes management, and immune system support. Additionally, they provide phosphorus for bone and teeth health, and vitamin B6 for immune function.2
  • Red Plums: With a reddish tint and a sweet/sour taste, red plums have distinct health benefits. They are effective in treating digestive and constipation issues. High in vitamin E, they support immune function and eye health, while also containing anthocyanins, zinc, manganese, and copper.
  • Green Plums: Green plums, generally sweet with exceptions like Persian Sour Plums, offer unique advantages. They contain lutein, promoting eye health, and folate for red blood cell formation. Green plums are also associated with anti-ageing properties, potentially delaying signs of ageing and combating the effects of Alzheimer's.
  • Yellow Plums: Sweet-tasting yellow plums boast various health benefits. They contain vitamin A for eye health, potassium for muscle and nerve function, and are high in fibre, aiding digestion, regulating blood sugar, and promoting a feeling of fullness.
  • White Plum: A rare variety limited to Serbia, white plums have not been widely studied for specific health benefits. Information about their nutritional advantages is not readily available.2

Understanding the distinct benefits associated with each plum colour allows for a more tailored approach to incorporating these fruits into your diet based on specific health priorities.


In conclusion, the health benefits of eating plums are not only numerous but also quite significant, ranging from promoting healthy eyes, skin, and brain, to supporting the immune system. With a flavour spectrum spanning from sweet to tart and an array of colours, there's a plum variety to suit nearly everyone's taste. Adding plums to your diet not only satisfies your palate but also contributes to your overall well-being. So, enjoy the delicious diversity and goodness that plums bring to the table!


Can people be allergic to plums?

Yes, it's possible to be allergic to plums. Plums, along with celery and apples, fall into the birch pollen category of allergies. This means you might experience itching and swelling of the mouth or throat. Allergic reactions usually happen quickly, and if you face such symptoms, it's important to consult your physician. In severe cases of anaphylaxis, call for immediate medical assistance.

On a brighter note, plums are more than just a tasty fruit. They bring a celebration of flavour, versatility, and healthfulness. Whether you're exploring local farmer's markets or trying new recipes, plums can be a delicious and vibrant addition to your diet.

Can people with diabetes eat plums?

Absolutely! Plums can be part of a healthy eating plan for managing blood glucose levels. Their fibre content supports digestive health, regular bowel movements, and a healthy gut, and aids in weight management by helping you feel full.


  1. Noratto G, Martino HSD, Simbo S, Byrne D, Mertens-Talcott SU. Consumption of polyphenol-rich peach and plum juice prevents risk factors for obesity-related metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease in Zucker rats. J Nutr Biochem. 2015; 26(6):633–41.
  2. Noratto GD, Garcia-Mazcorro JF, Markel M, Martino HS, Minamoto Y, Steiner JM, et al. Carbohydrate-Free Peach (Prunus persica) and Plum (Prunus salicina) [corrected] Juice Affects Fecal Microbial Ecology in an Obese Animal Model. PLoS One. 2014; 9(7):e101723.
  3. Wang F, Zhang P, Ren Y, Huang D, Xu F, Ma J, et al. The estimated effect of increasing fruit interventions on controlling body weight in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis. Prev Med. 2023; 179:107785.

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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Marina Ramzy Mourid

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery - MBBS, Alexandria University

Marina Ramzy Mourid, a diligent medical student at Alexandria University in Egypt, has a strong passion for neurology and a keen interest in research. With a love for science communication, Marina excels not only in her studies but also as a prolific medical writer and author. Her track record speaks volumes, having clinched numerous competitions in article writing over the years.

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