What Are Plums?
Over time, you are likely to come across foods of all kinds that are claimed to promote weight loss due to certain properties they have. It could be due to having low calories, high fiber count, low carb counts, and so much more. Plums are one of the foods that have been thrown into the weight loss contention in recent times. So let’s find out what are the benefits of plums for weight loss through this article.
Plums do not have a clear origin. Some people claim they came from Japan, while others say they came from Europe, some say they came from China. All these places could be the native homes of the plums due to its many varieties.
When it comes to the properties of these fruits, they are said to be:
Plums come packed with numerous minerals and vitamins.
High Fiber Content
Plums contain a lot of fiber, which helps the fruit offer even more benefits.
They Come In Different Colors And Sizes
You will find red, orange, yellow plums, and even ones with a shade of maroon, to mention a few. They can also be smaller or slightly bigger than their usual size.
Plums belong to the same family of fruits like peaches, nectarines, and apricots (6). They all belong to the Rosaceae family (2). They differ from their clan mates since they are a little bit more diverse than their relatives, such as having different colors and sizes, as highlighted earlier (6).
Plums can be eaten fresh or dry. Dried plums are referred to as prunes, and they come with most of the benefits associated with consuming plums plus some more. An example of this is that prunes are said to contain higher amounts of vitamin K compared to plums. Prunes also contain higher amounts of vitamin B, as well as other nutrients. When it comes to a downside example, prunes contain more calories compared to plums.
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Benefits Of Plums For Weight Loss: Plums Nutrition Facts
Knowing the nutritional information of this fruit is necessary, as it informs you what nutrients you are getting from consuming them and which ones you are lacking. Plums and prunes contain high amounts of vitamins and mineral salts. One could consider them a superfood when it comes to their profile. You will see in the latter part of this article what their composition is and what they do.
Here are the nutritional facts of plums and prunes:
Plums are low calorie fruits. One plum is said to have approximately 30 calories (1). When it comes to prunes, they have a relatively higher amount of calories as a 1 ounce serving of prunes contains about 67 calories.
Carbs are important to our bodies as they provide us with the needed energy to carry out our daily activities. Plums are high carb fruits, as one plum is said to contain approximately 8 grams. On the other hand, prunes have a slightly higher amount of carbs since a 1 ounce serving contains 18 grams (1).
Proteins are important because they help build strength and repair muscles. Plums are not rich in proteins, as one plum contains approximately 0.5 grams of proteins only (1).
Plums are also low-fat fruits. One plum is said to have less than one gram of fat (1).
Vitamins And Minerals
Both prunes and plums contain many vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the minerals, as well as the amounts, that they have (1):
This vitamin is essential for promoting good eyesight. It also helps strengthen the immune system and is important to reproductive health. Both these variations contain this vitamin. One plum contains 5% of the daily required intake of this vitamin, while a serving of prunes contains 4%.
This vitamin helps with the growth, development, and repair of most of the tissues. It also helps in the absorption of iron and the proper functioning of the immune system. One plum contains 10% of the daily required intake of this vitamin.
This vitamin aids in the clotting of blood. Both prunes and plums contain this vitamin. One plum contains 5% of the required daily intake of this vitamin. Prunes, as mentioned earlier, contain high amounts of vitamin K compared to plums. A 1 ounce serving has 21% of the required daily intake of this vitamin.
You are more likely to find this vitamin in prunes rather than in plums. This vitamin helps in the breakdown of proteins, fats, and carbs. A serving of prunes contains 3% of the daily required intake of this vitamin.
Also known as Niacin, is essential in lowering cholesterol and eases arthritis, as well as helps boost brain function. A serving of prunes contains about 3% of the required daily intake of this vitamin.
This vitamin helps with the normal functioning of the central nervous system. A serving of prunes contains approximately 3% of the required daily intake of this vitamin.
This mineral helps regulate fluid balance, helps with nerve signals and muscle contractions. One plum contains 3% of the required daily intake, while a serving of prunes contains 6% of it.
This is one mineral with various functions. It helps in the formation of red blood cells. It also helps in maintaining healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function. If you consume enough copper, it may help reduce the risk of contracting various cardiovascular diseases. One plum and a serving of prunes contain 2% and 4% of the required daily intake of this mineral, respectively.
This mineral helps in the activation of enzymes in metabolism. It also helps in the digestion and utilization of proteins and amino acids. One plum contains 2%, while a serving of prunes contains 4% of the required daily intake of this mineral.
This mineral is responsible for regulating nerve and muscle function. It also aids in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels. A serving of prunes contains 3% of the required daily intake of this mineral.
This mineral is important in the formation of bones and teeth. A serving of prunes contains about 2% of the required daily intake of this mineral.
As you can see, both plums and prunes have a vibrant profile when it comes to all the minerals and vitamins they contain.
Benefits Of Plums For Weight Loss
Plums are said to help people lose those extra pounds. They do this in different ways. Different studies have also shown this to be true. Plums can promote weight loss by:
Being Low-Calorie Foods
Plums, as mentioned earlier, contain 30 calories per one fruit. These are not too many calories. For one to lose weight, they need to consume fewer calories than they burn. One way to consume fewer calories is by consuming low-calorie filling foods of which plums are, and this is due to their high fiber counts. This helps create a calorie deficit and hence promotes weight loss. It is important to know that even though plums promote weight loss by being a low-calorie food, your diet should not consist of plums alone, and you should work to add all the components of a balanced diet to your meals so that you do not end up with malnutrition.
Contain High Fiber Amounts
One plum is said to have approximately 1 gram of fiber. This is a lot of fiber per plum, and this helps in its weight loss properties. This is because fiber has a filling effect (8). What this does is that it makes you feel fuller for longer and eat less during your next meal. This makes you create a calorie deficit, which translates to weight loss.
Fiber helps aid digestion, prevent constipation, and lower blood sugars (7). The soluble fiber in plums helps regulate the blood sugar by slowing the speed of digestion, hence making the food stay in the stomach longer, slowing the absorption of glucose from the food that was being digested. Since glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream at a slower pace, it means the blood sugar levels do not rise as quickly. This shows that plums can be used as part of a healthy diet to help control type 2 diabetes.
The same soluble fibers slow down the speed of digestion and the rate at which food leaves the stomach, making one feel fuller, which also means that less food is absorbed, and this helps in weight loss.
What Does Science Say About Benefits Plums For Weight Loss?
Different studies have been conducted to try and prove if it is true that plums do promote weight loss. Here are two of those studies and the results that they came up with:
A study on whether peaches, plums, and nectarines have bioactive compounds that can potentially fight-off obesity-related diabetes and cardiovascular disease was done (5). The study found that some components of this family of fruits could be used to fight metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the danger factors that raise your risk of becoming obese, which can lead to serious health conditions. The phenolic compounds present in plums, peaches, and nectarines may have anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties. These compounds may also be able to reduce the oxidation of harmful bad cholesterol (LDL), which is known to increase the risk of getting various heart diseases.
The study indicates that eating plums and other related fruits may help fight obesity and other chronic diseases.
The University of Liverpool did another study. The main aim of the study was to prove if eating prunes (dried plums) as part of a weight control diet would improve weight loss (3, 11). For this study to be carried out, 100 overweight or obese low fiber consumers were divided into two groups. One group of people were to eat prunes every day while the other group was advised on healthy snacks throughout this weight loss study.
After 8 weeks, which was the duration of the study, the study found that the group that was eating prunes experienced greater weight loss. This group of people was able to lose an average of 2 kilograms. To add to that, the individuals also experienced a reduction in the size of their waistline by about 2.5 centimeters. The people from the second group experienced an average weight loss of 1.5 kilograms and a 1.7-centimeter reduction of the waistline. Another notable observation that was made was that the prune group lost more weight during the last four weeks, and after week eight, they showed increased feelings of fullness.
This shows prunes can promote weight loss when added to a weight loss program. For people looking to lose weight, they may want to put prunes in their shopping lists. It is, however, important to make sure you do not add new foods to your diet without making sure you are not allergic to them or without talking to an expert first.
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Other Benefits Of Plums
Apart from weight loss, plums are associated with many other benefits, as you will see in this section.
Plums Help Boost Immunity
All this is made possible due to the presence of vitamin C (2). This vitamin is known to boost immunity, which helps promote the body’s resistance to infections and inflammation. Plums are also known to have some immunostimulatory components that prevent the development of tumors and are also essential when it comes to preventing certain diseases. So, if you want to boost your immunity, eat plums and prunes.
Plums Are Known To Help With Anxiety
Plums Are Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants are essential to our bodies. It helps reduce inflammation and protect our cells from damage (9). The various antioxidants the plums have are also helpful in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers (4).
Plums Help Improve Your Heart Health
This is because plums have soluble fiber (9). This fiber is known for being cardio-protective and thus helps reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. In addition to that, plums also contain various bioactive compounds that do the same work as reducing the levels of bad cholesterol. This helps prevent the risk of getting different cardiovascular conditions.
Plums Help In The Absorption Of Iron
This is yet another thing that can be attributed to the high amounts of vitamin C they contain (7). Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron together with many other things in the body, like making healthy tissues, acting as an antioxidant, supporting the immune system, and so on.
Plums Help With Your Bone Health
A study was done to prove this, and 90 women who had already undergone menopause were divided into two groups (10). One group was given 100 grams of prunes daily, while the other group was given 100 grams of dried apples. In addition to that, both groups were given calcium and vitamin D supplements. The study took a year.
The results showed that the group of women who were being given 100 grams of prunes daily had a higher bone material density compared to the other group of women. This shows that dried plums do help with one’s bone health.
Plums Help With The Nervous System
To add to the many things plums are responsible for, they are also able to make one’s nervous system healthy. This is due to the fact they contain vitamin B6 (2). This vitamin is known to help with the normal functioning of the nervous system. Plums also have amino acids referred to as Tryptophan that are responsible for the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin. This helps improve one’s sleep, level of concentration and appetite. They also help in the healthy growth of our brains.
Plums Help With Skin Care
The presence of vitamin C, as well as other antioxidants, helps in reducing black spots, wrinkles, and keeps one’s skin glowing (2). If you have been trying various beauty products without success, maybe it is time to try eating plums.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of plums for weight loss have been highlighted above. Plums are not only effective when it comes to weight loss, as they come with many other benefits. If you want to experience all these benefits, you should make plums part of your diet. It is important to remember too much of anything might be harmful and try to eat all foods, including plums, in moderation. Make sure you are not allergic to it before you make them part of your weight loss diet.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 7 Health Benefits of Plums and Prunes (2017, healthline.com)
- 9 Science-Backed Health Benefits Of Plums (2020, organicfacts.net)
- Eating prunes can help weight loss, study shows (2014, sciencedaily.com)
- Happy Skin Hair Growth & A Healthy Heart: Here Are All The Reasons Why You Need To Eat Plums! ( 2019, popxo.com)
- Peaches, plums, nectarines give obesity, diabetes slim chance (2012, sciencedaily.com)
- Plum (n.d., webmd.com)
- Plums and Prunes (n.d., whfoods.com)
- Plum Benefits Your Digestion & Cardiovascular Health (2018, draxe.com)
- Plum Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits (2020, verywellfit.com)
- Prunes May Increase Bone Density in Postmenopausal Women (n.d., agingcare.com)
- The Surprising Food That Can Lead to Weight Loss (2014, womenshealthmag.com)