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Plums and Diet

by
author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
Plums and Diet
Purple plums for sale at a market. Photo Credit bernardbodo/iStock/Getty Images

Plums originated in Asia and were brought to the United States in the 1870s. Plums are a member of the plant genus Prunus, which also includes cherries, apricots and almonds. You can't go wrong adding plums to your diet. Plums are low in calories and can help you meet your daily fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C needs.

Low in Calories

Plums are a low-energy dense food, which means they contain few calories compared to their portion size. For example, two medium plums have just 70 calories. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, or CDC, says including more low-energy dense foods in your diet can help you limit your calorie intake for weight loss and hunger control.

Low-glycemic Index Food

Most of the calories in the plum come from carbohydrates in the form of sugar. Two medium plums contain 19 grams of carbohydrates and 16 grams of sugar. Despite being high in carbohydrates and sugar, plums are a low-glycemic index food, according to the University of Sydney GI Database. The glycemic index ranks carbohydrate-containing foods on how they affect blood sugar. Foods with a low-glycemic index only cause a slight rise in blood sugar, while foods with a high-glycemic index cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. Eating too many high-glycemic index foods can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, while eating foods with a low-glycemic index helps promote weight loss and control diabetes.

Good Source of Fiber

Plums are also a source of fiber. Two medium plums contain 2 grams of fiber. Adults need 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day, and most only consume about 15 grams, according to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Fiber in food slows digestion, which helps control hunger. Fiber also adds bulk to stool to help alleviate and prevent constipation. Fiber can also prevent you from absorbing cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Good Source of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential water-soluble vitamin. You need adequate intake of vitamin C to make collagen, an important component found in your connective tissue. Collagen is also necessary for proper wound healing. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements -- NIH ODS -- explains that vitamin C is also an important antioxidant, protecting your cells from oxidation by free radicals, which may help prevent heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C also helps you absorb iron. Two medium plums meet 10 percent of your daily value, or about 6 milligrams.

Good Source of Vitamin A

Plums can help you meet your vitamin A needs. Two medium plums provide 8 percent of your daily value for vitamin A, or about 400 international units. Vitamin A is an essential fat-soluble vitamin needed for eye health, growth and development, bone strength, immune health and reproduction, according to the NIH ODS.

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