Plums grow in many parts of the world, including North and South America, Europe, and Asia. More than 140 types of plums are available in the United States.
Varieties that originated in Europe tend to be purple-skinned, but there are other varieties that are white-, yellow-, green-, or red-skinned. Inside, the flesh of plums can be white, green, orange, purple, pink, black, or red. The more purple the plum, the more anthocyanins it is likely to contain, and the more purple parts will be richest in them—so eat the skins! But plums have lots of other nutritional value as well.
They are a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A and C, lutein, and beta-carotene. Plums are also a significant source of the trace mineral boron, which is helpful in converting calcium to bone and may therefore play a role in preventing osteoporosis.
Plums, along with prunes, have earned their reputation as a remedy for constipation.
In addition to a healthy dose of fiber, they contain sugars, including sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that draws water from the intestine to produce a laxative effect, and isatin. Some sources say that most of the sorbitol and isatin is in the plum skin and advise peeling the fruit to avoid this side effect.
Although plums are quite sweet, they don’t cause blood sugar to spike, probably because of the fiber, fructose, and sorbitol that all contribute to slowing down absorption of the sugars.Nutritional Facts
One medium raw plum provides 36 calories, 8.6 g carbohydrate, 0.5 g protein, 0.4 g fat, 0.9 g dietary fiber, 213 IU vitamin A, 6 mg vitamin C, 1 mcg folic acid, 114 mg potassium, 3 mg calcium, 7 mg phosphorus, and 5 mg magnesium.