Everything You Need to Know About Plums by Emily Weeks, RDN, LD

Plums stand out with their delicious taste, vibrant colors, and extensive health benefits. Not only are they a delight to the palate, they're a versatile addition to many dishes. In fact, they are used in cuisines around the world. Here’s what you need to know about this tasty fruit and how to use it in your next meal.

Everything You Need to Know About Plums

What are Plums?

Plums are part of the stone fruit family, which includes cherries, apricots, and peaches. The term "stone fruit" comes from the large, hard pit or "stone" inside. There are over 200 varieties available across the globe. European plums are famous for their blue and purple colors, which are often used in making prunes. Japanese plums are known for their red and yellow hues and are juicy and sweet.
 
Fun fact: Prunes, a popular dried fruit snack, are actually dried plums. They’re known for their digestive benefits and are derived from specific plum varieties that have higher sugar content. Prunes are higher in calories, fiber, and carbs than fresh plums.

What Do Plums Taste Like?

Their unique flavor profile makes plums an all-time favorite. Depending on the type and ripeness, plums can be sweet, tart, or a blend of both. Their juicy flesh often bursts with flavor, making them a refreshing snack or a sweet addition to various dishes.

How to Purchase and Store Plums

When shopping for plums, look for firm fruits with a slight give, indicating ripeness. The skin should be smooth and free from blemishes. Once purchased, plums can be stored at room temperature to ripen and then transferred to the refrigerator to maintain freshness for up to two weeks.

How to Eat Plums

The joy of plums extends well beyond enjoying them fresh. They can be used in various culinary creations:
 
  • Salads: Sliced plums add a pop of color and tangy twist to salads.
  • Baking: Plums are wonderful in tarts, pies, and cakes.
  • Sauces and jams: Cooked down with citrus juice and spices, plums can transform into diabetes-friendly, delightful sauces and jams.
  • Grilled and roasted dishes: Grilled plums pair perfectly with meats and roasted vegetables.

Can People with Diabetes Eat Plums?

Yes! Plums can be part of a healthy eating plan to manage blood glucose (blood sugar) levels—and their fiber content can improve digestive health and bowel regularity, support a healthy gut, and aid in weight management efforts by enhancing feelings of fullness.

Other health benefits of plums include:
  • Potential risk reduction of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disorders through antioxidants, particularly vitamin C and phenols, that fight against harmful free radicals.
  • Improved heart health, healthy blood pressure levels, and potential hypertension and stroke prevention through potassium.
  • Potential prevention of osteoporosis through the positive effects on bone density.
  • Immune system support through an abundance of vitamins.
  • Supported skin health through collagen synthesis.
  • Improved eye health through vitamin A.
  • Enhanced cognitive function through phytonutrients.
 
Plums are more than just a tasty fruit, they're a celebration of flavor, versatility, and healthfulness. Whether you're exploring the local farmer's market or venturing into new culinary frontiers, plums can be a delicious and vibrant addition to your diet.

Try these plum recipes:

 Plum muffins - These plum muffins combine the goodness of juicy plums with diabetes-friendly ingredients, ensuring a satisfying treat that won't derail your meal eating plan and lets you savor the sweet moments.



 Plum salad with goat cheese and walnuts - Discover a delicious diabetes-friendly plum salad recipe featuring the perfect blend of sweet plums, creamy goat cheese, and crunchy walnuts. This balanced and nutritious salad is a delightful choice for managing your health while savoring bold flavors.

 Grilled chicken with plums and zucchini skewers - Elevate your diabetes-friendly dining with our savory grilled chicken skewers featuring succulent plum and zucchini. Indulge in a delectable blend of lean protein and low-glycemic fruits and veggies that's perfect for outdoor gatherings and weeknight meals.

Related Articles

  • Top Ten Recipes for 2023

    Top Ten Recipes for 2023

    Check out the most popular recipes on Diabetes Food Hub in 2023. These top recipes have some heavy-hitting favorites, from breakfast options to quick and easy weeknight meals. Haven’t tried these recipes yet? Make one of your 2024 resolutions to try them all!

  • Tips for Managing Diabetes and Heart Health

    Tips for Managing Diabetes and Heart Health

    Diabetes is a condition that affects the way the body processes blood glucose. High blood glucose levels (also known as hyperglycemia) can damage your body in different ways and make you more likely to develop heart disease or stroke. The good news is that you can help manage both—your cardiovascular risk and your diabetes—by eating smart and making healthy lifestyle choices.

  • 17 Tips for Better Grocery Shopping and Safer Food Handling

    17 Tips for Better Grocery Shopping and Safer Food Handling

    Whether you are someone who loves going to the grocery store or someone who dreads another store trip, navigating the grocery store aisles and safely managing your food at home plays a crucial role in your diabetes management journey.

  • 6 Tea-rrific Ways to Use Tea in Diabetes-Friendly Cooking

    6 Tea-rrific Ways to Use Tea in Diabetes-Friendly Cooking

    Are you a tea sipper? That’s a wise choice. Tea is like a cupful of wellbeing, brimming with naturally occurring antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds.

  • Low-Carb Meal Plan Tips

    Low-Carb Meal Plan Tips

    Having diabetes or prediabetes does not mean you have to cut out all carbs, but cutting back on some carb foods, or making some smart swaps may help with managing blood glucose. If you are looking to include more low carb meals in your meal plan, we’ve rounded up some breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas, plus some everyday tips for reducing carbs.

  • 4 Important Nutrients for Women

    4 Important Nutrients for Women

    Women’s bodies need a host of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. While it’s easy to take supplements for everything from iron and calcium to vitamin D and magnesium, it’s good (and much more delicious) to start by eating foods that naturally contain essential nutrients.

Recommended for You