Plum Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/03/22 •  9 min read
plum benefits and side effects

Health

Plum health benefits may include:

Plum health side effects may include:

Plums are…

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Teach Kids Where Our Food Comes From. Look Inside!

Environment

Water footprint: low, 2,180 liters of water used to produce 1 kilogram of plums / 261 gallons of water used to produce 1 pound of plums

Carbon footprint: low, 0.22 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fresh plums, a car driving equivalent of 0.5 miles or 0.75 kilometers

Destruction: low, plum production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Plums are…

Animals

Kills: none, plum production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, plum production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from plum production, buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Plums are…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Plums…

Where do most plums come from?

The world’s top plum producing country is Turkey, followed by Uzbekistan and Iran. The world’s top plum exporting country is Chile, followed by Spain, Hong Kong, South Africa, USA, Italy, Uzbekistan, Netherlands, Germany and Portugal. In the United States plums may be produced domestically or they are imported from Chile.

Are plums nutritious?

Yes! Plums are high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, folate.

plums are mildly acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Are plums alkaline or acidic? Plums are mildly acidic. What is the pH level of plums? Plums have a 6.5 pH level once digested. Canned, dried and processed plums are acidic foods. Most fresh fruits are alkaline.

When you eat food, it is broken down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

plums are gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Are plums gluten free? Yes, plums are gluten free. Plums do not contain gluten when fresh. Plums are a type of fruit, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

plums are not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Are plums a common food allergen? No, plums are not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to plums but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

plums have a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Do plums have a high or low water footprint? Plums have a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of plums? It takes 2,180 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of plums / 261 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of plums.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

plums have a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Do plums have a high or low carbon footprint? Plums have a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of plums? It takes around 0.22 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fresh plums, a car driving equivalent of 0.5 miles or 0.75 kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

plums are sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, are plums eco friendly? Are plums sustainable?

Plum production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

plums are vegan.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Are plums vegan? Yes, plums are vegan. Plums are a fruit and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

plums may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Are plums a product associated with labor concerns?

At this time there have been no major concerns associated with plum production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can face harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Conclusion

Plum pros include:

Plum cons include:

Sources:

Plums, raw – FoodData Central

Plums – SNAP-Ed Connection – USDA

Plum Grades and Standards | Agricultural Marketing Service

Adriane Marie

As an educator, author and conscious consumer advocate, I study and organize ethical info for you to quickly see how our purchases impact animals, people and the planet. I hope you find this HEALabel knowledge useful and can apply it to your life for personal and societal improvement and empowerment.