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Nectarine vs. Plum — Nutrition Comparison and Health Impact

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Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan by Ani Harutyunyan | Last updated on January 24, 2024
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Nectarine
vs
Plum

Summary

Nectarines are richer in minerals, particularly magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. They also have more vitamin B1 and vitamin B3, and fiber

On the other hand, plums have two times more vitamin C than nectarines. Plums are also richer in vitamin A and vitamin K. 

Introduction

Both being members of the Rosaceae family, the plum and nectarine have a lot of similarities. These juicy fruits are packed with vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals. On the other hand, plums and nectarines differ in nutrient content. This article will discuss the general and nutritional differences and the health impacts of raw nectarines (1) and plums (2).

Taste and Appearance

The two fruits are from the same family (Rosaceae), so they share much. However, they differ in scent, color, and appearance.

Plums (Prunus domestica) are known for their red-purplish color and smooth, oval-sized exterior. Plums are native to China. They usually taste sweet or tangy.

The color of nectarines (Prunus persica var. nucipersica) is red, yellow, or white. They are larger than plums; their skin is not fuzzy. This is because the recessive allele responsible for soft skin is expressed in nectarines (3). The smell of nectarine is sweet, juicy, and peachy.

Nutrition

Vitamins

Vitamins are nutrients the human body cannot produce. Vitamins are abundant in fruits such as plums and nectarines.

Plums are high in vitamins C, B6, and K, although nectarines have more B1, B3, B5, and E.

Plums offer nearly twice as much vitamin C as nectarines, with 9.5mg per 100g compared to 5.4mg in nectarines.

For more detailed information, check the vitamin comparison chart below.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
4
Plum
Contains more Vitamin E +196.2%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +21.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +169.8%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +37%
Contains more Choline +226.3%
Contains more Vitamin C +75.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +16%
Contains more Vitamin K +190.9%
Equal in Vitamin A - 345
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.026
Equal in Folate - 5
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 20% 16% 0% 19% 9% 7% 22% 12% 6% 4% 0% 4% 6%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 21% 6% 0% 32% 7% 6% 8% 9% 7% 4% 0% 2% 16%
Contains more Vitamin E +196.2%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +21.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +169.8%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +37%
Contains more Choline +226.3%
Contains more Vitamin C +75.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +16%
Contains more Vitamin K +190.9%
Equal in Vitamin A - 345
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.026
Equal in Folate - 5

Minerals

Nectarine is the absolute winner in this section.

Nectarine is higher in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and copper than common plum.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
0
Plum
Contains more Iron +64.7%
Contains more Magnesium +28.6%
Contains more Phosphorus +62.5%
Contains more Potassium +28%
Contains more Zinc +70%
Contains more Copper +50.9%
Equal in Calcium - 6
Equal in Manganese - 0.052
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 2% 11% 7% 12% 18% 0% 5% 29% 8% 0%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 2% 7% 5% 7% 14% 0% 3% 19% 7% 0%
Contains more Iron +64.7%
Contains more Magnesium +28.6%
Contains more Phosphorus +62.5%
Contains more Potassium +28%
Contains more Zinc +70%
Contains more Copper +50.9%
Equal in Calcium - 6
Equal in Manganese - 0.052

Protein

Nectarines provide more protein than plums. They contain 1.1g per 100g of fruit, compared to 0.7g in plums.

Carbs

Large quantities of these chemicals can be found in all fruits. Plums have more carbs than nectarines. Plums have 11.4g of carbohydrates per 100g, while nectarines have 10.5g. Furthermore, nectarines have fewer sugars than plums. They contain less fructose but more starch.

Fiber

Nectarines are high in both forms of fiber, but especially soluble fibers, which help keep healthy blood glucose and cholesterol levels. The fiber level of nectarines is higher than that of plums. They have 1.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams of fruit, compared with 1.4 grams of plums.

Net carbs

Net carbs are the carbohydrates in food used to synthesize energy. You should subtract the amount of fiber from the total carbs in the food to get at this amount.

Plums provide 11.4 grams of carbs with 1.4 grams of fiber. On the other hand, nectarines provide 10.5 grams of carbohydrates and 1.7 grams of fiber per serving. Plums have 10 grams of net carbs, whereas nectarines have 8.8 grams. Finally, nectarines have a lower net carb content.

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
:
4
Plum
Contains more Starch +∞%
Contains more Sucrose +210.2%
Contains more Glucose +222.9%
Contains more Fructose +124.1%
Contains more Maltose +∞%
Contains more Galactose +∞%
62% 20% 17%
Starch: 0.07 g
Sucrose: 4.87 g
Glucose: 1.57 g
Fructose: 1.37 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
16% 51% 31%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 1.57 g
Glucose: 5.07 g
Fructose: 3.07 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0.08 g
Galactose: 0.14 g
Contains more Starch +∞%
Contains more Sucrose +210.2%
Contains more Glucose +222.9%
Contains more Fructose +124.1%
Contains more Maltose +∞%
Contains more Galactose +∞%

Fats

Lipids are not found in plums or nectarines in considerable quantities. Plums have 0.28 grams of fat per 100 grams of fruit, whereas nectarines have 0.32 grams. The two fruits are equal in cholesterol content: they do not contain a significant amount.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of nectarines is lower than that of plums. 

Nectarines have a glycemic index equal to 43, while plums have a GI equal to 53.

Nonetheless, both are considered low-GI foods.

Calories

Plums and nectarines have almost similar amounts of calories. However, the plum has 46 calories per 100g of fruit, compared to 44 for nectarines.

Health Impact

Cardiovascular Health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

Using nectarines and plums regularly may improve cardiovascular health. Both of them generate a significant quantity of compounds that support heart health.

This study found no beneficial effects of plums on blood pressure. On the other hand, another study indicates that eating plums may lower diastolic blood pressure. Based on these, further research is required for more accurate information (4.5). This effect is unknown for nectarine. 

According to studies, plum, and nectarine consumption may reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the blood. This effect is important for people with coronary artery disease (6.7.8).

Antioxidants

Toxic free radicals of oxygen can cause oxidative stress and kill all cells. Thus, antioxidants help to neutralize them (9). As a result, oxidative stress may cause cardiovascular disease (10), obesity (11), and Alzheimer's disease. Plums and nectarines are both high in antioxidants. These two fruits play a similar role in the organism's antioxidant defense.

Plums are especially rich in polyphenols, which defend against heart disease and diabetes (12). Research shows that plums provide nearly two times more polyphenols than nectarines and peaches (13).

Flavonoids and anthocyanins are nectarine antioxidants contributing to the fruit's flavor, scent, and appearance (14). Flavonoids help prevent age-related brain damage, whereas anthocyanins help reduce the risk of inflammation and heart disease (15).

Diabetes

These two fruits are good choices for people with diabetes. Plums help to regulate sugar levels by producing special chemicals. Nectarines are involved in maintaining blood glucose levels with the antioxidants they contain.

Consuming plums boosts adiponectin levels: this hormone is essential in blood sugar management (16). Plum consumption is also linked with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (17).

Nectarines' four major phenolic groups are catechins, anthocyanins, chlorogenic acids, and quercetins. These phenolic compounds are antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity properties (18).

Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: January 24, 2024
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

Nectarine vs Plum infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
:
1
Plum
Contains more Protein +51.4%
Contains more Fats +14.3%
Contains more Other +29.7%
Equal in Carbs - 11.42
Equal in Water - 87.23
11% 88%
Protein: 1.06 g
Fats: 0.32 g
Carbs: 10.55 g
Water: 87.59 g
Other: 0.48 g
11% 87%
Protein: 0.7 g
Fats: 0.28 g
Carbs: 11.42 g
Water: 87.23 g
Other: 0.37 g
Contains more Protein +51.4%
Contains more Fats +14.3%
Contains more Other +29.7%
Equal in Carbs - 11.42
Equal in Water - 87.23

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
:
2
Plum
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +156.8%
Contains less Saturated Fat -32%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +52.3%
11% 39% 50%
Saturated Fat: 0.025 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.088 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.113 g
9% 69% 23%
Saturated Fat: 0.017 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.134 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.044 g
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +156.8%
Contains less Saturated Fat -32%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +52.3%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Nectarine Plum
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Sodium Equal
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in price Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Nectarine Plum Opinion
Net carbs 8.85g 10.02g Plum
Protein 1.06g 0.7g Nectarine
Fats 0.32g 0.28g Nectarine
Carbs 10.55g 11.42g Plum
Calories 44kcal 46kcal Plum
Starch 0.07g 0g Nectarine
Fructose 1.37g 3.07g Plum
Sugar 7.89g 9.92g Nectarine
Fiber 1.7g 1.4g Nectarine
Calcium 6mg 6mg
Iron 0.28mg 0.17mg Nectarine
Magnesium 9mg 7mg Nectarine
Phosphorus 26mg 16mg Nectarine
Potassium 201mg 157mg Nectarine
Zinc 0.17mg 0.1mg Nectarine
Copper 0.086mg 0.057mg Nectarine
Manganese 0.054mg 0.052mg Nectarine
Vitamin A 332IU 345IU Plum
Vitamin A RAE 17µg 17µg
Vitamin E 0.77mg 0.26mg Nectarine
Vitamin C 5.4mg 9.5mg Plum
Vitamin B1 0.034mg 0.028mg Nectarine
Vitamin B2 0.027mg 0.026mg Nectarine
Vitamin B3 1.125mg 0.417mg Nectarine
Vitamin B5 0.185mg 0.135mg Nectarine
Vitamin B6 0.025mg 0.029mg Plum
Folate 5µg 5µg
Choline 6.2mg 1.9mg Nectarine
Vitamin K 2.2µg 6.4µg Plum
Tryptophan 0.005mg 0.009mg Plum
Threonine 0.009mg 0.01mg Plum
Isoleucine 0.009mg 0.014mg Plum
Leucine 0.014mg 0.015mg Plum
Lysine 0.016mg 0.016mg
Methionine 0.006mg 0.008mg Plum
Phenylalanine 0.021mg 0.014mg Nectarine
Valine 0.013mg 0.016mg Plum
Histidine 0.008mg 0.009mg Plum
Saturated Fat 0.025g 0.017g Plum
Monounsaturated Fat 0.088g 0.134g Plum
Polyunsaturated fat 0.113g 0.044g Nectarine

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Nectarine Plum
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
9%
Nectarine
9%
Plum
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
9%
Nectarine
6%
Plum

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Plum
Plum is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.008g)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Nectarine
Nectarine is lower in Sugar (difference - 2.03g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Nectarine
Nectarine is lower in glycemic index (difference - 10)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Nectarine
Nectarine is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Sodium?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sodium (0 mg)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($0.5)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Nectarine - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169914/nutrients
  2. Plum - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169949/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.