Stone Fruits Rival Blueberries in Antioxidant Prowess

When it comes to flavor and disease-fighting potential, don’t overlook the humble plum.

Medically reviewed in April 2021

Updated on February 3, 2022

Blueberries are often held up as the emblem of healthy fruits. They’re high in fiber and well-fortified in disease-fighting antioxidants. But there's a type of fruit that stands up to the reigning antioxidant champ—and you'd be plum foolish not to try them.

Stone fruits—and specifically, certain varieties of plums and peaches—may have antioxidant levels on par with those of the nutrient-packed berries.

A 2009 study published in Acta Horticulturae showed that red-fleshed plums and red-fleshed peaches generally contained levels of phenolics and anthocyanins—two major disease-fighting antioxidants—that were equal to those of blueberries. (Yellow and white peaches and nectarines had levels that were not as high.) Next time you’re in the produce aisle, ask your grocer about red-fleshed plum and peach varieties.

The disease-fighting connection
In laboratory studies, antioxidants in certain peach and plum varieties inhibited one type of breast cancer cell, and certain varieties of plums, peaches, and nectarines reduced LDL (aka “bad” cholesterol) oxidation, as well. The fact that they are also delicious is one more reason to seek out these often-overlooked fruits.

Article sources open article sources

Byrne DH, Noratto GD, Cisneros-Zavallos L, Porter W. Health benefits of peach, nectarine and plums. Acta Horticulturae 841:267-273, Aug 2009.

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