Peaches are one of the best things that nature has made. They are soft and sweet, have a wonderful smell, taste great cooked or raw, and are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Peaches may be good for your health in many ways, like helping your body digest food better, keeping your heart healthy, boosting your immune system, and easing allergy symptoms. Maxine Smith, RDN, LD, a registered dietitian, explains why this fuzzy fruit is so peachy keen.
What peaches are good for you
Stone fruits include peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, and nectarines. Stone fruits, like their name suggests, have a stone-like pit in the middle. Peaches can be white or yellow, and they have a lot of health benefits.
One large peach, which weighs about 147 grammes, has:
- 68 calories.
- 2 grammes fibre.
- 1.3 grammes protein.
Peaches are also a good source of some vitamins and minerals, especially:
- Vitamin C.
- Vitamin A.
Peaches are good for your health.
Smith talks about some of the other good things about peaches besides the fact that they are tasty.
A healthy heart
All fruits are important for a healthy heart, but peaches might have some benefits that aren’t shared by other fruits. Animal studies have shown that peach extract can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Peaches also have a fair amount of potassium, which is an important nutrient for keeping blood pressure in check.
Smith says that peaches have both soluble and insoluble fibre. “Soluble fibre helps keep blood sugar levels steady and keeps cholesterol in check. Insoluble fibre helps digestion and keeps you from getting backed up. You can get the most fibre from the fruit by eating the skin.
Peaches may make your stomach happy in other ways besides giving you fibre. Some research suggests that peach flower tea and extracts may help digestion.
less pain and swelling
Peaches and other plant-based foods contain polyphenols, which are micronutrients, and prebiotics, which are live bacteria that can reduce inflammation. This can lower your risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Stronger immune system
Peaches are good for you because they have antioxidants like vitamin C, polyphenols, and carotenoids in their fuzzy skin and juicy flesh. Antioxidants are chemicals found in plants that protect cells from damage. Diets high in antioxidants can help protect your body from ageing and diseases like cancer. In fact, scientists have found that some types of breast cancer were less common in postmenopausal women who ate at least two servings of peaches a week.
Some research has also shown that extracts from peach pits might make the body less sensitive to allergens. There needs to be more research, but this is an interesting hint that peaches might help the immune system in more ways than one.
Smith says that peaches have a moderate amount of beta carotene, which is a reddish-orange pigment found in fruits. Beta carotene is turned into vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A is an important vitamin for healthy eyesight.
When applied to the skin, extracts made from peach pits or peach flowers might help protect the skin from UV damage and keep it from drying out. Even though more research needs to be done, this could be another reason to love peaches.
How to pick a peach and store it
Follow your nose when you’re shopping in the produce section. Peaches that smell sweet are often the ones that taste the best and are the ripest.
Let your peaches sit out at room temperature for a few days if they are very firm and don’t smell very good. Put ripe peaches in the fridge to keep them from going bad. You can also cut fresh peaches into slices and freeze them for later use.
Smith says that fresh peaches tend to have more antioxidants than canned peaches and that canned peaches are often peeled, which is a waste because a lot of antioxidants are in the soft, fuzzy skin.
Also, peaches in a can are often covered in sweet syrup. If you want to buy peaches in a can, read the label to make sure there are no extra sugars.
What to do with a peach
Peaches can be used in a lot of different ways. You can grill, saute, or bake them. Try new things:
- For a healthy dessert, mix peaches, berries, and a bit of dark chocolate.
- Make a sweet and spicy salsa with chopped peaches.
- Peaches can be grilled and served with pork chops or in a cinnamon-flavoured dessert.
- Smoothies can be made with either fresh or frozen peaches.
- For a sweet treat, slice peaches and add them to salads, oatmeal, or yoghurt.
Or you could just eat a fresh, juicy peach by itself. This tasty fruit has nothing bad about it.