One of my favorite things about summer months is the fresh fruit and vegetables. I find it super relaxing going to the local farmer markets and picking out some of the amazing produce they offer, and in particular – peaches. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits that peaches offer.
1. According to a study from Texas A&M, stone fruit like peaches, plums and nectarines have been shown to ward off obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.
2. Peaches can be a good source of dietary fiber. A fairly large piece weighing around 175 grams can provide 3 grams of dietary fiber. As you may know, this is a highly recommended nutrient that among other things reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and keeps your digestive system workout properly. It can also help to keep your cholesterol levels in check.
3. Here are some of the beneficial phytochemicals that can be found in peaches:
· Chlorogenic acid – regulates the breakdown of lipids and fatty acids and thus improves body weight.
· Gallic acid – found to be toxic on cancer cells but relatively harmless on normal cells.
· Ellagic acid – can alleviate inflammation and wrinkles caused by ultraviolet radiation.
· Anthocyanins – a substance also abundant in berries, this phytochemical can be found in red-fleshed peaches and has been studied for its anti-diabetic properties.
· Rutin – one of the main flavonols in clingstone type peaches (the seed is more attached to the meat), this substance has been found to protect the liver by reducing accumulation of fatty acid in the organ.
4. Potassium is also found in larger amounts in peaches. For us as athletes, potassium is essential in making sure that our bodies recover fast after a hard workout. This makes peaches an excellent post-workout snack, which can help get your body some healthy carbohydrates. Do not forget, 1 peach = 1 block of carbs.
5. As an excellent source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C, peaches can also help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. Eating peaches in natural form can help with reducing wrinkles, improving overall skin texture, and with fighting skin damage caused by the sun and pollution.
6. Peaches serve as a healthy stress-reliever that helps reduce anxiety. Peaches are often referred to as the ‘Fruit of Calmness’ in Hungary.
7. Peaches have a diuretic effect which helps cleanse your kidneys and bladder.
Peaches are low in calories (100 g just provide 39 calories), and contain no saturated fats. Nonetheless, they are packed with numerous health promoting compounds, minerals, and vitamins. Peaches are now in season across much of the United States, so do not miss out and make sure to take advantage of this great carb.
Fun Peach Trivia
-In China, this fruit is a symbol of good luck, protection and longevity.
-Renoir encouraged students to improve their painting skills by reproducing the textures and colors of peaches.
-This fruit is a member of the Rosaceae family and is a close relative of almonds.
-August is National Peach Month in the USA (since 1982!)
-The peach tree is often considered to be the tree of life.
-Georgia is the Peach State, but California produces about 50 percent of the USA peaches.
-China is the biggest producer of peaches and Italy is the second.
-The world’s largest peach cobbler is 11 feet by 5 feet, and made every year in Georgia.
-Close relatives of almonds, peach seeds are used as an almond oil substitute in cosmetic preparations.
-Peaches have a long history of being used around the world.