And today we are preaching peaches. After reading all about the benefits of peaches you’d definitely want to stock your fruit basket with them.
With their beautiful skin, sweet scent, and sensual appearance, peaches are quite alluring and could catch your attention in just a minute. They are fully loaded with health-promoting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and flavonoids.
The peach belongs to the genus, Prunus Persia and includes the cherry, apricot, plum, and almond. The fruit of this sweetly scented fruit has yellow or whitish flesh and skin with different textures, either velvety or smooth depending on its cultivar.
The fuzzy skin of peaches is red with a blend of yellow- typical of the daily disappearance of the sun towards the evening (sunset).
This perfect summer fruit, similar to nectarine, has juicy and buttery flesh. Peaches are regarded as drupes or stone fruits because their edible seed is protected by a shell that is surrounded by flesh.
Read on to know more about the benefits of peaches and the creative ways you can use them.
A little peach lesson
Peaches have long been in existence for more than 3000 years and deserve to be respected. The stone fruit made its way to the “new world” from China by the Spanish missionaries in 1571. Presently, China cultivates more than 1000 varieties of peaches, all very unique.
In the United States, more than 100 peach varieties are cultivated and its flesh can be white or yellow in color.
varieties have a similar taste to that of honey and have low acidity. Their peaches are intensely fragrant with a delicate flavor making them great for salads, desserts, and cakes.
This sweet fruit can be eaten out of hand even when firm or soft. The skin is rosy-yellow and pale.
varieties are the quintessential peaches. Its flesh is juicy, aromatic, and sweet. The flesh of the yellow peach is golden in color with red bleeds on the skin.
The skin is fuzzy with red, pink, and gold hues blushed throughout. Yellow peaches are often referred to as a traditional “true” peach because of their classic and unique flavor, balanced acidity, and sugar for an excellent flavor.
They are great for pies, savory salads, and fresh salsas.
Peaches are also distinguished by their pit, also known as the stone. Clingstone and freestone are the varieties. They can be white or even yellow.
Clingstone peaches have their pit stuck to the flesh: never letting go. Clingstone peaches are best peeled and served sliced or whole, exactly why it is best for canning since the pits are mechanically removed.
A freestone peach is one that doesn’t have a stone attached to the flesh. These peaches are easily enjoyed at home since the pit can be removed with just a gentle twist.
The perfect pitch is definitely a story and a memory: how you purchase it and how it is enjoyed.
Getting a peach fruit from a roadside farm where it is grown or a market will determine your peach story. Most peaches sold in the market have long stayed but look quite attractive and hard while neatly and creatively heaped in a basket.
The skin slowly wrinkles and the insides change color and trust me, this can be really disappointing. Although their skin is still fuzzy with a buttery flavor, local markets peaches are worth a try.
Or better still, locate a peach farmer and purchase your fruit when it is still fresh, juicy, buttery, or hard.
Peaches at commercial grocery stores are mechanically brushed after harvest to remove the peach fuzzy skin.
It is not the growth that makes most commercially sold peaches at the local market or stores somewhat disappointing. It is the process of shipping and distributing that we should blame for this.
So, what most consumers do is directly purchase from the farmers’ market by picking the fruit themselves.
Nutrition facts of peaches
Most benefits of peaches can be traced to their nutritional content. Peaches are juicy because of their high water content. According to the USDA, 100g of peach contains 89% of water content, hence, they are nutrient-dense and very hydrating.
Their hydrating property helps to promote weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness. Also, the body needs enough water to function properly, and eating peaches can deliver your body with just the amount it needs.
Peaches are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that promote health, boost body systems and prevent the risk of chronic infections.
10mg vitamin C: 17% of the recommended daily value
489 international unit (IU) vitamin A: 10% of the DV
285mg potassium:8% of the DV
Niacin: 6% of the DV
Vitamin E: 5% of the DV
Vitamin K: 5% of the DV
Manganese: 5% of the DV
Benefits of peaches
The amazing benefits of peaches will leave you home munching on it all day.
Peaches promote healthy digestion. A medium-sized peach provides 2 grams of fiber and you know what fiber-rich foods are good for? Slowing digestion, relieving constipation, and many more.
Peaches contain half of the soluble fiber and half of the insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber provides bacteria that feeds gut cells and reduces or improves symptoms of digestive disorders.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool for a regular bowel movement and also helps food move through your gut, reducing the risk of constipation.
Also, the high water content of peaches can promote digestion by reducing bloating and enhancing bowel activity. Peaches act as a diuretic so your kidneys and bladders are clean- to improve digestion.
Promotion of Vision Health
Peaches are rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin that promote heart health. Lutein and zeaxanthin prevent the risk of macular degeneration by protecting the macular.
A study found that people suffering from age-related macular degeneration experienced a reduction in vision loss when they consumed lutein or combined it with other antioxidants.
May Improve Heart Health
Eating foods rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C can support heart health. A medium-sized peach contains 2g of dietary fiber, 285mg of potassium, and 10mg of vitamin C.
Peaches contain bioactive compounds that may help reduce the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, cholesterol level, and triglyceride level.
Aid Weight Loss
Peaches are significantly low in calories, meaning you can start your day with this fruit to naturally lose weight. Peaches are good sources of fiber that promote satiety levels and therefore contribute to Weight loss.
Consuming 30 grams of fiber a day can promote weight loss, reduce cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure.
A study shows that consuming fruits rich in dietary fiber can be a critical step in curbing the obesity epidemic.
The water content in peaches is enough to make you feel full for a long time. And this will reduce cravings and hunger pangs, help you consume fewer calories throughout the day and promote weight loss.
Can Prevent Cancer
While peaches do not treat this dreaded and killer disease, they can prevent its occurrence. Multiple studies have stated and confirmed the benefit of peaches to prevent cancer.
One study stated that the polyphenols in peaches reduced the growth and limited the spread of cancer cells in a test tube. Peach polyphenols have also been shown to kill cancerous cells without damaging normal and healthy ones.
Peaches are rich in carotenoids and caffeic acid- antioxidants that have anticancer properties.
In a study done on animals, polyphenols were actually effective in preventing breast cancer from growing and spreading.
In another study, postmenopausal women who consumed 2 peaches a day had the risk of breast cancer reduced by 41%. However, more research on this topic is needed.
According to a report published by the University of Minnesota, peaches are excellent sources of antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, and E and selenium which can aid detoxification.
Peaches contain nutrients that can protect your body from certain types of toxins. In a study, peach extracts given to smokers increased the removal of nicotine through the urine. It was concluded that white-fleshed peaches could increase the metabolism of toxic components in tobacco smoke in smokers.
Is an Immunity Booster
Vitamin C is beneficial to boost the immune system. A medium-sized peach contains 10mg of vitamin C which is about 17% of the daily recommended value
Vitamin C is important for the protection of the immune system. Peaches also contain anti-microbial properties and vitamin A. All of these helps to boost the immune system and prevent the risk of infection and illnesses.
Benefits of peaches in pregnancy
It is safe to eat peaches during pregnancy as they are rich in vitamins and minerals necessary for baby development. It is ideal for pregnant women to consume no more than 500g of peaches per day.
Excessive consumption of peaches can raise body temperature and result in bleeding.
As a pregnant woman, it is best to limit the intake of peaches if you have been diagnosed with high blood sugar.
Peaches supply vitamin C which is essential for the formation of a baby’s teeth, muscles, blood vessels, and bones. Vitamin C also aids the absorption of iron to prevent anemia.
Folic acid is essential in your first trimester. While you may not have folic supplements, you can enjoy peaches and receive their own dose of folic acid. Folic acid develops the baby’s spine and brain and also prevents neural tube defects (NTDs).
Peaches are low in calories and can help you after delivery to lose all of that baby weight.
Peaches contain magnesium. Magnesium prevents premature uterine contractions, leg cramps, and constipation during pregnancy.
The fiber content in peaches can help prevent digestive problems such as constipation, indigestion, and other gastrointestinal issues that may occur during pregnancy.
Potassium reduces common symptoms of pregnancy such as anxiety, swollen ankles and feet, fatigue, mood swings, and other uneasiness. Peaches contain potassium which also helps to maintain optimal fluid balance in the body of the mother and baby.
Peaches contain beta-carotene essential for boosting the immune system in mother and baby.
Benefits of peaches for skin
The peach extract is a lux ingredient that can add radiance to your skin. Filled with vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and natural chemicals, peaches are great for all skin types- sensitive or irritated. The following are the benefits of peaches for your skin:
Peaches regenerate the skin tissue and combat dry skin
As a common ingredient in most anti-aging skincare products, peaches help to reduce wrinkles.
Peaches contain proteins and antioxidants that help to heal the skin when applied topically or eaten.
Peaches are loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals that protect your skin from ultraviolet rays and prevent radical damage.
Peaches are great exfoliators and moisturizers because they contain vitamins.
A peach face mask can reduce age spots, blemishes, under-eye circles, and scars from acne.
Peach Face Mask
1 tablespoon peach puree
2 teaspoon thick yogurt
Mix the puree and yogurt in a small bowl thoroughly till its consistency is smooth.
Apply all over your face and neck
Leave for 15-20 minutes and wash with warm water
Peach Face Mask 2
1 tablespoon peach puree
2 teaspoon brown sugar
Few drops of virgin olive oil
Mix the peach puree and brown sand in a bowl
Add olive oil and mix
Apply on your face and leave for 15-20 minutes
Wash with warm water
Peaches have a pleasant scent since it is part of the rose family. The sweeter the scent, the riper the peach. When selecting peaches, be aware of their scent.
Peaches are easily bruised, although they should be soft to touch. To know if it is ripe, press it a little bit and feel it slightly give.
When selecting peaches, try to avoid brownish, bruised, and wrinkled, and spotted fruits. They might have been damaged during transportation and distribution or they are overripe.
If your peaches are too firm, place them on your countertop and leave for one to three days.
If you do not plan on eating them within one week, store them in your refrigerator to avoid them becoming overripe. Ripe peaches can become frozen. To avoid browning, slice them and paint their flesh with lemon juice.
In case you are opting for canned peaches, choose a variety stored with water rather than syrup as it is healthy. Syrups contain sugar and extra calories.
Fresh peaches are more nutritious, frozen comes next, and then canned peaches