“An apple is an excellent thing – until you have tried a peach.”
— George du Maurier
With their sunset look of red and orange tint, sweet aroma, and gorgeous appearance, Peaches surely catch our curiosity lying next to apples in farmer markets.
You’ll be glad to discover that they aren’t just delicious with deadly looks; they are actually with a ton of good-for-you nutrients and with several health benefits, too.
Here, in this article, we will look at the health benefits of peaches that come with every bite to the delicious and creative ways you can eat them. We will cover :
2. Peach Vs. Apricot
3. How To Eat Peaches
4. Peach Benefits
5. Varieties of Peaches
Peach (Prunus persica), a fruit tree of the rose family (Rosaceae), is a deciduous tree native to the region of Northwest China. 1<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4660870/>
The specific name persica is based on its widespread farming in Persia (today it’s referred to as Iran) and later harvested in Europe.
It is a part of the genus Prunus, which includes cherry, apricot, almond, and plum in the rose family.
Peach meaning in Hindi is ‘Aadu’ and, as a noun, also means attractive person.
A fun fact about peaches is that they do not ripen (become sweeter) once picked; they soften (due to enzymes and bacterial action). Peaches get their flavor from their variety, not their color.
One cup of diced Peach (155 g) provides 65.5 calories,1.41 g of protein,0.42 g of fat,15.7 g of carbs, 13 g of sugar,2.32 g of fiber, and trace amounts of vitamins A, E, and K, as well as magnesium and phosphorus 2<https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102677/nutrients>
Peach Vs. Apricot
Peaches and apricots are two popular summertime stone fruits with fuzzy skin, similar coloring, and sweet fleshy inside.
They are both part of the same Prunus family, a genus classified by a hard shell surrounding its seed in the fruit’s center. That hard shell and kernel are referred to as stone, so they are commonly called stone fruits.
Though they’re similar in color and shape, they have their unique characteristics; not only do they have a distinct flavor, and more importantly, they have different water content.
Differences are due to :
Size-One apricot (35 grams) is approximately 1/4 the size of a small peach (130 grams)
Taste-Peaches have higher sugar and water contents than apricots, making them taste sweeter. When ripe and fresh, apricots are both sweet and tart, while peaches are generally just sweet.
Nutrition– Peaches provide higher nutrients in a single serving, including potassium, vitamin C, and beta carotene. Apricots also contain similar nutrients but in lesser amounts.
No matter which stone fruit we choose to eat, one can’t go wrong with any of them.
To know more about apricots, read the article below.
How To Eat Peaches
1)Raw-Eat the peach-like apple. Slice and eat them or dice and add its juicy sweetness to summer salads
2)Breakfast-Peach slices are a great addition to hot or cold cereals, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
3)Grill-Fire them up on a grill with your favorite meat or kebabs or turned into sassy salsas and sauces.
4)Drink them– Peel and pit peaches and drink them up in smoothies, sangrias, and cocktails
5)Bake/Broil/Saute-For a delicious snack or side dish, warm some peach slices using one of these cooking methods and pair them with meats and fish in savory peach recipes. They can be churned into ice cream and sorbet and baked into pies, cakes, muffins.
Peaches are very low in calories with no saturated fats, packed with numerous health-promoting compounds, minerals, and vitamins. A few of the health benefits of peaches are;
Good for Digestion
A cup of diced peaches contains 2.52 g of fiber, half of which is soluble fiber, while the other half is insoluble.
Fiber also enables the movement of processed and unprocessed food particles through the gut, reducing bowel activity’s constipation and smooth functioning. 3<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23326148/>
High-fiber foods may also protect us from other health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and colorectal cancer 4<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257631/>
Read to learn more about Fiber
May Reduce Cancer Risk
Research published by the USDA suggests peaches are rich in phenolic and carotenoid compounds, which possess anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties. 5<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12576693/>
Another research published by the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry reveals that it also helps fight various cancers such as lung cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer. 6<http://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/28/4B/2067.short>, 7<https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jcb.240590830>
Studies have supported that peaches exert beneficial effects in inhibiting breast cancer cells’ growth without influencing the normal cells, not like chemotherapy, which may negatively affect healthy cells. 8<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19530711/>, 9<https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602111145.htm>
May Improve Eyesight
An antioxidant called beta-carotene gives peaches their pretty golden-orange color. When we eat it, our body turns it into vitamin A, key for healthy vision. An investigative study has suggested that the carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin present in peaches might positively affect the human eye and skin. 10<https://www.macular.org/lutein>, 11<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19168000/>
May improve Immune System.
Fresh peaches are a modest source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and zinc, required for resistance against infections and a healthy immune system. They also assist in the building of connective tissue inside the human body. 12<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16373990/>
May Improve Heart Health
Researchers have suggested that the phenolic compounds present in the clingstone peel and pulp peaches may help maintain lower LDL levels (bad) and improve HDL (good) cholesterol. They may also reduce the risk of developing diseases related to the heart and maintaining optimal cardiovascular health. 13<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10691607/>, 14<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25801980/>, 15<http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-2457.pdf>
Peaches are hydrating, as over 85% of fresh Peach is water, and since it is high in fiber, it can be more filling. When one eats them, it takes longer to feel hungry again and may be beneficial for weight loss.
Varieties of Peaches
More than 300 varieties of peaches are present worldwide that are for commercial cultivation. They can be classified as clingstone, freestone, or semi-freestone / semi-clingstone, depending on how the fruit’s flesh clings to the pit.
Stones / Pits
Freestone: As its name suggest, the stone is easily removed from this variety, making it the right choice for eating fresh. They may be more sizeable than clingstones, with a denser, less juicy texture, but still sweet. They are perfect for home canning, freezing, and baking purposes.
Semi-freestone is a newer hybrid type of clingstone and freestone. It is suitable for general purposes, both fresh and canned.
Clingstone is named because the flesh clings stubbornly to the stone or pit. The flesh is yellow, with a bright red tinge closest to the pit. They have a soft surface, are juicier and sweeter, and perfect for desserts, jellies, jams, and preserving. Although clingstones are tasty to be eaten fresh, they are seldom found in the local market.
Peach Flesh Color
Yellow – Most peaches have a yellow outer flesh that ranges from a light yellow to an orange-yellow or even streaked with red.
White – White fleshed peaches are usually a variant of the Asian variety. The flavors are the same, although many people say they taste sweeter.
Other Peach Types
Donut Peaches – A relatively new peaches group has flatter or saucer-shaped, more like a doughnut with a small clingstone pit.
Nectarines are a genetically modified version of peaches that produce skin without the fuzz. Essentially, that is the only difference. But are regarded commercially as different fruits.
Some adults and children can develop an allergy to stone fruits, including peaches. The allergy may be especially true for people with birch pollen allergies because the protein in birch pollen is similar to peach protein. Common peach allergy symptoms may include an itchy mouth or throat or swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat. 16<https://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergies/types-food-allergy/oral-allergy-syndrome>, 17<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6082810/>
Peach skin likely contains more pesticides than the flesh, so wash peaches well with water, peel them before eating them, or choose certified organic ones.
Peaches are a Chinese symbol of longevity and immortality. However, they may not be superfoods but are a natural wonder that can boost and improve our heart health, skin, nerves, bones, and teeth.
Peaches are in season during the summer. Include them when they are freshest and have the most flavor and nutritional value.
It is best to choose peaches with tight and fuzzy skin and preferably an intermediary snack in moderation.
What do you think about the article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!
Sources & References