Peach: Health Benefits, Nutritional Value, and Some Healthy Recipes
Peaches are a member of the rose family. Peaches usually grow in warm temperate regions. People widely consume them as fresh fruit or prepare them as cobblers and pies. The flesh of the peach fruit may be white, yellow or red, depending on the variety of peach fruit. They have a fuzzy outer skin that is edible. In addition, peaches are very sweet, juicy and contain tons of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
However, a fruit variety from the peach family, nectarines, does not have fuzzy skin.
Nutritional Properties of Peach Fruit
100 grams of a peach contains:
- Calories: 42 Kcal
- Carbohydrate: 10g
- Protein: 0.9g
- Dietary fibre: 1.5g
- Sodium: 13mg
- Potassium: 122mg
- Iron: 0.3mg
- Calcium: 4mg
- Vitamin C: 4.1mg
- Vitamin K1: 3mcg
- Sugar: 8.1g
100g serving of peach fruit also contains:
- Carbohydrates: 86%
- Protein: 9%
- Fats: 5%
Different Varieties of Peach Fruit
Depending on the type of pit (seed), peaches are of three types:
1. Freestone Peach
The category has various types of peach fruits:
- Early Amber
- Fay Elberta
- Golden Jubilee
These fruits tend to be large and have yellow flesh, which is quite firm and have a very sweet taste.
2. Clingstones Peach
The fruit flesh in clingstone peaches tightly clings around the peach pit. Therefore it gets the name clingstone. It is almost impossible to remove the pit from the flesh in some of its fruits.
Some commonly found types of Clingstone Peach are:
- Garnet Beauty
- June Gold
- Ruby Prince
The flesh in this variety of peach is much softer than freestone peach fruits. The flesh is yellow, juicier and sweeter. However, these peach fruits are a little more acidic than the freestone variety. Therefore, it is recommended not to consume these fruits raw. Instead, you will find these fruits in cans, jams, jellies and desserts.
This category is a hybrid of freestone and clingstone peach varieties.
A few types of peaches in this category are:
- Red Haven
- Florida Dawn
- Dixie Red
These peaches are white or yellow and have a sweet flavour.
While selecting peach fruit, you can keep a few things in mind. First, depending on the purpose, you can choose the peach variety. For example, clingstone peach fruits are best for baking and making fun recipes. At the same time, the freestone variety is much sweeter and can be eaten raw.
10 Amazing Health Benefits of Peach Fruit 1. Rich in Nutrients and Antioxidants
Peach fruits offer a wide range of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial plant-based compounds. These compounds are natural antioxidants. Also, various phenolic compounds present in peaches add to its antioxidant properties. You can get these antioxidants from the skin and the flesh.
Fresh peach fruits have a higher amount of antioxidants than canned fruits.
2. Aids in Healthy Digestion
One medium-sized peach provides upto 2g of fibre. It is a mix of both soluble and insoluble fibre.
The insoluble fibre in the fruit helps in healthy bowel movement. That is because it reduces the likelihood of constipation. On the other hand, the soluble fibre provides many good bacteria, which help maintain a healthy gut. They also contain short-chain fatty acids, which help improve digestive tract health by reducing inflammation.
3. Improves Heart Health
A study shows that eating peach fruit may lower the risk of developing heart diseases, such as high blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels. In addition, the high potassium levels found in peaches also help maintain a healthy balance between electrolyte levels in the body and maintain high blood pressure.
4. Peach Fruit Reduces Allergy Symptoms
The amounts of vitamin C, K1, polyphenols and antioxidants help improve the body’s immune system. Vitamin C helps relieve various allergic conditions. The antioxidants help repair cell damage, prevent ageing and decrease the chances of cancer.
5. Cancer Prevention
Peach skin and flesh are rich in caffeic acids and carotenoids (antioxidants). As per studies, caffeic acids and carotenoids have anti-cancerous properties. As a result, eating peach fruits may help prevent cancer.
Peaches are also rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that reduces the growth of cancer cells. As per test tube studies, it also helps limit the spread of cancer cells in the body.
A study on postmenopausal women shows that women who consumed two peaches per day exhibited a 41% lower risk of developing breast cancer.
6. Peach Fruit for Improving Eyesight
A deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the body may result in poor eyesight. Peach fruit is rich in vitamin A, carotenoids and beta carotenes. As a result, it helps improve vision. Carotenoids and beta carotenes are essential for the eye cells, responsible for image perception.
7. Cholesterol Management
Peach fruit does not contain any cholesterol. So, overall, it is a very healthy fruit. It is also very beneficial in dealing with cholesterol spikes in the blood. Since peach is rich in fibre, it helps scrape excess cholesterol from arteries and reduces the risk of clogged arteries.
8. Skin Benefits of Peach Fruit
A healthy diet rich in nutrients is essential to achieve healthy and glowing skin. Therefore, it is also vital to have a balanced diet. Including peaches in your diet can help achieve that. The high amount of vitamin C, K1 and various antioxidants help protect the skin from oxidative damage. Vitamin K1 also helps defend the skin against UV radiation and chemical stress.
Excess UV exposure may increase the chances of developing skin cancer and other skin diseases due to UV-A and UV-B. Vitamin K helps protect the skin against these radiations. As a result, it reduces the chances of developing these disorders.
9. Healthy Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, doctors and nutritionists advise having nutrition-rich foods which are not processed or artificially preserved.
Eating peach fruit can help have a healthy pregnancy. That is because it contains high dietary fibre, iron, folate, and Vitamin C. Folate present in the peach fruit ensures the proper absorption of iron from the other food that you eat.
10. Improves Iron Levels in the Body
Iron is essential for the body to make haemoglobin. In addition, haemoglobin is necessary for healthy oxygen transport to all body cells. Therefore, including adequate iron-rich foods in your diet is vital. Women need to eat an iron-rich diet and maintain iron levels in the body.
One hundred grams of peach fruit contains 0.3mg of iron. Therefore, including a healthy portion of peach in your diet can help improve the iron levels in your body.
Peaches are an excellent choice, whether you have diabetes or not. The Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of peaches are 28 and 3, respectively. These values are considerably low and safe.
Peaches are rich in insoluble fibres that add bulk to stool and thus make bowel movement easy. Therefore, peaches can help relieve constipation, a common complaint in diabetes patients.
Peaches also have loads of bioactive compounds like quercetin, catechins and cyanidin derivatives , which increases metabolism. Also, peach fruits have few fats, making them great for diabetes management.
Recipes 1. Peach Smoothie
- Servings: 4
- Preparation Time: 5min
- Peach Fruit (sliced): 128 g
- Vanilla Yoghurt: 118 ml
- Ice Cubes: 3-4 pieces
- Unsweetened Milk: 118 ml
- Mix all the ingredients in a blender and blend
- Pulse the ingredients for 20-30 seconds
- Pour the mixture into a glass and serve cold
TIP: Don’t make the mixture too runny. Instead, keep it a little thick to enjoy the texture.
2. Shrimp and Peach Fruit Kebab Barbecue
- Servings: 4
- Preparation Time: 30 min
- Paprika: 1 tsp
- Cumin: ½ tsp
- Salt: ¼ tsp
- Pepper: ¼ spoon
- Uncooked shrimp (peeled and deveined): 453 g
- Peach fruits (medium): 3
- Green onions: 6-7
- Lime wedges
- Brown sugar: 1 tbsp (optional)
- Mix the seasonings in a bowl
- Place the shrimp, peaches, green onions in a large bowl
- Sprinkle it with brown sugar and toss to coat it nicely.
- Place the shrimp, peaches and green onions alternately on a metal or soaked wooden skewer.
- Grill for 3-4 minutes over medium heat until the shrimp turns pink.
- Squeeze lime wedges over kababs and enjoy.
3. Cucumber Fruit Salsa
- Servings: 12
- Preparation Time: 25 minutes
- Cucumber: 1 (chopped)
- Green pepper: 2 (finely chopped)
- Tomatoes: 2 (finely chopped)
- Red onion: 1 (small, finely chopped)
- Lemon juice: 2 tbsp
- Fresh minced cilantro: 1 tbsp
- Salt: 1 tsp
- Hot pepper sauce: ¼ tsp
- Peach : 1 (peeled, finely chopped)
- Banana: 1 (small, cut in small pieces)
- Combine the first eight ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Divide the mixture into small bowls, and before servings, stir in the bananas and peach fruits.
- Enjoy the salsa with nachos or use it as a filling for tacos.
Probable Adverse Effects and Things to Remember
Peach is high in potassium, which acts as a natural vasodilator (medication that dilates blood vessels). However, too much potassium can cause Hyperkalemia. The heart muscles develop an irregular rhythm in this condition and can cause nausea, difficulty breathing, fatigue and chest pain.
Excess fibre can also cause difficulty in adequately absorbing nutrients in the intestine. Also, it can cause other gastrointestinal issues in the body.
Peach fruits are freshly harvested during summers. That is why they have the best flavour and most nutritional values during summers. Thus, peach fruits are summer fruits.
It is best to choose peach fruits with taut, fuzzy skin that gives in to pressure slightly. One tip for ripening peach fruits is to place them in a paper bag or near a windowsill. Allow them to get plenty of sunlight.
The recommended portion for peach is about one medium-sized peach, approximately 150 grams. One such peach contains 59 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrates and 13 grams of sugar.
Due to its acidic nature, do not have peaches on an empty stomach or first thing in the morning. However, peaches can be a great addition to almost all your meals. Add them to your shakes, smoothies and salads.
Peaches are juicy, fleshy fruits rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They can be an excellent source of nutrients and contribute to good health and glowing skin. However, you should also eat it in moderation to avoid any ill effects.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Q. What is the benefit of peach fruit?
A. Peach fruit has several health benefits. First, it is rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, K1, sodium, potassium etc. These nutrients help maintain a healthy heart, good skin, prevent skin conditions and boost immunity.
Q. Are peaches good to eat every day?
A. Yes. Eating up to two small peach fruits a day (150 grams) can be beneficial . However, if you have a health condition, you should consult your doctor before eating them.
Q. What is the side effect of peaches?
A. Overconsumption of peaches can lead to too much iron deposition, which can cause joint pain, chronic pain, abdominal pain etc.
Q. Are peaches a Superfood?
A. Peach fruits can be considered a superfood as they have all the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. In addition, it can help prevent breast cancer, protect against UV damage, and improve immunity.
Q. Is it good to eat peaches at night?
A. Eating peaches at night is not harmful. Therefore, it is ok to eat them at night.
Q. Are peaches high in sugar?
A. Peach fruits are naturally very sweet. A 100 gram serving of peach can contain up to 10g of sugar.
Q. Do peaches have vitamin C?
A. Yes. 100g of peach fruits contain up to 4.4mg of vitamin C.
Q. When is the best time to eat a peach?
A. Best time to include a fruit is in the morning or 30 min before any meal.
Q. Can you eat peach skin?
A. Yes, fuzzy peach skin is edible. It brings several benefits, and it tastes good too.
Q. Is peach good for weight loss?
A. Peach is high in sugar and contains 43Kcal. Therefore, having too many peach fruits can contribute to weight gain. However, if you consume it in moderation, it will help you manage weight.
Q. Are peaches good for hair growth?
A. Due to the high nutritional value, peach fruits can help improve hair health and maintain shiny hair.
Q. What are the side effects of eating peaches?
A. As peach fruits contain high iron content, having too many peaches can lead to joint pains, chronic pain, abdominal pains.
Q. When should you not eat peaches?
A. Since peach is high in its acidic content, you should not eat peach on an empty stomach.
Q. Are peaches bad for your stomach?
A. No. Peach fruits contain dietary fibre, which helps maintain a healthy gut and digestive tract. Therefore, it makes an excellent fruit for a healthy stomach.
Q. Can a diabetic eat a peach?
A. Yes. However, peach fruits are naturally very sweet and contain high sugar. But, it has a low glycemic load. Hence, it is not harmful to diabetics.
Q. Do peaches lower blood sugar?
A. There is no scientific evidence to prove if it reduces blood sugar levels. However, it contains high sugar. But, it is considered a diabetes-friendly fruit. The Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of peaches are 28 and 3, respectively. These values are considerably low and safe for consumption.
Q. How many carbs are in 100g of peaches?
A. 100g of peaches contain 10g of carbs.
Q. What is the nutritional value of 100g of peaches?
A. 100g of a peach contains 42Kcal, 10g of carbs, 0.9g protein, 4.1g of vitamin C, 3mcg of Vitamin K, 8.1g of sugar and 4mg of calcium.
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