It’s difficult to keep your hands off the radiant and juicy fresh peaches of the summer. We love peaches not just for its beauty and taste, but for its high nutritional values. (1)
There are many health benefits of peaches that you probably didn’t know before. Guess what, peaches are rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antifungal properties, and plenty of essential minerals and vitamins. (1)
In this article you’ll learn:
- Peach fruit and its history
- Nutritional values of peach
- 12 benefits of peaches
- Dietary tips for peaches
Peach: a Health Promoting Summer Fruit
Peach is one of the stone fruits with the native single large seed in the middle. There are two principal varieties of peaches: Freestone and Clingstone, based on whether the inner flesh sticks to the seed or not.
A dry and temperate climate is the most suitable for peach cultivation. The recorded history of peach cultivation in China dates back to the 1100 year B.C. Peach was a favorite delicacy for the Romans in 300 B.C. (2)
Later on, the succulent fruit made its way to Europe and America in the 1500-1600s. Today China ranks first in contributing to more than half of the world’s peach production. Peach is also grown in Spain, Italy, Greece, and in the U.S.A. as well.
The interesting fact is that Georgia was named as “The Peach State” in mid 90’s because of producing quality peach and creating a record in growing the most giant peach in the world. (2)
Peachtree, the blossoms, and the fruit have rich cultural significance in China. The peach tree is a symbol of prosperity, protection, health, and peace. In ancient China, people used peach as a remedy for various inflammatory diseases, allergies, and blood stasis.
Nutritional Values of Peach
Peaches are superfoods with exceptional dietary values for good health and fighting diseases.
Apart from these exceptional minerals and vitamins, the fruit has a low calorie and zero saturated fat. Peach is enriched with high dietary fiber contents and essential flavonoids as well.
Besides its refreshing taste and aroma, peaches are abundant in many essential nutrients that offer a variety of health benefits.
1. Combats Free Radicals
One of the primary health benefits of peach is its ability to fight the free radicals and prevent diseases. (1)
Peaches contain potent antioxidants such as Caffeic acid that can keep the free radicals at bay. Left unhindered free radicals can create oxidative stress or damage to various systems of the body. (2)
These result in different long-term diseases including cancer. The caffeic acid lowers the production of aflatoxin which is a dangerous carcinogenic mold responsible for cancer. Fresh peach juice along with its peel are natural solutions to relieving oxidative stress in just 30 minutes. (3)
2. Rich in Antioxidants
The superpower of peaches in fighting a multitude of diseases come from its potent antioxidants. (4)
According to several studies peaches contain beneficial antioxidant properties such as chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, phenolic compounds, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. (5)
All these chemical components have some benefits in disease prevention and optimal health. (6)
3. Reduces Inflammations
Anti-inflammatory agents can help prevent many disorders in the body. Peaches are a natural source of anti-inflammatory properties that can inhibit inflammatory cytokines and histamines release into the bloodstream. (31) Thus, peaches are an excellent remedy for skin inflammations such as allergy. (7)
As per a research conducted by Vanderbilt University, the vitamin C in peaches can reconstruct the damaged linings of the blood vessels. (9).
4. Aid Weight Loss
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School state that fiber intake is one of the simplest ways to a healthy diet. (10)
It is very crucial in case you want to curb obesity. Here’s to your surprise, a minimum of 30 grams of dietary fiber can promote your weight loss. (11) What better source of dietary fiber you can look for other than peaches?
If you start off your day with some fresh peaches, it will provide you with satiety and essential nutrients for the body. At the same time you peaches come with very few calories thus contributes to your weight loss. (12)
Moreover, peach is one of the stone fruits and contains the phenolic components: quercetins, anthocyanins, catechins, and chlorogenic acids. Thus, consumption of peach as foods can lower the chances of blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. (13)
5. Help Prevent Cancer
Peach is one of the potent cancer-fighting foods. A lot of research has gone behind to confirm the positive effects of peach pulp, the peel, seed and peach blossoms have anti-cancer activities.
A 2014 study at Texas A&M confirmed that the polyphenols in peaches such as chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acids could inhibit the growth and multiplication of breast cancer.
The study encourages the people living with breast cancer to eat 2-3 peaches daily to lower and prevent the cancer growth. (14) (15) peaches can destroy the cancerous cells without affecting the healthy cells of the body.
The antioxidant in peaches such as Caffeic acid can prevent the growth of tumors in fibrous connective tissues. Thus, peaches can help stop the growth of colon cancer. (16)
Peaches are rich in dietary fiber. Hence it can lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
Asians have been using peach seeds for thousands of years to cure many illnesses. A 2013 study has come up with the engaging anti-cancer activities of peach seeds.
The researchers confirmed that the seeds could help reduce the growth and multiplication of tumors or papilloma beneath the skin.
Thus, the seeds can prevent carcinogenesis or the process of the tumors developing into skin cancer. (17) Moreover, peach blossoms can protect your skin against solar UV and avoid the risk of skin cancer. (18)
6. Peach Benefits for Skin
Peaches are a generous source of vitamin A and C. These two vitamins are essential nutrients for maintaining a healthy and nourished skin.
The velvety texture of peaches can add vibrancy to your skin and brighten your complexion. (19)
Topical application or natural consumption of Vitamin C goes a long way to promote a healthy skin inside out.
Moreover, vitamin C takes part in collagen formation which helps in sustaining elasticity of your skin to prevent skin sagging, wrinkles, etc.
You may experience a structural change of your face with growing age. It is because the density of dermal papillae beneath your skin gradually decreases along with the aging process.
A study has confirmed that only 3% topical application of vitamin C can enhance the papillae index and inhibit a substantial structural change of skin or face. (19)
Peaches are excellent skin exfoliator as well.
The essential minerals, vitamins, flavonoids all work together to rejuvenate your skin warding off blemishes and dark spots.
7. Good for the Heart Health
Cardiovascular or heart diseases are ever on the rise around the world. A poor and junk diet along with sedentary lifestyle are at the core of this dreaded problem otherwise known as metabolic syndrome.
Fruit juice is one of the must-have healthy alternative drinks for the heart patients that should replace all sugary and carbonated beverages.
Peaches are superb in bioactive compounds such as polyphenols, fibers, minerals, potassium, vitamins, etc.
What is surprising is the fact that peaches are packed with a perfect combination of all these nutrients. That’s why consuming peach juice on a regular basis is a proper remedy for your metabolic syndrome or cardiovascular health. (21) (22).
The study at Texas A&M confirms that the bioactive components of clingstone peaches can lower LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood and replace them with HDL or good cholesterol.
8. Promotes Digestive Health
Peach flowers and peace as fruit are excellent remedies for gut disorders. You have already known that peach is rich in dietary fiber. Hence it’s suitable for the digestion process.
The delicious fruit is a natural diuretic and helps to detoxify your kidney and bladder as well. (23)
The peach blossoms to have fascinating benefits for stomach health.
9. Good for the Eyes
Green vegetables and fruits are the most important foods for your vision or eyesight. Peaches are excellent help for protecting your vision because of two major antioxidant phytonutrients.
These phytonutrients are lutein and zeaxanthin. Some researchers have proved the positive effects of these two components in preventing age-related vision loss, macular degeneration, and retina damages. (25)
10. Can Be Good for Diabetics
Peach is a safe food for diabetic patients. Diabetes doesn’t necessarily bar you from consuming carbohydrates. All you need to watch out for is the appropriate portion size.
A medium size peach comes with about 15 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber. Thus, peach can be a good item on the diet list for a diabetic patient. Various studies have confirmed that fruits that are high in fiber such as peach have positive effects on both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. (26)
11. Beneficial During Pregnancy
Peach is an excellent fruit in the diet of a would-be mom. There are essential nutrients, fibers, and minerals that can be beneficial for both the mother and the baby in the womb.
The fiber in peach can regulate the hormones at a healthy pace and help bowel movements. Thus, the fruit helps prevent constipation, a general issue with pregnant mothers. The folic acid in peaches is essential for the development of a healthy baby. (27) (28)
12. Treats Candida Fungus
Peaches are rich in bioactive antioxidant and antimicrobial; flavonoids, polyphenols, and condensed tannins. A recent study has come up with the fascinating healing effects of peach on Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus. (29)
The fruit extract is very effective against the common yeast infection caused by candida fungus. Peach can inhibit the growth of the fungus and eliminate them in no time. (29)
How to Eat a Peach
You can buy the best quality peach in the summer. Fully ripe peaches have a fresh aroma, flavor and fuzzy texture. It is recommended that you get hold of the natural peaches rather than the canned ones. Organic raw peaches contain all the nutritional values intact. Here are some of the ways you can incorporate peaches in your diet.:
Add it to your meals: you can enjoy a delicious salad prepared with mixed vegetables, roasted nuts, grilled chicken, tofu or salmon and dressed with lots of fresh peaches.
Easy snack on the way: Peaches can be your ultimate choice for a quick bite on a busy day. Next time, get hold of a peach instead of apples for an easy snack.
Peachy breakfast: Start your day with fresh peaches at the breakfast table. You can eat peaches in different ways for your meal. Sliced peaches are a great combination with your oatmeal, cereals, pancakes, toasts, etc.
Refreshingly juicy: you can blend a medium size peach with plain water or milk for an energizing fresh drink.