A generous helping of peach cobbler or peach melba can be a delicious way to end your meal, wouldn’t you say? Peaches are sweet fruits that are not only used in a variety of desserts, but also appear in folk art and paintings such as the Chinese Peaches of Immortality and Caravaggio’s Boy with a Basket of Fruit. The best part of it all is that the benefits of peaches are many.
Peaches, carrying the Latin name of Prunus persica, belong to the same family as cherries and plums, and also share the same subgenus as almonds. They’re either yellowish or whitish in color and have a pleasant aroma. Those available in the market today are either of the clingstone or the freestone variety. China, Italy, and the United States are the largest producers of the peaches and the benefits of peaches are due to the variety of nutrients they contain.
The Nutrients Responsible For The Benefits Of Peaches
A peach weighs about 100 g and contains 11% of your required daily intake of Vitamin C. As a result, it is considered a good source of antioxidants, which are necessary for developing resistance against infections. It also helps build tissue, strengthens joints, and scavenges damage-causing free radicals.
According to a set of findings published by Texas AgriLife Research in 2010, extracts from peaches destroy cancer-causing cells in the breast.
A single peach contains 11% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A. Vitamin A arises from beta-carotenes in the body and is vital for healthy vision. It’s also important for maintaining healthy skin and mucous membranes. There is a growing body of evidence to support the fact that vitamin A provides protection from lung and oral cancers.
The benefits of peaches are also due to the fact that these fruits are oozing with vital minerals such as fluoride, iron, and potassium. Fluoride is an important component for developing healthy bones and preventing cavities. Iron is vital in red blood cell formation, while potassium is necessary for regulating blood pressure and the heart rate.
Fiber And Phytosterols
A single peach contains 4% of your daily recommended intake of fiber. It also contains phytosterols, which are cholesterol-like compounds found in plants. Together, they act to lower your cholesterol levels. Also, as peaches are free from fat and cholesterol, they’re ideal to be included in any diet, especially a weight loss one.
Peaches are high in polyphenols, which are agents that fight cancer.
AgriLife Research conducted a study on breast cancer. This study found that two phenolic acids, chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid, played a major role in killing breast cancer cells, while keeping healthy cells intact.
These phenolic acids are present in abundance in peaches, so the result of this study is promising news for women who’re struggling with breast cancer and facing the prospect of having to undergo chemotherapy.
To gain the maximum nutritional benefits of peaches, they are best enjoyed when they’re ripe and uncooked, as cooking destroys the Vitamin C component of the fruit. You can easily store peaches in your refrigerator, which means you can enjoy eating them all through the year!