Peaches are sometimes mistaken for nectarines. But you can easily identify peaches by their fuzzy skin. These fruits are deliciously sweet when ripe and a healthy option for satisfying a sweet tooth.
You might find peaches at your local market throughout the year, but for the juiciest picks, summer is the best time to stock up.
Peaches are not only a refreshing treat on a warm summer day, they are also packed with nutrients to improve your health.
Nutritional benefits of eating peaches
Loaded with vitamin C
Oranges aren't the only source of vitamin C. Peaches are also a good source of vitamin C, which can strengthen your immune system. It can also help reduce your risk of the common cold and flu.
Full of antioxidants
If you want to reduce your risk of developing cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases, increasing your intake of foods high in antioxidants is a good start.
Antioxidants are natural substances that stop or reduce cell damage caused by free radicals, which are harmful molecules. Like many fruits and vegetables, peaches are high in antioxidants. Eating peaches can help protect against cancer and reduce inflammation that’s responsible for joint and muscle pain.
Improve eye health
It might come as a surprise, but peaches, like carrots, are a good source of beta carotene. This is a pigment found in many plants, and it’s responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their red, orange, or yellow color. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A, and it's this vitamin that promotes healthy vision.
Protect against heart disease
A healthy diet and a regular exercise routine contribute to cardiovascular health. Peaches are a source of vitamin K, plus the fruit contains lycopene and lutein, which protect against heart disease.
Maintain healthy kidney function
Add peaches to your diet to maintain healthy kidney function. Peaches can provide your body with potassium. This mineral can lower blood pressure because it balances fluid and offsets the effects of too much sodium.
Aid in weight control
If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, eat a peach instead of grabbing a high-calorie snack such as cookies, chips, or cake. One medium-sized peach has about 50 calories. Eat two peaches to satisfy a sugar craving and you’ll probably take in fewer calories than eating a single high-calorie snack.
Peaches also contain fiber, which improves digestion, provides satiety, and eases irregularity. Healthy bowel activity helps release toxic waste from your colon and lowers your risk of colon cancer.
Maintain healthy teeth
You might not think of peaches when you think of your teeth. But peaches are a good source of fluoride, which is a mineral that can help protect your teeth from decay.
Eating peaches can also improve the appearance of your skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Rubbing a peach over your face can soften your skin. And what’s interesting is that some skin care products have peach extract listed as an ingredient. The flavonoids in peaches can remove dead skin cells and refresh skin.
How to eat peaches
Peaches are one of the simplest foods to eat. Simply grab one from the refrigerator or pick a peach from a tree and take a bite. But this isn't the only way to eat it. Whether fresh, frozen, or canned, here are a few tasty and unique peach recipes.
Grilled pork chops with spicy balsamic grilled peaches
Meat and vegetables aren't the only items to toss on the grill. Place a few peaches on the grill and prepare a meal you won’t forget. You'll need pork chops, apple cider, granulated sugar, and a few seasonings to replicate this delightful dish. View the recipe.
Grilled chicken, peach, blackberry, and basil pizza
Get creative the next time you make a homemade pizza. This pizza might be different from what you're used to, but it won’t disappoint your taste buds. To prepare this recipe, you'll need skinless chicken breast, mozzarella, brown sugar, butter, sweet onion, blackberries, and of course, peaches. View the recipe.
Spice up your ordinary salsa recipe and substitute peaches for tomatoes. In addition to peaches, you can create this appetizer using onions, jalapeños, lemon juice, fresh mint, ginger, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve peach salsa with tortilla chips. View the recipe.
Peach crumble pie
Peach cobbler isn't the only dessert you can make with peaches. If you need to satisfy sugar cravings, bake a peach crumble pie. Chances are you already have the ingredients for the crust, the crumble, and the filling in your kitchen cupboard. This recipe requires all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, old-fashioned oats, peaches, and unsalted butter. View the recipe.
Heirloom tomato and peach salad
Stop eating the same old boring salad. Add a little variety with three main ingredients: tomatoes, peaches, and red onions. Sprinkle a bit of olive oil, fresh basil, and balsamic or cider vinegar, and you’ll have a meal that can be prepared in five minutes or less. View the recipe.
You owe it to yourself to add peaches to your diet. This healthy fruit is not only sweet and delicious but it’s also full of antioxidants and packed with vitamins and minerals to support your overall health. Whether you want to reduce your risk of cancer, improve your eye health, or strengthen your teeth, peaches can help steer your health in the right direction.