4 hidden health benefits of a highly visible summer fruit
Originally Published: July 27, 2016
It’s one of my favorite times of year. Peach season.
Peaches start ripening in May, but the best peaches aren’t plucked until June, and then continue through August or September.
And there are few foods on this earth more perfect than peaches. As sweet and delicious as any dessert, but as healthy and nutritious as any other fruit out there.
If you aren’t downing peaches every day through the summer, you’re making a big mistake. Nature may have never invented a more pleasant way to get a big dose of healthy nutrients.
Sure, peaches may not get the same press as other fruits. But rest assured, peaches are up there with any of the faddish superfoods you see more often in the news.
In fact, let’s take a look at where the health benefits of peaches really shine.
A peach a day keeps the optometrist away
Peaches are rich in vitamin A, and beta carotene. Yes, the same beta carotene you find in carrots.
Beta carotene actually turns into vitamin A in our bodies—upping the healing effects a peach delivers.
Vitamin A is essential for night vision, just like your mom told you when you were younger.
What your mom might not have told you is that vitamin A is also essential for healthy mucus membranes, and for your skin. That’s why studies have found that vitamin A can prevent oral and lung cancers.
That’s a pretty nice combo. And, as much as I like carrots, I think we can all agree—a good peach beats a good carrot any day.
Plus, some studies have shown three servings of fruit a day, or more, can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. That’s a nifty bonus you don’t get with carrots.
Healthy skin and anti-cancer
Peaches are also rich in vitamin C—a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent cancer.
Vitamin C is also an essential component in collagen production—the substance that keeps your skin elastic and young.
But it goes beyond that. The high fiber in peaches has been shown to reduce incidence of colorectal cancer. And peach extracts have been used to successfully treat breast cancer in some studies.
Peaches have so many beneficial compounds, we’re not even sure which ones are making the biggest difference in all of these tests. Suffice to say, peaches can do a great job helping you fight off a number of cancers.
Good for your blood, and your weight
Even though peaches have plenty of natural sugar, it’s the good kind. Delivered along with high fiber content, this is exactly the sort of sugar that your body will best process and use for energy.
In fact, the fiber in peaches helps to control insulin, and thereby fights diabetes.
At the same time, peaches are very filling and satisfying, thanks to their sweetness. But a large peach is only about 70 calories. You could eat a peach every three hours and lose weight, by cutting down on cravings with a healthy, low-calorie alternative.
Good for your heart
Finally, peaches are also rich in potassium and a compound called choline. Combined with Vitamin C and fiber, these four nutrients give plenty of support to your heart. Specifically, they help to cut down your risk of hypertension, and the maladies that come with it.
It’s hard to find a food that can help so many aspects of your health. It’s close to impossible to find something so healthy that’s also so delicious.
And there’s just about no better time to eat a peach than right now, when they’re at the peak of their season. If you haven’t stocked your shelves with peaches yet, grab some now. In your cereal, in your salad, or eaten straight out of your hand, it’s hard to find a more scrumptious way to consume health.
- Nutrition And You, Peaches nutrition facts
- Megan Ware, Peaches: Health Benefits, Facts, Research, Medical News Today, Feb 9 2016
Disclaimer: Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.