Is it safe to say that peaches are the best summer fruits? This may be a contradictory thought, considering that summer boasts an incredible selection of fruit. In the stone fruit category alone, you have cherries, apricots, plums, and nectarines. Melons are aplenty during summer, but so are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mangos, and bananas. Out of all those fruits, though, peaches are simply a notch above.
Research states that peaches originated in China more than 8,000 years ago. Peaches are referred to as stone fruit or drupes because their flesh surrounds a pit, which houses an edible seed. You can enjoy peaches on their own, or you can add them to numerous dishes, including salads, salsas, sauces, entrees, and desserts. Because peaches exhibit many health benefits, some of which may surprise you, they make excellent additions to your diet. Many studies found that they may improve digestion, enhance the skin, optimize immune function, and more. Continue reading to learn more about peaches and their health benefits.
Rich In Vitamin A
Many people think of carrots in regards to this nutrient, but they aren’t the only way to meet your recommended daily intake of vitamin A. The high vitamin A content of peaches is what you call “a healthy win.” Vitamin A is an integral nutrient for optimal skin and eye health, but it also works to boost immune function and reduce inflammation. The body also needs vitamin A to build healthy gut lining. When your gut lining is healthy and strong, you have a better chance at fighting off pathogens that you may encounter in food or the environment.
May Improve Digestion
According to nutritional data, one medium peach provides you with two grams of fiber, one gram being soluble fiber and the other gram insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps to nourish the beneficial bacteria in the gut, while insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool. Additionally, insoluble fiber helps to move food through the gut, reducing the risk of constipation. After providing the bacteria in the gut with soluble fiber, the bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids. Having more short-chain fatty acids in the gut can help reduce inflammation and improve symptoms of ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Boost Immune Function
The great thing about peaches is that they work to enhance your immune system in three ways. First off, one medium peach supplies the body with 15% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Various immune cells need vitamin C for their function, production, and protection. Second, peaches contain vitamin A, which aids the formation of mucous membranes in the respiratory tract. Stronger membranes can form better protective barriers that keep germs out of the bloodstream. Finally, peaches are rich in antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, both of which enhance immune function.
May Fight Against Certain Cancers
Like many fruits and vegetables, peaches contain several plant compounds that may offer protection against certain types of cancer. Carotenoids and caffeic acid exist in the flesh of the peach, and these antioxidants exhibit anti-cancer properties. Test-tube and animal studies reveal that these antioxidant compounds may limit the growth of non-cancerous skin tumors. They may also prevent these non-cancerous tumors from turning into cancerous ones. Several studies also found that the polyphenols in peaches may be effective at preventing breast cancer from growing and spreading. In order to consume enough of those polyphenols, though, a person would need to eat about two to three peaches per day.
May Improve Heart Health
Scientific evidence shows that daily flavonoid intake may reduce certain risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Test-tube studies found that peaches bind to bile acids, which are compounds that your liver produces from cholesterol. The body eventually eliminates bound bile acids and the cholesterol they contain via your stool, which may assist with cholesterol reduction. Additional test-tube studies found that peaches may be able to reduce total LDL cholesterol levels, in addition to blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
Enhance Your Complexion
In addition to the anti-inflammatory compounds, peaches have a lot of beta-carotene and vitamin C, both of which support the skin. Test-tube studies found that certain compounds in peaches may improve the skin’s ability to retain moisture. This process can not only improve skin texture, but also enhance overall complexion. Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, which helps to protect the skin from sun damage. It also works to create a natural glow and warm the skin tone. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen building and improving skin elasticity to reduce the signs of aging. Because peaches are about 85% water, they enhance hydration efforts and supply the skin with moisture.