In most areas of the country, fruit is at its peak season during the warmer months of summer. Some of our favorite summer fruits belong to the stone fruit family. From peaches and cherries to apricots and plums, summer is the best time to indulge in these mouthwatering fruits. Stone fruits have inflammation-fighting phytonutrients and help to slow the signs of aging. You really have no reason not to have a peach in your hand right now. Seriously, go get one and come back to finish reading how much that peach benefitted your body.
Fun Fact: The name “stone fruit” comes from the fact that the seed of the fruit exists in a stone-like pit, but they are technically called drupes.
While each member of the stone fruit family has its own origin story, most stone fruits are from Asia or Europe, specifically from areas with temperate climates. Stone fruit are delicious, most of them being slightly tart and sweet. They are juicy summer treasures that should be in your kitchen every week. Check out all of the different health benefits of stone fruit below.
Dried apricots are probably one of the most popular dried fruit selections that people enjoy snacking on. Let it be known that the dried varieties with sulfur dioxide are unhealthy for the body. During the summer, it would behoove you to take advantage of fresh apricots. They are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and catechins, the same phytonutrients that are in green tea. Catechins help to reduce inflammation and regulate blood pressure.
Cherries make for one of the healthiest summertime snacks. Because cherries contain high levels of melatonin, which helps to regulate your body’s sleep and wake cycle, eating them can help you relax for more peaceful sleep. Try eating a handful about an hour before you go to sleep for the best results.
Nectarines get their bright red-orange color because they are rich in beta-carotene, an integral antioxidant for healthy vision. Due to the rich fiber content, nectarines promote healthy digestion and work to regulate bowel movements. While they aren’t as rich in potassium as bananas, they do contain a healthy amount of potassium, which helps to rid excess sodium from the body.
Plums have undergone numerous studies because they have a high amount of phytonutrients, which serve as antioxidants in the body. These antioxidants help to prevent oxidative damage and work to fight off free radicals. You can also enjoy prunes, their dried form, if you need some help stimulating bowel movements.
Known as the fruit of calmness, peaches are great to consume if you want to naturally lower stress levels. Much like cherries, eating a peach before bed can promote more restful sleep. Peaches are also a low-calorie fruit and they help to regulate blood sugar levels, helping to keep cravings at bay.