Health Benefits of Peaches
We all know that peaches are juicy and delicious, but are they nutritious, too? As a matter of fact, yes! Peaches provide plenty of health benefits that make eating them more than just a treat for your taste buds. In fact, peaches are a sweet snack you can feel good about.
Below, you'll discover how peaches are good for you both physically and mentally, along with some recipes to help you get more peaches into your everyday diet. Find out the nutrition facts on peaches and how this sweet fruit can help you lead a healthier lifestyle.
Are Peaches Good For You?
Fresh peaches offer a wide range of health benefits. Check out the top seven advantages of eating peaches below.
1. Provide Key Vitamins and Nutrients
Peaches are full of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Specifically, peaches are high in vitamins A, C and E, along with fiber and selenium. These vitamins and minerals are important because they aid in detoxification. Although detoxification doesn't always receive enough attention, it is a key component of keeping our bodies healthy by flushing out harmful substances.
Peaches are also a great source of magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and some B vitamins. In addition to these helpful nutrients, peaches contain beneficial plant compounds that support our bodies carrying out their daily functions.
2. Supply Powerful Antioxidants
Along with vital vitamins and minerals, peaches are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants work to combat oxidative damage, protecting your body against diseases and aging. If you want to get the most antioxidants possible, choose a fresh, ripe peach as your snack. Fresher peaches have higher levels of antioxidants and seem to be more effective at warding off oxidative damage.
A peach's skin and flesh are both full of caffeic acid and carotenoids, which are two kinds of antioxidants with anti-cancer properties. Peaches also offer polyphenols, another category of antioxidants shown to limit the spread of cancer cells while decreasing their growth in test-tube studies.
3. Promote Heart Health
In general, including fruit in your regular diet can help promote heart health. Peaches are an especially heart-friendly fruit because they may lower several risk factors of heart disease, such as high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The anti-inflammatory properties found in peaches are beneficial for lowering the dangerously high cholesterol levels that can lead to heart disease.
Some test-tube studies have found that peaches can bind to bile acids, compounds produced by the liver from cholesterol. Once bound with peaches, the bile acids are excreted, which may help lower the blood's cholesterol levels. In addition, peaches provide potassium, another nutrient that can play a major role in lowering the risk of heart disease.
These findings are supported by additional research that found peaches may help protect against high LDL cholesterol levels — the harmful type of cholesterol — as well as triglyceride and blood pressure levels. In this way, peaches can help fight against cardiovascular disease and other obesity-related metabolic disorders.
4. Support Skin Health
In addition to their other nutrients and antioxidants, peaches have beta carotene and vitamin C for supporting healthy, glowing skin. Beta carotene acts as a precursor to vitamin A, meaning it can easily be converted into vitamin A. The type of vitamin A beta carotene gets converted into is essential for protecting the skin from sun damage, warming the skin tone and creating a natural glow.
Vitamin C is another essential skin-loving vitamin because it is a necessary nutrient for building collagen, which improves skin elasticity and fends off sagging. Vitamin C can also lighten any dark circles under the eyes and smooth wrinkles. As a bonus, fresh peaches are extremely hydrating due to their high water content, which means peaches can improve skin texture by boosting your skin's ability to retain moisture.
While eating a nice, fresh juicy peach is a great way to enjoy all the skin benefits this fruit offers, you can also get these benefits by making a peach face mask. You can concoct a rejuvenating face mask by mashing half of a peach and mixing it with some Greek yogurt. Rub the mixture onto your face and let it sit for about 15 minutes before washing it off to reveal ultra-hydrated and refreshed skin.
5. Aid Digestive Health
Thanks to the impressive amount of fiber that peaches contain, eating peaches can contribute to healthy digestion. About half of the fiber peaches contain is insoluble fiber, and the other half is soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber can be helpful because it helps move food through your gut more smoothly, reducing the chances of constipation.
Soluble fiber also offers its fair share of digestive health benefits by providing food for the beneficial bacteria found in your intestines. Once happily fed, these bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids known as prebiotics, which feed the cells that comprise your gut. Prebiotics have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including anti-inflammation, increased immunity and boosted mood.
More specifically, these short-chain fatty acids in your gut are useful for reducing inflammation and minimizing the symptoms of digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. For this reason, peach flowers are frequently used in traditional Asian medicine for treating digestive disorders.
6. Protect Your Eyes
Peaches contain two phytonutrients critical for protecting your eye health. These phytonutrients — lutein and zeaxanthin — help protect the retina and the lens, reducing the risk of common eye disorders, such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Lutein and zeaxanthin also have the potential to guard your eyes against light-related damage, helping to prevent vision loss.
The vitamin A found in peaches also supports healthy vision. A severe deficiency in vitamin A can result in a rare condition known as xerophthalmia, which may damage normal vision to the point of night blindness — the inability to see anything in darkness or low light. However, getting enough vitamin A by eating peaches and other foods rich in vitamin A can help prevent this disorder.
7. Reduce Your Stress Levels
As it turns out, peaches are just as good for your mental health as they are for your physical health. Peaches serve as reliable stress relievers because they contain magnesium, which both supports a healthy nervous system and improves your sleep quality. In addition to lowering stress levels, peaches can also help to reduce anxiety.
Thanks to the stress-relieving and anxiety-reducing effects of peaches, they have earned the nickname "fruit of calmness" in Hungary. Next time you start to feel overwhelmed, try taking a bite out of one of these natural sedatives.
Are Peaches Good For Weight Loss?
While eating a peach won't immediately result in miraculous weight loss, including peaches in a regular healthy diet may help you lose a couple of extra pounds. As a delicious, low-calorie fruit, peaches make an excellent addition to oatmeal, yogurt or any other healthy breakfast choice. Because peaches are packed with fiber, incorporating them into your first meal of the day can help you feel fuller longer.
Working more vegetables and fruits like peaches into your breakfast routine can go a long way toward helping you lose weight. In fact, cutting down on the amount of cereal you have in the morning and replacing it with fresh slices of peaches can help you feel full and consume fewer calories per day, according to a report put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When paired with a healthy diet, peaches are also a smart choice for weight management because they contain bioactive compounds that provide anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory properties. These qualities can help people maintain a healthy weight as well as regulate blood sugar and insulin levels more effectively.
The considerable amount of fiber found in peaches also makes them a beneficial food for weight loss. Getting enough fiber each day can contribute to overall weight loss by promoting satiety to help you feel fuller longer. Further research has shown that increasing your fiber intake is one simple dietary change that can have a profound positive effect on your well-being. Get more fiber in your diet and help yourself get closer to your weight loss goals by reaching for a peach the next time you need an afternoon snack.
Peaches Nutrition Information
In addition to being low in calories, peaches are high in various vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Although these nutrients were briefly referenced above, it is helpful to have a more in-depth look at exactly what peaches have to offer. Doing so will give you a better understanding of why peaches are so good for you.
Here is a breakdown of the nutrition information for one medium peach, about 150g:
- Calories: 58
- Fat: less than 1 gram
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 14 grams
- Total sugars: 13 grams
- Potassium: 6% of the DV
The nutrients listed above indicate that eating peaches can support your immune health in several ways, including protecting your immune system with their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Specifically, alkaline amino acids, including arginine, histidine and lysine, present in peaches, have strong antioxidant activity, which fights off disease. All of these factors working together make peaches an excellent choice for nutritional value.
Healthy Peach Recipes
Peaches are an extremely versatile fruit that can be used to make both savory and sweet dishes. Whether you want to bake them into a dessert, blend them into a smoothie, freeze them into popsicles, mix them into a salsa, slice them into your salad, pop them on the grill or puree them into a sauce, you can incorporate peaches into just about any recipe.
Peaches are also relatively low in net carbs, meaning peaches are keto-friendly when used in the right recipe. If you plan on cooking with peaches, keep in mind that they continue to ripen after they've been picked. For a juicer peach, speed up your peach's ripening process by placing it into a paper bag and storing it at room temperature.
Now that you're feeling inspired by all the peachy possibilities, it's time to talk specifics. If you're looking for a healthy peach recipe to prepare, check out the three delicious and nutritious recipes below.
1. Baked Chicken With Fresh Peaches
If you love savory dishes with a hint of sweetness, you need to give this baked chicken with fresh peaches recipe a go. All you have to do is pan-sear some chicken to perfection before topping it with an herbaceous gravy and finishing it off in the oven. After the chicken has baked for about half an hour, pour your homemade buttery peach sauce over it and set it back in the oven to bake until tender. Pair it with your favorite side dish for your new go-to weeknight dinner.
2. Mixed Greens With a Cilantro Peach Vinaigrette
A fruity vinaigrette can dress up a salad so well that you don't even realize you're eating vegetables anymore. This cilantro peach vinaigrette recipe does just that by expertly fusing together the delicate sweetness of peach preserves with the sharp acidity of apple cider vinegar. Minced jalapeno gives this vinaigrette a bold pop of flavor, while chopped cilantro adds a burst of freshness. Together these ingredients create a bright, irresistible vinaigrette, perfect for any seasonal salad. Add your favorite seasonal nuts, like pecans, for a special burst of flavor.
3. Strawberry Peach Smoothie
What could be a better summertime treat than a refreshing fruit smoothie? This strawberry peach smoothie recipe is sure to cool you off while boosting your well-being with its healthy ingredients. By blending together frozen strawberries, peaches and soy milk with a bit of vanilla ice cream, this smoothie achieves the perfect balance of nutrition and indulgence. You can also substitute other dairy alternatives, like almond or coconut milk, for a different flavor profile or to avoid triggering any soy allergies.
Get Your Fresh Peaches From Lane Southern Orchards
If you're ready to start experiencing all the health benefits peaches have to offer, purchase fresh Georgia peaches from Lane Southern Orchards. At Lane Southern Orchards, we pride ourselves on our Southern hospitality by providing authentic Georgia peaches fresh from our farm to your family. For those in the area, feel free to visit the farm and pick your peaches yourself. Otherwise, you can order any of our peach products online.
To learn more about how you can get our delicious farm-fresh peaches, contact Lane Southern Orchards today.