The health benefits of peach fruit include relief from hypokalemia, obesity, cholesterol, blood stasis, and neurodegenerative diseases. It helps in eye care, skin care, maintaining a healthy nervous system, bones, and teeth. Peach fruit is also known to have anti-cancer properties.
It has anti-aging properties and also helps in detoxification, as well as improving digestion and cellular health. It has essential nutrients and antioxidants which are valuable during pregnancy and it helps in strengthening the immune system as well.
What is Peach?
Peaches are juicy and versatile summer fruits that are native to China and South Asia. Their Latin name is Prunus persica and peaches are a product of deciduous trees that grow in temperate regions of the world. Peaches belong to the family of Rosaceae, which includes fruits like plums and cherries.
Unlike nectarines, which have a smooth outer surface, peaches have fuzzy, velvety skin. They have a delicate aroma and a juicy, yellowish pulp. Peaches are drupes or stone fruits because their outer fleshy part surrounds a shell, which encloses an edible seed.
Based on the grip of the flesh being free or rigid on the seed, peaches are classified in the clinging-stone variety where the pulp clings tightly to the pit, a semi-freestone in which the flesh separates with little effort, and a free-stone variety in which the pulp separates easily from the pit.
Watch Video: 10 Reasons To Eat Peaches
Serving Size : Nutrient Value Water [g] 88.87 Energy 39 Energy [kJ] 165 Protein [g] 0.91 Total lipid (fat) [g] 0.25 Ash [g] 0.43 Carbohydrate, by difference [g] 9.54 Fiber, total dietary [g] 1.5 Sugars, total including NLEA [g] 8.39 Sucrose [g] 4.76 Glucose (dextrose) [g] 1.95 Fructose [g] 1.53 Maltose [g] 0.08 Galactose [g] 0.06 Calcium, Ca [mg] 6 Iron, Fe [mg] 0.25 Magnesium, Mg [mg] 9 Phosphorus, P [mg] 20 Potassium, K [mg] 190 Zinc, Zn [mg] 0.17 Copper, Cu [mg] 0.07 Manganese, Mn [mg] 0.06 Selenium, Se [µg] 0.1 Fluoride, F [µg] 4 Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg] 6.6 Thiamin [mg] 0.02 Riboflavin [mg] 0.03 Niacin [mg] 0.81 Pantothenic acid [mg] 0.15 Vitamin B-6 [mg] 0.03 Folate, total [µg] 4 Folate, food [µg] 4 Folate, DFE [µg] 4 Choline, total [mg] 6.1 Betaine [mg] 0.3 Vitamin A, RAE [µg] 16 Carotene, beta [µg] 162 Cryptoxanthin, beta [µg] 67 Vitamin A, IU [IU] 326 Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg] 91 Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg] 0.73 Tocopherol, gamma [mg] 0.02 Tocotrienol, alpha [mg] 0.03 Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg] 2.6 Fatty acids, total saturated [g] 0.02 16:0 [g] 0.02 18:0 [g] 0 Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g] 0.07 16:1 [g] 0 18:1 [g] 0.07 Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g] 0.09 18:2 [g] 0.08 18:3 [g] 0 Phytosterols [mg] 10 Tryptophan [g] 0.01 Threonine [g] 0.02 Isoleucine [g] 0.02 Leucine [g] 0.03 Lysine [g] 0.03 Methionine [g] 0.01 Cystine [g] 0.01 Phenylalanine [g] 0.02 Tyrosine [g] 0.01 Valine [g] 0.02 Arginine [g] 0.02 Histidine [g] 0.01 Alanine [g] 0.03 Aspartic acid [g] 0.42 Glutamic acid [g] 0.06 Glycine [g] 0.02 Proline [g] 0.02 Serine [g] 0.03 Sources include : USDA
According to USDA Nutrition Data, peaches store a broad range of nutrients that are vital for the healthy functioning of the body. Peaches are a rich source of potassium, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). They are also a good source of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), vitamin K (phylloquinone), vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B-6, and folate. Peaches offer a rich treasure of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and copper.
Calories in a Peach: 1 medium-sized peach contains around 59 calories and 0 cholesterol.
Health Benefits of Peaches
According to research, peaches offer many amazing benefits. They help in maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure and boosting cardiac health. Along with the fresh and processed products, canned peaches can also be used to obtain its health benefits, with the lucrative bonus of having no harmful calories.
A study conducted by G. Mackinney, University of California, Berkeley, peaches are also rich in carotenoids. Let’s take a look at their amazing health benefits!
Research published at the U. S. Department of Agriculture suggests peaches are rich in phenolic and carotenoid compounds, which possess anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
Another research published in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry reveals that it also helps in fighting various types of cancers such as breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer.
Studies have supported the fact that chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid present in peaches exert beneficial effects in inhibiting the growth of breast cancer cells without affecting the normal cells, unlike chemotherapy, which negatively affects healthy cells as well.
In addition to this, research conducted at the University of Illinois, Chicago in 2008 has shown that the botanical group Rosaceae, which includes peaches, is rich in beta-carotene, thereby providing protective effects against lung cancer.
Peaches help in maintaining healthy skin owing to the presence of a good amount of vitamin C, which also provides a defense against harmful free radicals and infections.
Peaches exert protective effects on the skin against ultraviolet radiation. A study conducted by Wilhelm Stahl at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany, has provided evidence that the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein have significant anti-inflammatory effects on the skin damage caused by UV-B radiation and they protect it from the hyperproliferation of cells. Flavonoids present in peaches have photoprotective effects and help in preventing the skin from UV-induced erythema.
Peaches are widely used in the cosmetic industry for the manufacturing of skin creams and beauty packs. They help you get rid of dark circles. The wealth of flavonoids and essential vitamins and minerals in peaches help in sloughing off dead cells, as well as hydrating and revitalizing the skin. The antioxidants, in peaches, promote faster recovery of skin problems such as blemishes and spots.
Helps Manage Diabetes
Peaches help prevent the risk of Type 1 diabetes as they show a significant decrease in blood sugar levels, thanks to their high fiber content. They also have a low glycemic index of 26-55, making it fit for diabetics. The American Diabetes Association recommends eating fruits like peaches to satisfy one’s sweet tooth. However, avoid canned peaches in sweet syrup.
Improve Heart Health
Researchers from the University of California found that the phenolic compounds present in the peel and pulp of the clingstone peaches help in maintaining lower levels of LDL (bad) and stimulating HDL (good) cholesterol. This aids in reducing the risk of developing diseases related to the heart and maintaining optimal cardiovascular health.
Peaches are rich in beta-carotene, which gets converted into vitamin A within the body. Beta-carotene plays an important role in maintaining healthy eyesight and preventing various eye diseases like xerophthalmia and blindness.
An investigative research study has shown that the carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, present in peaches have positive effects associated with a reduced prevalence of nuclear cataract.
As suggested by a long-term supplementation study, lutein and zeaxanthin reside in the macular pigment of the eye and help in protecting the retina from age-related macular degeneration.
In addition to this, a study conducted by George Torrey, Ph.D., a graduate of Brown (‘61), Harvard (‘62) and the Univ. of Connecticut (‘68), these components present in peaches guard the retinal tissues against the damage caused by free radicals and the potential injury caused by high-wavelength light.
Peaches contain potassium, which is vital for proper nerve signaling and cellular functioning of the body. The potassium content in peaches also helps in metabolic processes, utilizing carbohydrates, maintaining electrolyte balance, and the regulation of muscular tissues. A lack of potassium in the body can lead to hypokalemia which can affect muscular strength and can cause an irregular heartbeat.
Research suggests that the peels and the pulp of peaches possess significant antioxidant properties. According to a study, the presence of chlorogenic acid in these fruits also contributes to their protective effects.
Antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin help in scavenging oxygen-derived free radicals and thus protect the body against the harmful effects of various diseases.
Useful in Pregnancy
Peaches are valuable during pregnancy due to the presence of a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C helps in the healthy growth of the bones, teeth, skin, muscles, and blood vessels of the baby. It also helps in the absorption of iron, which is extremely crucial during pregnancy.
The folate in peaches helps in preventing neural tube defects like spina bifida. Potassium in peaches helps in averting the muscle cramps and general fatigue, which is common during pregnancy.
Aid in Digestion
Peaches are good for maintaining healthy digestive health due to their alkaline content and fiber. Dietary fiber in peaches absorbs water and helps in preventing stomach disorders like constipation, hemorrhoids, stomach ulcers, gastritis, and irregular bowel movements.
It also helps in cleansing and eliminating the toxic waste from the intestines and preventing the body from contracting various abdominal disorders, including stomach cancer. Due to its laxative properties, peaches also aid in the dissolution of kidneys and bladder stones.
Maintain Healthy Nervous System
The presence of magnesium in peaches helps prevent stress and anxiety in the body and aids in keeping the nervous system calm. According to research, magnesium deficiency can affect the functioning of the central nervous system, resulting in hyper-excited muscles and the increased activity of nerve signals.
An investigative research study conducted in this regard has suggested that the intake of magnesium-rich foods along with vitamin B6 has favorable effects on the central nervous system hyperexcitability in children.
Another study has suggested that magnesium treatment helps in recovering from the symptoms of major depression. The consumption of peaches is also considered beneficial in Ayurvedic therapy for balancing the nervous system.
Help Combat Obesity
Peaches contain bioactive components that have shown beneficial effects in combating obesity-related disorders. An investigative research study suggests that the presence of phenolic compounds in peaches has anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity properties.
Peaches are rich in ascorbic acid and zinc, which aid in the normal functioning of the body and help maintain a healthy immune system. According to research on the immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc, they exert effectual wound healing. Also, their antioxidant properties help in fighting infections and reducing the prevalence and severity of diseases such as common cold, malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea. A deficiency of these components can result in oxidative bursts and impaired cellular activity.
Peaches are a source of zinc, which has anti-aging properties. In the book Stopping the Clock, Ronald Klatz says that the consumption of zinc-rich foods such as peaches promotes the production of antibodies and inhibits the cellular damage caused by free radicals.
It also interferes with the aging process of male reproductive organs by boosting the levels of the reproductive hormone testosterone in the body.
Improve Bone & Teeth Health
Peaches contain phosphorus which, along with calcium, helps in strengthening bones and teeth, and maintaining and repairing the bodily tissues. It also aids in the prevention of various bone diseases like decalcification, which can lead to osteoporosis, particularly in post-menopausal women.
Consumption of foods rich in phosphorus such as peaches promotes re-mineralization of bones and maintains their rigidity. Along with calcium, the vitamin C content in peaches also plays an important role in the strengthening of jawbones and gums, which helps in keeping the teeth intact.
Detoxify the Body
Peaches are beneficial for cleansing and detoxifying the body, and they assist in flushing out harmful toxins from the liver and kidneys. They are widely used in many cultures in the manufacturing of herbal detoxification products such as detox teas.
Heal Blood Stasis
The inner kernel of peaches is suggested to be beneficial against the condition of blood stasis in which blood becomes inactive. Blood stasis may arise as a consequence of a long-term deficiency of blood and may result in its dryness. This can happen because of childbirth, abdominal injuries or surgeries.
Improve Cellular Health
Peaches contain iron, which is vital for the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells. The consumption of foods like peaches is important during all the stages of life, including childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and phases of menstruation and pregnancy.
Prevent Brain Disorders
Studies have proven that peach extracts exert beneficial effects on the central cholinergic system. The cholinergic system is a neurotransmitter system that acts as the backbone of memory and learning functions. Components present in peaches avert the cholinergic system from degenerating and thus prevent various disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
How To Use Peaches?
Due to the abundance of health-promoting compounds, delicious flavor, and low calories, peaches are often added as an ingredient in various healthy recipes such as yogurts, shakes, and cakes. The popular uses of peaches include the following:
- You can add peaches to salads with spinach, nuts, mozzarella, salmon, tofu, and top it with balsamic dressing.
- You can also eat them as they are, raw.
- You can add peaches to your breakfast with oatmeal, waffles, French toasts, and cold cereals.
- You can also add them to iced tea, shakes, smoothies, and juices for a refreshing taste.
- You can also make a quick and delicious dessert with peaches such as peach cobbler, peach cake, peach crisps, and peach pie.
Other Uses of the Peach Tree
Apart from peaches themselves, other parts of the peach tree also provide a range of health benefits.
- Peach leaf: The leaves of the peach tree can be helpful against cough, bronchitis, and abdominal disorders. They possess detoxifying, laxative, and diuretic properties, and are also effective against abdominal worms and in the healing of wounds. They are also used in the manufacturing of green-colored dyes.
- Peach flowers: The flowers of the peach tree help in relieving the symptoms of constipation and edema.
- Peach bark: The dried bark of the peach tree can help alleviate symptoms of jaundice and dropsy.
Side Effects of Peach
Peaches may have a few side effects, which include:
- Allergic reactions: They may cause food allergies due to the presence of certain allergens. Production and storage of dried peaches may involve the use of sulfite as a preservative. Consuming this can lead to allergic reactions including worsened symptoms of asthma, urticaria, bronchial-constrictions, and anaphylaxis.
- Peach seeds: The seeds of stone fruits like apricots and peaches are known to naturally contain cyanide. According to the U.S. National Poison Center, while poisoning from unintentional ingestion is unlikely, caution must be exercised.
- China is the largest producer of peaches. The fruits are considered a Chinese symbol of longevity and immortality.
- Other top contributors to peach production are Italy, Spain, the U.S., and Greece. Georgia is also known as the “Peach State” for its contribution to producing the highest quality peaches in terms of flavor, texture, and nutritional content.
- Peaches attained the rank of the state fruit of Georgia in 1995.
- They come in different sizes, with colors ranging from yellow to red, depending on the country of origin.