One of the more popular fruits around the world, peaches are sweet and have perhaps the best tasting exterior of any fruit. For those of us in the United States, you probably think of Georgia when it comes to peaches, but they are actually native to China, which is still the largest producer of peaches in the world. Now, peaches are enjoyed around in all regions, and can come in cans or eaten straight from the tree.
You might not think of peaches as being the most nutritious fruit because of its sweet taste, but there are still plenty of great benefits that you can get from eating them. There also might not be as many calories as you think in a peach, especially when you’re not getting the sweetened and canned version. Let’s take a look at the nutritional breakdown of peaches, and also tell you what those great proven health benefits are.
Nutrition of Peaches
With as sweet as peaches are, you would think that they would be higher in calories. Even very large peaches are still under 70 calories, however, making them the perfect snack. You’ll see a small amount of protein in each peach, with a whopping 10 percent of your daily dietary fiber recommendation. The most abundant vitamins to be found in a peach are vitamin C (19 percent recommendation) and vitamin A (11 percent).
You’ll also find smaller servings of vitamin E, vitamin K, niacin, riboflavin and more. There are plenty of good minerals to be had, as well. The most important here is potassium, hitting 10 percent of your daily value. The other significant minerals that come in at around five percent of daily value include manganese, copper, magnesium and phosphorus. There isn’t much in the way of fatty acids, but there are phytosterols and no cholesterol.
Eating one of those peaches that you can hardly hold in one hand can feel like an entire meal for some people. In that massive peach, you are still getting just 70 calories, while smaller ones (that are a bit more common) are only about 50 calories. That means you can eat a couple throughout the day if you need an energy boost without doing too much damage at all to your calorie count.
There is no fat to be found in peaches, and they even contain quite a bit of fiber. That fiber content is going to help you feel more full throughout the day, while the sweetness should be able to kick some of your cravings. If you get hungry in between meals and want something that can satisfy your hungry and sweet tooth, peaches are perfect. The added energy boost and increased metabolism to burn belly fat is a nice little bonus.
While it is sweet, peaches won’t do anything that will mess up your body’s blood sugar. This is especially true for those that are looking to manage their weight and avoid diabetes that can come forth as a result of being overweight. Peaches are packed with phenols, which are phytochemicals that can help your body regulate insulin and glucose levels.
Some people look at the carbohydrates in peaches and might get startled (especially compared to other fruits), but that’s misleading. Because of the fiber content in peaches, your body will be able to use those carbohydrates more efficiently. A medium sized peach doesn’t register very high on the glycemic index, at all, meaning that diabetics can turn to peaches in the summer and enjoy the taste.
You can’t understate the importance that fiber has for your digestive system. Since peaches are high in fiber, they make for a great part of your diet to control your digestion. Almost all problems associated with digestion that include constipation and diarrhea can be solved with a healthy fiber intake. It gets more serious, as well, as fiber-filled foods like peaches can even help you avoid colon cancer.
There are some people that have problems with kidney stones, gout and other issues that arise because of a buildup in uric acid. Peaches allow your body a more efficient way of flushing out this excess acid, reducing your likelihood of experiencing these painful problems. The list of benefits that your digestive system gets from eating peaches is simply too long to list all of them.
Many say that peaches have the best exterior in the fruit world, and they can even help your exterior. Peaches have plenty of zinc that can fight free radicals that cause signs of aging such as wrinkles and dead skin. This is especially helpful for men, as peaches can even increase your testosterone levels. Not only will you look better, but you’ll have much more energy than before.
You probably wouldn’t think of peaches as being great for your teeth, but vitamin C plays a big part in keeping your smile. Teeth thrive on vitamin C (and minerals such as phosphorus) to stay strong and bright. As a result, all of your bones see a benefit and you can avoid problems such as osteoporosis and arthritis, making you feel younger for longer.
Those same free radicals that we mentioned that attack your skin can also cause some serious chronic issues such as cancer. That zinc and vitamin C content boosts your immune system to a higher level, avoiding a wide range of illnesses. Heart disease is also another big issue that plagues millions around the world, and your cholesterol can even be reduced by eating more peaches. Studies have been shown to find that LDL (bad) cholesterol can be lowered while raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Summing it Up
With a fantastic taste and a wide array of health benefits, you might think that there are some catches when it comes to peaches, right? As long as you aren’t eating the canned version that can be packed with sugar, there really isn’t much cause for concern. One thing you have to be aware of is that you make peaches a part of your diet that includes plenty of other fruits and vegetables. Since peaches aren’t as nutrient-packed as some other fruits, you can be lacking in vitamins by picking only peaches as your daily fruit.
There is also a bit more sugar in peaches than in some other fruits, but not to the point where it’s going to do long term damage. As long as you mindful of how many sugars you’re eating in a day, peaches can certainly be a helpful part of your diet. That’s good news, too, as peaches are considered to be in the top five for favorite fruits in the United States, so go ahead and bite into one today!