August is National Peach Month and also the month where Stemilt harvests the majority of its organic peaches from Pasco, WA. I’ve admitted on The Stem before that peaches are one of my favorite Stemilt fruits. There is just something about the sweet, juicy, and slightly tart flavor profile of a tree-ripened, Artisan Organics peach that makes my mouth water. And, it must be hereditary as my son can’t seem to get enough of peaches right now either!
Unlike apples, pears, and cherries, the nutrition of peaches were always a bit of a mystery to me. Once I started enjoying this fruit regularly, I had to learn all about it. In this post, I’ll unveil 5 health secrets of peaches so that you, too, can enjoy this delicious summertime fruit without feeling an ounce of guilt!
Health Secret #1 – Peaches are low in calories.
There’s no need to fear a fresh peach if you are counting calories! One large peach (2 ¾ inches in diameter) has just 68 calories. Eating a peach with oatmeal for breakfast, almonds for a snack, or cottage cheese for lunch are all great low calorie ideas to satisfy a sweet tooth and hunger.
Health Secret #2 – Peaches are a good source of vitamin C and contain vitamin A.
That same large-sized peach delivers 19% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C and 11% of your daily vitamin A needs.Vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts the immune system in order to help fight colds and other chronic diseases. Peaches also contain vitamin A which promotes eye health.
Health Secret #3 – Peaches are a source for dietary fiber.
With 3 grams of fiber in one large peach, this fruit can help achieve your daily recommendation of fiber. The average U.S. adult consumes 15 grams of fiber per day, which is well short of the Institute of Medicine recommendations for adults (male adults in the U.S. need 38 grams of fiber per day, and female adults need 25 grams of fiber per day). Eating a fresh peach daily while in season is a great way to get more fiber in your diet. Fiber contributes to digestive health, can help lower cholesterol levels (which is good news for the heart as well), and helps to keep you feeling fuller, longer after eating.
Health Secret #4 – Peaches contain potassium.
Peaches are among the top potassium-rich fruits with approximately 333 mg, or 10% of the daily recommended value, in one large-sized peach. Potassium is a nutrient that helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. A potassium deficiency has been linked to chronic fatigue and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Health Secret #5 – Peaches might help fight diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
A recent study by Texas AgriLife Research found that peaches contain bio-active compounds that may help fight obesity-related diabetes and reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL), which is associated to cardiovascular disease. The compounds fight metabolic syndrome and were also found in other stone fruits, including plums and nectarines.