Health benefits of peach fruit include relief from hypokalemia, cancer, obesity, cholesterol, blood stasis and neurodegenerative diseases. It helps in maintaining healthy vision, skin care, nervous system, healthy bones, and teeth. It has anti-aging properties and also helps in detoxification, as well as improving digestion and cellular health. It has a wealth of essential nutrients and antioxidants which are valuable during pregnancy and it helps in strengthening the immune system.Peaches are juicy and versatile summer fruits that are native to China and South Asia. Its Latin name is Prunus persica, and peaches are a product of a deciduous tree and grows in temperate regions across the world. Peaches belong to the family of Rosaceae, which also include fruits like plums and cherries.
China is the largest producer of peaches and they are auspiciously revered as a Chinese symbol of longevity and immortality. Other top contributors in peach production are Italy, Spain, the United States, and Greece. In fact, Georgia is also known as the “Peach State” for its contribution in producing the highest quality peaches with respect to flavor, texture, and nutritional content. Peaches attained the rank of the state fruit of Georgia in 1995. Peaches are available in many different sizes, and their colors range from yellow to red, depending on the country of origin.
Unlike nectarines, which have a smooth outer surface, peaches have fuzzy, velvety skin. It has a delicate aroma and juicy, yellowish pulp. Peach is a drupe or a stone fruit because its 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 pulp clings tightly to the pit, a semi-free stone in which the flesh separates out with little effort, and a free-stone variety in which the pulp separates easily from the pit.
Nutritional Values Of Peach: Peaches store a broad range of nutrients that are vital for the healthy functioning of the body. Peaches are a rich provider of 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 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B-6, folate, and pantothenic acid. Peaches also offer a rich treasure of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, and copper. Peaches are low in calories, contain no saturated fat or cholesterol, and are a good source of dietary fiber.
Health Of Peaches: Besides its refreshing taste and aroma, peaches are rich in carotenoids and offer a variety of health benefits.
The peels and the pulp of peaches possess significant antioxidant properties. The presence of chlorogenic acid in peaches also contribute to their protective effects. Antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-crytoxanthin help in scavenging the oxygen-derived free radicals and protect the body against the harmful effects of various diseases.
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.
Cancer: 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.
Peaches are rich in phenolic and carotenoid compounds, which possess anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties, as well as helping 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 cancer treatment with chemotherapy, which negatively affects healthy cells as well. In addition to this, research has shown that the botanical groupRosaceae, which includes peaches, is rich in beta-carotene, thereby providing protective effects against lung cancer.
Skin Care: 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 also exert protective effects on the skin against ultraviolet radiation. Studies have 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 the skin from the hyperproliferation of cells. Flavonoids present in peaches have photo protective 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. 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 promote faster recovery of skin problems such as blemishes and spots.
Eye 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 prevents various eye diseases likexerophthalmia 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 the studies, 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, these components present in peaches guard the retinal tissues from the damage caused by free radicals and the potential injury caused by high-wavelength light.
Digestion System: 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.
Nervous System: The presence of magnesium in peaches helps to prevent stress and anxiety in the body and aids in keeping the nervous system calm. A deficiency of magnesium 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 B-6 has favorable effects in the treatment of central nervous system hyper-excitability 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.
For Low Cholestrol: Research has shown that phenolic compounds present in the peel and pulp of the clingstone peaches helps in maintaining lower levels of LDL cholesterol and stimulating good HDL cholesterol. This aids in reducing the risk of developing diseases related to the heart and maintains optimal cardiovascular health.
For Healthy Bones And Teeth: Peaches contain phosphorous which, along with calcium, helps in strengthening bones and teeth and helping in the maintenance and repair of 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 jaw bones and gums which helps in keeping the teeth intact.