The onset of summer season marks the availability of succulent and juicy peaches among other fruits. The peach is basically a fruit of the deciduous tree (Prunus persica) belonging to the rosaceae family and known by the same name. Peach fruit in Hindi is called ‘Ardu’ or ‘Aadoo’ This fruit is technically a ‘drupe’ which is closely related to cherries, plums, almonds and nectarines.
It is believed to have originated in China which is also the largest producer of the peach fruit followed by Italy. Its appearance is similar to that of a small apple. It is generally round to oval in shape and measures 7 to 10 cm in diameter and 130 grams in weight. Its outer surface is fuzzy and features longitudinal depressions extending from the stem to the tip.
Peaches can be broadly classified into two varieties- free stone variety where the seed is free in the center of the fruit and clinging seed variety where the seed is firmly attached to the pulp. The inner flesh comprising of nearly 87% water, is juicy and has a sweet and tart taste with a pleasant aroma. Different cultivars of peaches are grown all over the world having colors ranging from white to creamy yellow and centrally placed single seed which is inedible.
These fruits are available in between May to October. Peaches can be eaten in different ways. They have to be peeled before eating. They can be added to salads or used in cocktails, desserts, jams, jellies and other recipes. Canned peaches are available all the year round.
Peach Fruit Benefits for Health:
Peaches have much more to offer than their amazingly delicious taste. Being loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other chemical contents, peaches provide you with the following health benefits.
1. Cardiovascular Benefits:
Being rich in iron and vitamin K, peaches help in keeping your heart healthy. Vitamin K prevents blood clotting, thus providing protection against several heart diseases. Iron is required for the formation of red blood cells. It keeps your blood healthy and prevents anemia which occurs due to iron deficiency. Lycopene and lutein in peaches also reduce the risk of heart disease. They also contain potassium, an electrolyte that regulates blood pressure and maintains fluid balance, thus controlling your heart rate and providing protection against stroke.
Peaches are high in antioxidants, particularly chlorogenic acid which is concentrated in their skin and flesh and is known to have anti-cancer properties. They are also a good source of vitamin A which provides protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
3. Eye Health:
Peaches are a good source of beta carotene, a compound that is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is vital for the health of retina and its deficiency can cause weak eye sight. Thus, consuming peaches is a great way of improving your beta carotene levels to maintain healthy eyes. It also prevents night blindness and age related macular degeneration.
4. Detoxifies Your System:
One of the benefits of peaches is that they help in removing toxins from your system. The high content of potassium and fiber reduces the risk of stomach ulcers, inflammation and kidney related diseases. Peaches are also beneficial in curing digestive problems like gastritis and colitis. In China, peach tea is used as a natural remedy for kidney cleansing and detoxification. Peach can help remove worms from the stomach and cure stomach upsets.
5. Stress Reliever:
In Hungary, peach is referred to as the “Fruit of Calmness” due to its ability to relieve stress and anxiety. It helps in restoring the calmness of mind and its flowers are particularly beneficial for treating restlessness.
6. Dental Health:
Peaches also contain fluoride and small amounts of calcium, the compounds that are present in bones and teeth. Minerals like iron and fluoride prevent cavities and other dental issues. So consumption of peaches can help cure bone diseases and several dental problems.
7. Weight Loss:
Peaches are low in calories and fat free which makes them ideal for weight loss. Moreover, they contain natural sugars which do not raise the blood sugar or insulin levels. So including this fruit in your meals can make you slim by burning extra fat deposits in the body.
8. Other Benefits:
Peaches have diuretic and laxative effects which help in relieving pain due to gout and rheumatism. They can inhibit tumor growth through their antimicrobial and antioxidant activity. The phytochemicals in peaches known as phenols can fight obesity related diabetes. A medicinal tea prepared from the bark and leaves of peach tree is effective in curing chronic bronchitis, coughs and gastritis.
Peach Fruit Benefits for Skin:
Peaches play an important role in skincare, thanks to their rich variety of skin friendly nutrients and antioxidants. They offer the following benefits for your skin.
9. Removes Dead Cells:
Peaches contain very high levels of vitamin C which is great for your skin. Rubbing a slice of peach on your skin as face mask sloughs away dead skin cells and the enzymes present in it nourish and refresh your skin.
10. Anti-Aging Benefits:
Vitamin C in peaches is a powerful antioxidant that slows down the ageing process, thus reducing wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles and blemishes. Peach is often used as an ingredient in anti-ageing face masks. It tightens the skin’s pores and rejuvenates a tired skin.
11. Great Moisturizer:
Peach is a great moisturizer for dry skin due to the presence of vitamin A and C. If you have dry skin, you can apply a mixture of peach paste and yoghurt for some time and rinse off with lukewarm water. This will not only moisturize your skin but also make it soft and supple. Rubbing peach juice on your skin will impart a natural glow to it. Peach can also be used in oily skincare regimens as well as cosmetics. Vitamins A and C help regenerate skin tissue.
12. UV Protection:
Being rich in vitamin C, A and K, beta carotene, potassium, magnesium and selenium, peaches protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays. To treat sunburns, you can boil this fruit, mash it with a fork and apply it on your face after returning from outdoors. The peel of fruit can also cleanse your skin effectively.
13. Healing Qualities:
The proteins contained in peaches facilitate tissue repair in case of cuts or severe lacerations. Regular consumption of this fruit improves your immune system, thus warding off skin infections.
Peach Fruit Benefits for Hair:
Hair health also depends upon the supply of vital nutrients to the hair follicles. Peaches are, thus, beneficial for your hair due to the presence of these nutrients.
14. Prevents Hair Loss:
Being loaded with plenty of nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants, peaches make your hair healthy and silky. Their positive effects on your scalp include providing protection against hair loss.
15. Scalp Cleanser:
This fruit is often used in hair masks to treat scalp problems. A dirty scalp can also lead to hair fall. Topical application of peach in the form of hair mask cleanses your scalp and makes your hair soft and shiny.
Peach: Nutritional Value
These fruits have a rich nutritional value incorporating vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Their nutrition can be explained as follows.
|See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:Peaches (Prunus persica), Fresh, Nutritive value per 100 g.|
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.25 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.5 g||4%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.153 mg||3%|
|Vitamin A||326 IU||11%|
|Vitamin C||6.6 mg||11%|
|Vitamin E||0.73 mg||5%|
|Vitamin K||2.6 µg||2%|
- Calories: They are extremely low in calories with one large fruit of 6 pounce providing just 70 calories.
- Carbohydrate, Fat and Proteins: Most of the calories are provided by 17 grams of carbohydrate contained in one large peach. It also contains 1.5 grams of protein and negligible fat of 0.4 grams.
- Dietary Fiber: One large peach contains about 2 grams of fiber which is mostly concentrated in its skin.
- Vitamins: One large peach provides 570 International Units of vitamin A which is equivalent to more than 10 % of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of this vitamin. It is high in vitamin C, providing 12 mg or around 20% of the RDA. It also provides 1.4 mg or 14% of the RDA of niacin or vitamin B3. It contains other B complex vitamins and vitamin E in small quantities.
- Minerals: Peaches do not contain sodium but are particularly rich in potassium with one large peach providing 332 mg or around 10% of the RDA of this mineral. It also provides 10 mg calcium, 30 mg potassium, 16 mg magnesium, 0.3 mg zinc and 0.4 mg iron.