Peaches are some of nature’s most beloved fruits. Due to their juiciness and incredible aroma, as well as due to their high accessibility all over the planet, peaches gained a lot of popularity and you can find them almost anywhere.
An Overview of the Peach and the Peach Plant
It’s believed that peaches originated in China more than 8,000 years ago, after which they began spreading through Asia and further westward, all throughout Europe.
Due to their structure, peaches resemble almonds, plums, apricots and cherries. This is because their juicy flesh surrounds a hard shell that actually contains an edible seed – fruits like this are dubbed drupes or stone fruit.
Peach trees sometimes can reach 6.5 metres (21 feet) in height and a lot less when they are cultivated and pruned. These plants are completely intolerant to severe cold temperatures and will often prefer milder temperatures. They are pretty short-lived – some orchards need to be replanted after 8-10 years.
Across the years many different varieties of peaches have been developed. In North America you’ll find that the Redhaven, Halford and Elberta are the more popular varieties, while in Europe you’ll find a combination of both yellow- and white-fleshed types.
What’s In a Peach?
Peaches made such a name for themselves not only because they’re simply delicious to eat, but also because they’re incredibly packed with vitamins and minerals that help maintain your body sturdy and healthy at all times. In order to better understand how this happens, let’s take a closer look at what nutritional value a peach has:
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fiber: 2 grams – when you have enough fiber in your diet you can notice an ease in bowel functions, as it has the ability to relax the digestive system. Fiber also makes you feel satiated, which will help you refrain from unnecessary snacking. These two features together will help you have a leaner body and a better-functioning digestive tract.
- Fat: less than 1 gram
- Carbs: 14 grams
- Vitamin A: 10% of the DV – vitamin A is the main factor in maintaining your eye health and fighting against natural macular degeneration. In other words, by getting plenty of vitamin A in your diet, you’ll be able to postpone the natural aging process when it comes to your eye health.
- Vitamin C: 17% of the Daily Value (DV) – this vitamin is responsible for maintaining the health of all the tissues in your body – this also includes repairing them.
- Potassium: 8% of the DV – this amazing mineral will regulate fluid levels in the body, muscle contraction and nerve signals.
- Niacin: 6% of the DV – otherwise known as vitamin B3 is responsible for lowering bad cholesterol levels and may play a role in preventing heart disease and type 1 diabetes.
- Copper: 5% of the DV – copper makes a team with iron and together they create red blood cells in the body. The nerves, immune system and blood vessels all benefit from the positive impact of a good copper intake in the body.
- Vitamin K: 5% of the DV – this plays a huge role in proper blood clotting, regulating blood calcium levels and bone metabolism.
- Manganese: 5% of the DV – this mineral is great in reducing inflammation in the body thanks to its strong antioxidant properties.
- Vitamin E: 5% of the DV – this vitamin also prevents inflammation, promotes eye health and may prevent coronary heart disease.
As you can see, these small fuzzy fruits pack in a lot of nutritional value and add only so many calories to your diet. In fact, this is true of most stone fruits, since they have a low glycemic index and are low in calories, which makes them suitable for those who are looking to lose weight.
Calories in a Peach: Different Calorie Count In Different Types
If you’re watching your weight or are simply interested in the calorie count of a peach, it’s important to remember that not all peaches are created equal. Depending on the variety of peach, each raw peach will have a different number attached to them, calorie-wise, so make sure you take this into consideration.
This number further changes depending on how you choose to consume your peaches. There’s going to be one calorie count when you eat a raw peach and a completely different one when you eat the peach canned or as part of a desert.
A peach is a fruit which is very juicy and sweet. This fruit can be classified into two types depending on the texture of their skin. The smooth ones are called nectarines while the velvety ones are the peaches. It has white to yellowish color of flesh with a subtle scent. This kind of fleshy fruit is called a drupe where there is a fleshy part surrounding a hardened inner seed.
A peach contains 79% of water and is very high in vitamin C and dietary fiber. However, it has high sugar content. It has high contents of vitamin A and potassium. It does not contain sodium and cholesterol in it, but it contains calories. This is mostly from the carbohydrates it contains.
The calories in a peach vary depending on how they are prepared. If it is raw, there are 66 peach calories per one cup of serving. If it is canned with juice, it has 110 calories per one cup serving. When it is canned in light syrup, it has 136 calories per one cup serving.
We can therefore conclude that fresh raw peach is much better to eat when you are watching your diet. It has lesser calories compared to the processed and canned peaches. This is because canning a peach has different steps that add calories in the process. So how to can peaches? It starts from preparing the solution you will mix with the peaches, and it is usually made up of water and sugar. Then, add a mixture of citric acid and vitamin C to the peaches and solution to prevent the flesh from darkening. The can will then be heated to be sealed.
Health Benefits of Eating Peaches
The fiber that peaches contain will help ease your digestion. This means that your gastrointestinal process will work more smoothly, easing up any potential discomfort you may already have had and ensuring proper functioning of bowel movement.
Peaches may also prevent certain heart conditions, since their mineral and vitamin content will decrease risk factors such as bad cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
Peaches may also help your skin retain more moisture, helping it look more lustrous and fresher for longer times.
The antioxidants in this fruit are very potent and an excellent aid in helping prevent certain cancers – we’re talking about carotenoids, polyphenols and caffeic acid.
The antioxidants and vitamins will also help your immune system become sturdier and better protected against potential illnesses and conditions, including allergies.
Your eye health will also benefit tremendously from regularly eating more peaches, due to its beta-carotene content. This compound also gives peaches their fabulous yellow-orange color.
Few people know that peaches also contain fluoride, which is one of the single most important ingredients in toothpaste. This means you’ll also benefit from healthier and more beautiful looking teeth – rest assured you can confidently sink your teeth into a juicy peach!
How Do You Pick the Right Peaches and How Do You Store Them?
The most relevant test you can make in order to assess how ripe a peach is to give it a gentle, yet firm squeeze. Be sure not to press it too much, since it bruises easily – hence the famous expression ‘to bruise easily like a peach’.
If your peaches are not ripe yet, you can leave them on the counter, at room temperature, for another day or two. If they are ripe enough to begin with, you can easily refrigerate them for another 5-7 days.
Integrating Peaches In Your Life
Peaches are very popular and extremely easy to integrate into your lifestyle. You can even get them canned from the supermarket or you may can them yourself.
So how to can peaches? It starts from preparing the solution you will mix with the peaches, and it is usually made up of water and sugar. Then, add a mixture of citric acid and vitamin C to the peaches and solution to prevent the flesh from darkening. The can will then be heated to be sealed.
Other ways you can make the best out of your peaches is to include them in:
- Your morning breakfast – add yogurt, granola, seeds, a few peach slices and you’re good to go until lunch.
- Your salad – that’s right, peaches even go in salads, if you’re willing enough to experiment and come up with eclectic tastes.
- Your baked desserts – peaches go very well in the oven. You can either serve your peaches baked with cinnamon and maple syrup on top or downright include them in tarts, cakes and panna cottas.
- Your muesli – properly dry up your peaches ensuring there is no moisture left and enjoy them as delicious and nutritious snacks for months to come.
All in all, it’s safe to conclude that peaches are both easy on your diet and a powerhouse of nutrients at the same time! They are easy to purchase, since they are very popular around the world, easy to include in your diet and absolutely delicious – truly some of nature’s best antioxidant fruits.