Summer is officially on our doorstep, so it’s time to open up the house and enjoy the abundance of fruit and veg on offer - including peaches. Peaches are a stone fruit, much like nectarines, but with fuzzy skin. The flesh varies in colour from cream to a deep yellowy/orange with a delicious sweet flavour. They have a low kilojoule content, are relatively high in fibre and contain a healthy dose of niacin, potassium, manganese, copper and vitamins A, C, E and K, making them a great addition to the fruit bowl.
Peaches promote a healthy digestive system with a combination of soluble and insoluble fibre. The insoluble fibre keeps you regular by allowing food to easily move through the digestive tract, while soluble fibre absorbs water and adds bulk to your stools. Peaches also contain prebiotics, which feed the gut’s good bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Eating peaches can contribute to a healthy heart, thanks to the fibre, potassium, vitamin C and choline. Fibre helps lower cholesterol by binding to cholesterol particles in the blood, while an increase in potassium consumption (fruit and vegetables) combined with a decrease in sodium consumption (packaged foods, added salt) results in lowering blood pressure levels.
Opt for fresh peaches over tinned or packaged varieties and always eat the skin, which contains many of its nutrients. While peaches are delicious as they are, in a fruit salad or sliced on top of cereal, they also make a great addition to healthy muffins, tarts and baked goods. Plus they can add a pop of flavour to your favourite summer salads and salsas, especially if you chargrill them first.
Looking for more great articles about nutrition? Read Breaking down the Mediterranean diet.