Peaches are loved by all. Many have included peaches in their daily diet, as it is good for the health. The native place of this delicious food is China, and it reached the rest of the world through the old silk route. The fruit belongs to the genus of Prunus. Prunus Persica is the scientific name of the fruit. The peach plan is small and deciduous. It grows to around 20 to 30 feet in height. It is seen widely in the United States, China and Europe. Several varieties of peach are grown all round the world.
Usually peach tree blooms in the spring season. The months between May and September are usually the peach season. The flesh of the fruit is very soft and juicy and has a sweet aroma.
Some of the Health Benefits of the Fruit
- Peaches are low in calories. They do not have any kind of saturated fats. A ripe peach contains the right amount of minerals and vitamins that can promote health.
- ORAC value or the antioxidant strength of peach per 100 Grams is 1814 TE.
- Choosing fresh peaches will give you a good amount of Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps in the synthesis of the connective tissues in our body. While consuming foods filled with Vitamin C, our body gains resistance against all kinds of infections and gets free from free radicals.
- Fresh peaches are rich sources of Vitamin A and B-Carotene. The pro vitamin B-Carotene, converts itself into Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is very important for night vision. For the purpose of maintaining healthy mucus membrane as well as skin, it is very essential to have vitamin A. Eating fruits such as peaches provides a rich supply of vitamin A that helps to protect the body from oral cavity cancer as well as lung cancer.
- Peaches are rich in certain vital minerals such as iron, potassium and fluoride. We all know that dietary Iron is highly essential for production of red blood cells (RBC) which is abundantly available in Peach Fruit. For the prevention of dental caries, Fluoride is very essential. It is a component of teeth and bones. An important component of the body fluids and cells is potassium. It helps to regulate the heart rate and the blood pressure.
- In peaches we find flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants that are health promoting, namely zeaxanthin, B-Cryptoxanthin and lutein. When present in the body, they behave like protective scavengers against all kinds of oxygen derived free radicals as well as ROS or Reactive Oxygen Species which are the major factors that boost up aging in humans and even in the production of different diseases inside the body.
Selection and Storage
Usually peaches are available all through the year. The major season of this fruit is from May to October. Picking fresh peaches from store with rich color are the right ones to be consumed. Try not to choose those that are extremely soft or those with bruises or cuts. The ripe peaches have a sweet aroma too. This fruit when mature is a bit hard. Such fruits can be kept at room temperature until they become ripe. For boosting the ripening process, covering the fruit in a paper bag is the proper method. If you keep ripe peaches in the refrigerator, make sure to bring it back to the room temperature before consumption. If you live in places where fresh peaches are not available, you can purchase dried peaches and store them like dates or raisins.
Serving Peaches and Preparing Dishes
Wash peaches under running water before consumption. You can consume peaches along with the skin. Cut the fruit lengthwise. There is a seed in the core. Remove the seed before consumption. You can even peel the skin off like in apples. Just like apples, cut peach fruit will turn brown due to the air exposure. Adding a few drops of lemon will prevent this color change.
Peaches are good for fruit salads, fruit cocktails, desserts, jams, jellies, tart, pie and baklava. It can also be included in many recipes. Include peaches in your daily diet just like apples and oranges and give your body the blessing of staying healthy.