6 Health Benefits of Peaches

The stone fruit has more health benefits than you might realize.

Peaches are a member of the stone fruit family, along with nectarines, plums, apricots, and cherries, and they're also a relative of almonds. In addition to being downright delicious, especially at their peak, peaches offer some unique health benefits. Here are six reasons to get your fill of this gorgeous, fuzzy fruit.

They're Good for Gut Health

One yellow peach (about 100 grams) contains 1.5 grams of fiber. It is the indigestible part of carbohydrates that helps prevent constipation, supports gut health, and helps manage blood sugar by slowing down how quickly blood sugars rise. Peaches also contain prebiotics, which feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut tied to anti-inflammation, immunity, and mood.

They Support Your Immune System

Peaches support immunity in three ways. An average peach (about 5 ounces) contains 6 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 7% of the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) for men and 8% for women. Several types of immune cells need vitamin C for their production, function, and protection.

Peaches also contain vitamin A, which plays a role in keeping your lungs and other organs healthy. The third way peaches support immunity is by way of their natural antimicrobial properties, which means certain components in peaches help fight off bacteria and other bugs that can make us sick.

They Have Antioxidant Properties

Peaches contain antioxidants—polyphenols and carotenoids specifically. Antioxidants are known to combat oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between the production of cell-damaging free radicals and the body's ability to counter their harmful effects. That's key for brain health, as oxidative stress is known to be a causative factor in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease.

You Might See Healthier Skin

Peaches have beta carotene and vitamin C: Both have been shown to support healthy skin. Beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, helps protect skin from sun damage. Additionally, vitamin C is needed to build collagen and improve skin elasticity.

Further, increasing water intake has been shown to have a positive effect on skin hydration. Because a fresh peach contains about 88 grams of water, peaches may also be hydrating for your skin (and body as a whole).

Peaches May Support Eye Health

The lutein and zeaxanthin in peaches help protect the retina and lens. These two carotenoids have been shown to reduce the risk of two common eye disorders—macular degeneration and cataracts.

The vitamin A in peaches also helps support healthy vision. While rare, a true deficiency of vitamin A can lead to a condition called xerophthalmia, which can damage normal vision and result in night blindness (the inability to see in the dark or low light).

Peaches Can Be Helpful for Blood Pressure

Peaches are high in potassium and that's important for blood pressure because consuming a lot of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, but potassium can help regulate blood pressure by acting as a natural diuretic to sweep excess sodium and fluid out of the body. Getting rid of excess sodium and fluid relieves pressure on the heart and arteries, while simultaneously lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke.

How To Add More Peaches to Your Diet

Peaches can be enjoyed in both savory and sweet dishes. Whip peaches into smoothies; add to oatmeal or overnight oats; puree for sauces, pudding, or frozen pops; incorporate into pie, cobbler, and other desserts; or enjoy them as is.

The stone fruit is fantastic when grilled, added to garden salads, transformed into salsa, or slivered into slaw. Unlike cherries, peaches continue to ripen after they're picked. If you prefer a juicer peach, place it in a paper bag at room temperature to speed up its transformation.

A Quick Review

Peaches are stone fruits with a number of possible benefits for your health, from being a good source of fiber to boosting the immune system to having antioxidant properties. Another great quality of peaches is that if you want to add them to your diet, they are versatile. In other words, you can find plenty of ways to enjoy peaches, including in salads, smoothies, oatmeal, and desserts.

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