Summer Superfoods: Stone Fruits
The summertime stone fruits are piled high in the farmer’s markets and they taste so good that it’s easy to forget how good they are for you! Peaches, plums, and nectarines have more than just their pits in common – their health benefits are similar too, working to fight obesity related diseases and boost cardiovascular health.
A ripe peach is like nature’s candy, and at roughly 68 calories per fruit, you can eat candy all day. In addition to their low-calorie, high fiber, diet-friendliness, peaches are also rich sources of vitamins: A, C, E K, six B-vitamins and beta carotene. Vitamin A and beta carotene help with vision, whereas C and E are antioxidants, and K is essential for blood clotting. Thiamin, riboflavin, B-6, niacin, folate, and pantothenic acid are also in peaches, supporting nerves and cells.
But one of the most important nutrients in peaches is potassium which helps eliminate toxins from the body, prevents kidney stones and bone loss, and helps maintain healthy blood pressure. In fact, it’s recommended that adults have 4,700mg of potassium every day (one peach contains 333mg).
Studies are showing that plums and other stone fruits have bioactive compounds that may fight metabolic syndrome (when obesity and inflammation converge to produce serious health problems). Scientists are looking at the phenolic compounds for anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.
Whenever you have a bright orange fruit, you know you’re eating something that is high in beta carotenes – an antioxidant that protects against free radicals and converts to vitamin A (used to support skin, teeth, bones, and tissues).
Peaches, plums and nectarines are in peak season right now, so run out to your local farmer’s market and enjoy them at their best!