Peaches are a type of stone fruit, along with plums, apricots, cherries and nectarines. As the name suggests, stone fruits have a stone-like central pit. Peaches come in white and yellow varieties and offer several nutritional payoffs. Peaches are also a moderate source of vitamins and minerals, especially: Vitamin A, and Potassium.
They can be eaten on their own or added to a variety of dishes. What’s more, peaches are nutritious and may offer an array of health benefits, including improved digestion, smoother skin, and allergy relief.
Here are some surprising health benefits peaches.
1. Improved digestion
“Peaches contain both soluble and insoluble fiber,” Smith says. “Soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar and keeps cholesterol levels in check. Insoluble fiber aids in digestion and helps prevent constipation.” Eating the skin of the fruit can maximize your fiber intake.
2. Decreased inflammation
The plant-based polyphenols (micronutrients) and prebiotics (live bacteria) that are found in peaches and other plant-based foods can decrease inflammation, which can, in turn, decrease your risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Stronger immune system
The fuzzy skin and juicy flesh of peaches contain good-for-you antioxidants, including vitamin C, polyphenols and carotenoids. Antioxidants are compounds in plants that fight cell damage, and antioxidant-rich diets can help protect your body against aging and illnesses, including cancer. In fact, scientists have found that postmenopausal women who ate at least two servings of peaches a week had lower rates of certain types of breast cancer.
4. Healthy eyes
“Peaches are a moderate source of beta carotene, a red-orange pigment found in fruits,” Smith says. The body turns beta carotene into vitamin A, an essential vitamin that’s important for healthy vision.
5. Smoother skin
Some lab research found that when applied to the skin, extracts made from peach pits or peach flowers might reduce UV damage and help skin retain moisture. More research is needed, but it’s another possible reason to love peaches.