Nectarines Nutrition Facts

Calories in Nectarines and Their Health Benefits

Bunch of Nectarines
Ionas Kaltenbach/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images.

Nectarines are almost identical to peaches when it comes to their nutrient profile. Their appearance isn't too different, either, with the main difference being their skin. Peaches are covered with fuzz, while nectarines have a thin, smooth skin. Although their flavors are slightly different, they can be interchanged in recipes and their flesh ranges from white to pale orange.

Nectarines are either freestone or clingstone.

Freestone nectarines are commonly eaten out of hand, whereas clingstone nectarines are better for cooking and are the type most often canned.

Nectarines are best in the summer, peak season in July and August. Canned and frozen nectarines are available all year long.

Nectarine Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 medium (2-1/2" dia) (142 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 62 
Calories from Fat 4 
Total Fat 0.5g1%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 0mg0%
Potassium 285.42mg8%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Dietary Fiber 2.4g10%
Sugars 11.2g 
Protein 1.5g 
Vitamin A 9% · Vitamin C 13%
Calcium 1% · Iron 2%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Nectarines are low in calories, and are a great source of fiber, containing about 10 percent of your daily needs in one medium sized fruit. Fiber can help to keep you full, pull cholesterol away from your heart, and keep your bowels and blood sugar stable.

Health Benefits of Nectarines

Nectarines are a good source of vitamin C, containing about 13 percent in one medium piece of fruit. They also contain vitamin A, fiber, potassium and beta carotene. They, like peaches, also have significant amounts of phytochemicals—plant-based compounds that are linked to various health benefits, such as reducing risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Beta carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, is an antioxidant that aids in maintaining healthy skin and eye health.

Common Questions About Nectarines 

Do I need to purchase organic nectarines?

Like peaches, nectarines are on the dirty dozen list .This means that they tend to have higher pesticide residue. When possible, it's best to purchase organic nectarines. If cost is an issue, conventional is fine too, just make sure you wash them thoroughly. You can also look to purchase frozen nectarines, which can be frozen at peak freshness, increasing their vitamin and mineral content.

How do I slice nectarines?

Nectarines have a large pit in the center. To remove the pit, wash the nectarine first and dry it off with a paper towel. Place the nectarine on a cutting board. Make a deep cut, cutting through to the pit along the center seam using a sharp paring knife. Next, twist the cut nectarine in opposite directions so that you have two halves. The pit should be easily removed with your fingers or a spoon.

Picking and Storing Nectarines 

Peak season for nectarines is the summer months, with July and August producing the best crop. Canned and frozen nectarines are available all year long. If you decide to purchase canned nectarines, make sure to choose those that are in their own juices and do not have added sugar.

When shopping, make sure to smell your nectarines. Choose those that have a good aroma. The skin should be a creamy, yellow or yellow-orange and free of blemishes such as bruises, soft spots, and wrinkles. Contrary to what most people believe, red patches do not indicate ripeness. If you find a green skinned nectarine, that means it was picked too early and will not ripen further. Nectarines will soften over time, but once they are picked they will not become sweeter.

Nectarines will continue to ripen at room temperature (unless they are picked when they are immature), and this process can be sped up by putting them in paper bag.

You can store nectarines in the refrigerator to keep them from getting overly ripe, but they're tastiest and juiciest eaten at room temperature. If you aren't going to be able to eat your nectarines before they over-ripen, wash them, remove the pit, cut them into slices, and freeze in a freezer bag.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Nectarines 

Nectarines are great eaten by themselves or paired with a handful of nuts or nut butter for a fiber rich, high protein snack. Nectarines are also a wonderful addition to salads, whole grain pancakes, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and hot cereals, like oatmeal. Cut them up and top your whole grain toast or crackers with them for a sweet, filling snack. Or chop them up and add them to salsa for a low-fat, flavorful protein topper. Lastly, blend them into a refreshing smoothie, which can be used as a meal replacement.

They are also key ingredients in some more indulgent types of foods, such as jams, pies and cobblers. Whip up a compote to place on top of yogurt for a low-fat, nutrient rich dessert.

Recipes With Nectarines 

Make your breakfast, appetizers, snacks and main meals with nectarines. Try these recipes for starters:

Sources:

Labensky, SR, Hause, AM. On Cooking: A textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. 3rd ed. Upper Sadle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003: 802.

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