Peaches Nutrition Facts

Calories in Peaches and Their Health Benefits

peaches
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Peaches are a great summertime treat, given their peak season in the summer months with July and August producing the best crop. Similar to nectarines, peaches are a stone fruit that are moderate in size, with a juicy, sweet flesh. The main difference between the two is the skin. Peaches have a thin, fuzz covered skin, while nectarines are smooth with no fuzz. The flesh ranges from white to pale orange and they can be interchanged in recipes.

Peaches are separated into two categories: clingstone and freestone. Freestone peaches are commonly eaten out of hand because their skin parts easily from the pit or stone. Clingstone peaches are better used for cooking and are the type that is used most commonly for canning. 

Peaches do contain carbohydrates, but they are also packed with good nutrition, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Peaches Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 medium 2-2/3" diameter (150 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 58 
Calories from Fat 4 
Total Fat 0.4g1%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g 
Potassium 285mg8%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Dietary Fiber 2.2g9%
Sugars 13g 
Protein 1.4g 
Vitamin A 3% · Vitamin C 16%
Iron 2%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

One medium peach contains about 58 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrate and 2.2 grams of fiber. Note, the larger the peach, the more calories and carbohydrate, therefore aim to stick to small or medium sized ones (about the size of a tennis ball). 

Health Benefits of Peaches 

Peaches are rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin C. Antioxidants seek and destroy free radicals, which are the result of oxidation in the body and can lead to heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other chronic inflammatory diseases. Vitamin C is perhaps one of the most well-known antioxidants.

In addition to having antioxidant benefits, vitamin C aids in boosting immunity, cell repair, including wound healing, as well as having anti-aging properties. 

Peaches are also a good source of fiber. Fiber is important for all people, as it is helps to remove cholesterol out of the body, promotes bowel health, increases satiety and can help to stabilize blood sugars. A fiber rich diet can help to prevent certain cancers and reduce the risk for diabetes, heart disease and obesity. In addition, eating a diet rich in fiber can help to keep you full and promote weight loss. 

Peaches contain carotenoids, particularly, provitamin A carotenoids, α-carotene, β-carotene, which can be synthesized into vitamin A, which is essential for normal vision and immune health. 

Peaches also have a relatively low glycemic index, which means they raise blood sugars at a slow rate. But, if you have diabetes, note that all people react to certain foods differently and therefore doing a simple blood sugar test can help you to determine how you respond to peaches. 

Common Questions About Peaches 

What are peach preserves? Are they healthy?

Peach preserves are like jam, but usually have a more chunky texture. They are usually prepared with sugar and a gelatin-like carbohydrate called pectin, which is used to thicken jams and jellies.

They typically contain a large amount of sugar in one serving and should be used sparingly. To reduce carbohydrate content, you can find no-sugar added preserves, but this product will likely have sugar substitute as a sweetening ingredient.  

Picking and Storing Peaches 

Choose peaches that smell sweet. They should have a creamy, yellow or yellow-orange color and unwrinkled skin. They should also yield slightly to pressure. If the skin is green, this means that the fruit was picked to early and it likely won't ripen—skip these. In addition, avoid peaches that have bruises or soft spots. 

If you buy your peaches somewhat firm you can place them on the counter to soften at room temperature for two to three days.

To enhance ripening, place them in a paper bag with an apple. Refrigerate when they are ripe. Once refrigerated, they will not ripen any further. 

Do not wash peaches until they are ready to be used. 

You can also purchase peaches canned or frozen. Aim to buy canned peaches that do not contain added sugar and rinse them before use. Frozen peaches can be just as good if not better than fresh as they are harvested at peak freshness which maintains their nutrition and flavor. 

Healthy Ways to Prepare Peaches 

Peaches are great eaten as is or they can be added to smoothies, low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, hot cereal, salsa, and other savory relishes. Use them to add flavor, sweetness and color to salads. They can be sauteed, grilled, or stewed.

They also are typically used for jams, chutneys and preserves and are used often in making desserts. Although these types of foods should be consumed less often, peaches can add nutrition and fiber to your favorite desserts.

Recipes with Peaches 

Source:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Storing peaches and nectarines. http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/planning-and-prep/cooking-tips-and-trends/storing-peaches-and-nectarines

Labensky, SR, Hause, AM. On Cooking: A textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. 3rd ed. Upper Sadle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003: 801-802.

Linus Pauling Institute. Carotenoids. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/carotenoids

Kaye Foster-Powell, Susanna HA Holt, and Janette C Brand-Miller (2002).International Table of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 76:5–56

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