Peach: For a healthy nervous system, heart, hemostasis, etc.Nuturemite
Peach is juicy and versatile summer fruit that are native to China and South Asia. Peaches belong to the family of Rosaceae, which includes fruits like plums and cherries. Unlike nectarines, which have a smooth outer surface, peaches have fuzzy, velvety skin. They have a delicate aroma and a juicy, yellowish pulp. Peaches are drupes or stone fruits because their outer fleshy part surrounds a shell, which encloses an edible seed. Based on the grip of the flesh being free or rigid on the seed, peaches are classified in the clinging-stone variety where the pulp clings tightly to the pit, a semi-freestone in which the flesh separates out with little effort, and a free-stone variety in which the pulp separates easily from the pit.
Benefits of peach
Prevent Cancer –
Peaches are rich in phenolic and carotenoid compounds, which possess anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties. Another research conducted by Frederick Khachik reveals that it also helps in fighting various types of cancers such as breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer. Studies have supported the fact that chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid present in peaches exert beneficial effects in inhibiting the growth of breast cancer cells without affecting the normal cells, unlike chemotherapy, which negatively affects healthy cells as well. In addition to this, research conducted at the University of Illinois, Chicago in 2008 has shown that the botanical group Rosaceae, which includes peaches, is rich in beta-carotene, thereby providing protective effects against lung cancer.
Skin Care –
Peaches help in maintaining healthy skin owing to the presence of a good amount of vitamin C, which also provides a defense against harmful free radicals and infections. Peaches exert protective effects on the skin against ultraviolet radiation. A study conducted by Wilhelm Stahl at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany, has provided evidence that the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein have significant anti-inflammatory effects on the skin damage caused by UV-B radiation and they protect it from the hyperproliferation of cells.
Flavonoids present in peaches have photoprotective effects and help in preventing the skin from UV-induced erythema. Peaches are widely used in the cosmetic industry for the manufacturing of skin creams and beauty packs. They help you get rid of dark circles. The wealth of flavonoids and essential vitamins and minerals in peaches help in sloughing off dead cells, as well as hydrating and revitalizing the skin. The antioxidants, in peaches, promote faster recovery of skin problems such as blemishes and spots.
Treat Diabetes –
Peaches help prevent the risk of Type 1 diabetes as they show a significant decrease in blood sugar levels, thanks to their high fiber content. They also have a low glycemic index of 26-55, making it fit for diabetics.
Improve Heart Health –
Research conducted at the University of California has shown that the phenolic compounds present in the peel and pulp of the clingstone peaches help in maintaining lower levels of LDL (bad) and stimulating HDL (good) cholesterol. This aids in reducing the risk of developing diseases related to the heart and maintaining optimal cardiovascular health.
Eye Care –
Peaches are rich in beta-carotene, which gets converted into vitamin A within the body. Beta-carotene plays an important role in maintaining healthy eyesight and preventing various eye diseases like xerophthalmia and blindness. An investigative research study has shown that the carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, present in peaches have positive effects associated with a reduced prevalence of nuclear cataract. As suggested by a long-term supplementation study, lutein and zeaxanthin reside in the macular pigment of the eye and help in protecting the retina from age-related macular degeneration. In addition to this, a study conducted by George Torrey, Ph.D., a graduate of Brown (‘61), Harvard (‘62), and the Univ. of Connecticut (‘68), these components present in peaches guard the retinal tissues against the damage caused by free radicals and the potential injury caused by high-wavelength light.
Prevent Hypokalemia –
Peaches contain potassium, which is vital for proper nerve signaling and cellular functioning of the body. The potassium content in peaches also helps in metabolic processes, utilizing carbohydrates, maintaining electrolyte balance, and the regulation of muscular tissues. A lack of potassium in the body can lead to hypokalemia which can affect muscular strength and can cause an irregular heartbeat.
Antioxidant Capacity –
Research suggests that the peels and the pulp of peaches possess significant antioxidant properties. According to a study, the presence of chlorogenic acid in these fruits also contributes to their protective effects. Antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin help in scavenging oxygen-derived free radicals and thus protect the body against the harmful effects of various diseases.
Useful in Pregnancy –
Peaches are valuable during pregnancy due to the presence of a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C helps in the healthy growth of the bones, teeth, skin, muscles, and blood vessels of the baby. It also helps in the absorption of iron, which is extremely crucial during pregnancy. The folate in peaches helps in preventing neural tube defects like spina bifida. Potassium in peaches helps in averting muscle cramps and general fatigue, which is common during pregnancy.
Aid in Digestion –
Peaches are good for maintaining healthy digestive health due to their alkaline content and fiber. Dietary fiber in peaches absorbs water and helps in preventing stomach disorders like constipation, hemorrhoids, stomach ulcers, gastritis, and irregular bowel movements. It also helps in cleansing and eliminating the toxic waste from the intestines and preventing the body from contracting various abdominal disorders, including stomach cancer. Due to its laxative properties, peaches also aid in the dissolution of kidneys and bladder stones.
Maintain Healthy Nervous System –
The presence of magnesium in peaches helps prevent stress and anxiety in the body and aids in keeping the nervous system calm. According to research, a deficiency of magnesium can affect the functioning of the central nervous system, resulting in hyper-excited muscles and the increased activity of nerve signals. An investigative research study conducted in this regard has suggested that the intake of magnesium-rich foods along with vitamin B6 has favorable effects on the treatment of central nervous system hyperexcitability in children. Magnesium treatment helps in recovering from the symptoms of major depression. The consumption of peaches is also considered beneficial in Ayurvedic therapy for balancing the nervous system.
Treat Obesity –
Peaches contain bioactive components that have shown beneficial effects in combating obesity-related disorders. An investigative research study has suggested that the presence of phenolic compounds in peaches has anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity properties which help in fighting metabolic syndromes that can lead to serious health concerns.
Boost Immunity –
Peaches are rich in ascorbic acid and zinc, which aid in the normal functioning of the body and help maintain a healthy immune system. According to research on the immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc, they exert effectual wound healing and antioxidant properties that help in fighting infections and reducing the prevalence and severity of diseases such as the common cold, malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea. A deficiency of these components can result in oxidative bursts and impaired cellular activity.
Anti-aging Properties –
Peaches are a source of zinc, which has anti-aging properties. In the book Stopping the Clock, Ronald Klatz says that the consumption of zinc-rich foods such as peaches promotes the production of antibodies and inhibits the cellular damage caused by free radicals. It also interferes with the aging process of male reproductive organs by boosting the levels of the reproductive hormone testosterone in the body.
Improve Bone & Teeth Health –
Peaches contain phosphorus which, along with calcium, helps in strengthening bones and teeth, and maintaining and repairing the bodily tissues. It also aids in the prevention of various bone diseases like decalcification, which can lead to osteoporosis, particularly in post-menopausal women. Consumption of foods rich in phosphorus such as peaches promotes re-mineralization of bones and maintains their rigidity. Along with calcium, the vitamin C content in peaches also plays an important role in the strengthening of jaw bones and gums, which helps in keeping the teeth intact.
Detoxify the Body –
Peaches are beneficial for cleansing and detoxifying the body, and they assist in flushing out harmful toxins from the liver and kidneys. An investigative study has proven that peach extracts possess hepato-protectant elements and are valuable in treating the condition of hepato-toxicity caused as a result of prolonged therapy for various diseases like a migraine, tuberculosis, and diabetes. Peaches are widely used in many cultures in the manufacturing of herbal detoxification products such as detox teas.
Treat Blood Stasis –
The inner kernel of peaches is suggested to be beneficial in treating the condition of blood stasis in which blood becomes inactive. Blood stasis may arise as a consequence of a long-term deficiency of blood and may result in its dryness. This can happen because of childbirth, abdominal injuries or surgeries.
Improve Cellular Health –
Peaches contain iron, which is vital for the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells. The consumption of foods like peaches is important during all the stages of life, including childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and phases of menstruation and pregnancy.
Prevent Brain Disorders –
Studies have proven that peach extracts exert beneficial effects on the central cholinergic system. The cholinergic system is a neurotransmitter system that acts as the backbone of memory and learning functions. Components present in peaches avert the cholinergic system from degenerating and thus prevent various disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
Apart from peaches themselves, other parts of the peach tree also provide a range of health benefits.
- Peach Leaf: The leaves of the peach tree are beneficial for the treatment of a cough, bronchitis, and abdominal disorders. They possess detoxifying, laxative, and diuretic properties, and are also effective in treating abdominal worms and in the healing of wounds. They are also used in the manufacturing of green-colored dyes.
- Peach Flowers: The flowers of the peach tree help in relieving the symptoms of constipation and edema.
- Peach Kernels: Peach seeds are effective in the treatment of menstrual disorders such as dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, and other conditions including blood stasis, asthma, and cough. They are also beneficial in the treatment of acute appendicitis and dyspnea (shortness of breath), and they promote healthy blood circulation.
- Peach Bark: The dried bark of the peach tree is beneficial in the treatment of jaundice and dropsy.
Adding peaches to your diet
Due to the abundance of health-promoting compounds, delicious flavor, and low calories, peaches are often added as an ingredient in various healthy recipes such as yogurts, shakes, and cakes. The popular uses of peaches include the following:
- Adding peaches to salads with spinach, nuts, mozzarella, salmon, tofu, and top it with balsamic dressing.
- Eating them as they are, raw.
- Adding peaches to your breakfast with oatmeal, waffles, French toasts, and cold cereals.
- Adding them to iced tea, shakes, smoothies, and juices for a refreshing taste.
- Making a quick and delicious dessert with peaches such as peach cobbler, peach cake, peach crisps, and peach pie.
Peaches are in season in July and can be consumed anytime of the day but the best time is in the morning.
Peaches may have a few side effects, such as the following:
- Allergic Reactions: Peaches may cause food allergies due to the presence of certain allergens. Production and storage of dried peaches may involve the use of sulfite as a preservative, which can lead to allergic reactions including worsened symptoms of asthma, urticaria, bronchial-constrictions, and anaphylaxis.
- Peach Seeds: Excess usage of peach seeds should be avoided as they may have toxic effects due to the presence of cyanide in trace amount. It is always advisable to consult a medical professional in case of any use of medicinal products made from seeds of peaches.
Recipe for Peach halwa
Calories – 321, Total Time – 25m, Prep Time – 10m, 8 Servings
4 cup peaches
4 tablespoon ghee
2 teaspoon powdered green cardamom
3 tablespoon flaked almonds
1 cup khoya
1 cup sugar
To prepare this delicious halwa recipe, crumble khoya in a large bowl and keep aside. Then, wash the peaches in running water and chop them on a chopping board. Keep the chopped peaches in another bowl till required.
Now, put a kadhai over medium flame and heat ghee in it. Once the ghee is melted and hot enough, add the chopped peaches in it and stir continuously. Mash the peaches using a wooden spatula and simultaneously stir the mixture.
Next, put in sugar and crumbled khoya in the peach mixture and keep stirring the peaches over medium flame until you get the desired consistency of a thick halwa.
Sprinkle the cardamom powder in the kadhai and mix well. When done, switch off the burner and transfer the halwa into serving bowls. Garnish with almond flakes and serve hot!
Recipe for Peach chutney
Prep Time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 15 minutes, Total Time: 25 minutes, Servings: 10 people (around 1.5 cups of chutney)
Calories: 65 kcal
1.5 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
teaspoon fennel seeds: 1/2
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
3-4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1.5 inch ginger, 17 grams, finely chopped
1 small white onion, 70 grams, chopped
3 large ripe peaches, 675 grams, peeled and chopped
1.25 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar, 62 grams, or adjust to taste
Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, fennel seeds and mustard seeds to it. Let the seeds sizzle, the mustard seeds should pop.
Then add the garlic, ginger, onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until onions are softened.
Meanwhile peel the peaches, remove the pit and then chop them into small pieces. Add the chopped peaches into the pan.
The peaches I used in this recipe were really ripe so the skin came out easily. In case your peaches aren’t this ripe, blanch them in boiling water for few minutes until the skin can be removed easily.
Add in the garam masala, red chili powder, salt and white vinegar. Mix to combine and cook the spices with the peaches for a minute or two.
Then add the sugar and mix. Keep stirring as the sugar melts. Cook on low-medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes until the peaches are really soft. Mash some of the peaches with the back of a spoon/spatula as the chutney gets cooked.
Once the peaches are really soft and chutney has reached a desirable consistency, remove the pan from heat. The chutney will thicken as it cools down so do not make it very thick to begin with.
Since the peaches I used were very ripe, it only took around 5 to 7 minutes for them to get soft and mushy, the not so ripe ones may take more time.
Let it cool down to room temperature and then serve. Keep the peach chutney refrigerated. It should be good for a couple of weeks!
Links to some related videos:
Birla Morton Peaches, Halves, 850g
BrewHouse Tea Brewing Co. Naturally Brewed Organic Ice Tea – Classic Peach, 300 ml (Pack of 6)
Syruppo Syrup Peach 1Ltr
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