Nutrition and Health Benefits from Peaches

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Nutrition and Health Benefits from Peaches
by Dan Gerhardt · All Zones · Food Nutrition · 0 Comments · March 15, 2011 · 3,544 views

Gotta Love Them Georgia Peaches

On the upside, peaches are about as smart and sexy as a Saturday smile, a smooth ride along the lake in a red, convertible BMW on a calm, clear summer day. If we didn't know any better, we would suspect them to be too good to be true, maybe something more along the line of a camoflauged redneck nectarine that left the spindly orchards of a small, backwoods Alabama town for Los Angeles in search of stardom, making it all the way to Beverly Hills for plastic surgery after starting a moderately successful modeling career and a guest appearance on Baywatch, but eventually moving to Atlanta, Georgia where they took up a glossy profession in marketing and advertising, with a Realtors license on the side.

But we know that peaches are real and not just wanna-be nectarine knock-offs in disguise. Peaches enjoy wind surfing, fine dining, and chardonnay; and are looking for tall, dark, and handsome. Peach nectar is the ambrosia of the gods and peaches are a class act - they look good, smell good, and behave themselves appropriately, using their inherent charm and southern manners. Peaches carry themselves with self-respect and dignity, whether sitting cross-legged and sipping tea in the parlor, fanning themselves on the large front porch, or strolling through the country garden of old, plantation-stlye mansions. Peaches have perfect complexions, shapely bodies, and Farah Fawcett smiles. Peaches are also hopeless romantics, forever the optimists, and the Barbie dolls of the female fruit world.

On the downside, much like beauty pageant contestants, peaches can be a little ditzy, not to mention high-maintenance, and like to shop too much for their own good. Insecure peaches are prone to jealousy, especially in their younger years. The jealous peach feels mostly threatened by other peaches, but can also stir up personal drama with shapely pears. As a fair warning, watch out for some peaches, especially the over-ripe ones, who can spread some pretty nasty diseases, with gnat-like fruit flies being the worst of them. Not that I would know from personal experience, mind you, but I hear horror stories. On occasion, peaches can get all sour-pussed at the drop of a dime and become frantically hysterical, but we know that with just a little spot of cream and a dash of sugar, they tend to sweeten back up rather quickly. At their very worst, though, peaches are the stone-cold, hard-hearted Jezebels of the female fruit world, enticing us men with their witchy ways to worship strange, foreign gods, and driving us insane to the point of no return. But, you know, my friends, as well as I do, that we could never throw them out the window, much less to the dogs. They are just too alluring, too luscious, and too utterly-delicious for that.

Peaches in History

Peaches originated in China and made their way West in classical times by way of Alexander the Great and the Romans. They eventually arrived in the Americas with the Spaniards during the 16th century. Chinese legend says that peaches bestow immortality. With its large central pit, the peach is related to the other stone fruits: apricot, almond, cherry, and plum.

Peach trees were brought to the state of Georgia in the 1700's. After the Civil War, peach growers developed new varieties and Georgia became known as "The Peach State." Georgia grown peaches are recognized for their superior flavor, texture, appearance and nutritious qualities. Georgia growers built a solid reputation for producing the highest quality fruit. The peach became the official Georgia state fruit in 1995.

Nutritional and Health Benefits From Peaches

Peaches and nectarines provide good sources of carotenes, potassium, flavonoids, and natural sugars. They are also good sources of lycopene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. These phytochemicals are especially beneficial in the prevention of heart disease, macular degeneration, and cancer. Lutein gives the red, orange, and yellow colors to fruits and vegetables. These substances have demonstrated the ability to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors. A study in China found that men and women who ate peaches more than two times per week had less risk of developing cancers of the mouth than those who did not eat peaches. Considering that peaches are native to China and a sacred symbol of longevity there, science is confirming what ancient Chinese wisdom has long espoused.

Peaches are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. The fiber in peaches acts as a gentle laxative, aids digestion, and may also help to combat cancer. The fruit is rich in cancer-fighting vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, as well as the immune-boosting vitamin C, which also protects against heart disease. The iron and potassium content of peaches help with the proper functioning of cells and nerve signal transmission.

Like most fruits, most of the vitamins are found in the skin, so be sure to enjoy peaches with their fuzzy skin and all, but avoid the pit-peach. Pits contain cyanide, a toxic substance, and ingestion of large quantities can be fatal.

The regular consumption of peaches may:

* Assist with digestion

* Enhance nerve cell function

* Protect vision and prevent blindness

* Protect heart health

* Protect against cancer
Dan Gerhardt

Meet The Author

Dan Gerhardt - Aside from being a life-long gardener, Dr. Dan Gerhardt is a chiropractor and nutritionist.

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Nutrition, Health, Benefits, Peaches, Fruit

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