- Packed With Nutrients and Antioxidants
Peaches are rich in many vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds. They offer smaller amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and some B vitamins. In addition, they’re packed with antioxidants — beneficial plant compounds that combat oxidative damage and help protect your body against aging and disease. The fresher and riper the fruit, the more antioxidants it contains.
Peaches may contribute to healthy digestion. One medium-sized fruit provides about 2 grams of fiber — half of which is soluble fiber, while the other half is insoluble.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and helps move food through your gut, reducing the likelihood of constipation. On the other hand, soluble fiber provides food for beneficial bacteria in your intestines. In turn, these bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids — such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate — which feed the cells of your gut.
Short-chain fatty acids in your gut may also help reduce inflammation and improve symptoms of digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis.
Regularly eating fruit — including peaches — may promote heart health. Peaches may lower risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. What’s more, test-tube studies show that peaches may bind to bile acids — compounds produced by your liver from cholesterol.
Additional test-tube and animal studies found that peaches may reduce total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, as well as blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
Peaches may have protective effects that help keep your skin healthy. Test-tube studies indicate that compounds found in peaches may improve your skin’s ability to retain moisture — thus improving skin texture. What’s more, both test-tube and animal studies show that extracts made from peach flowers or flesh applied directly to the skin may help prevent UV damage.
Like most fruits, peaches provide beneficial plant compounds that may offer some protection against various cancers. Specifically, peach skin and flesh are rich in carotenoids and caffeic acid — two types of antioxidants found to have anticancer properties. Test-tube and animal research has also shown that compounds in peach seeds may limit the growth of non-cancerous skin tumors and prevent them from turning into cancerous ones.
Not to mention, peaches are full of polyphenols — a category of antioxidants shown to reduce the growth and limit the spreading of cancer cells in test-tube studies. Peach polyphenols may have the ability to kill cancerous cells as well, without causing any damage to healthy ones.
Peaches may reduce allergy symptoms. When your body is exposed to an allergen, it releases histamines, or chemicals made by your immune system to help rid your body of the allergen. Histamines are part of your body’s defense system and trigger allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching, or coughing.
Research shows that peaches may help reduce allergy symptoms by preventing the release of histamines in the blood.
Peaches may offer several other health benefits. The most well-researched include:
- May boost immunity: Peaches are rich in immune-boosting nutrients and antioxidants. Test-tube studies report that they may also fight certain types of bacteria.
- May protect against certain toxins:In one study, peach extracts given to smokers increased the removal of nicotine through the urine.
- May reduce blood sugar levels:Studies show that compounds found in peaches may help prevent high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in obese rats.