Saturday, June 20, 2009

Food Facts: the Peach

Fruits are flavorful, versatile, and full of health-promoting nutrients. We need fruit in our diet every day because they not only provide energy and fiber, but they contain many water-soluble vitamins like:  vitamin C and the B vitamins. Fruits (and vegetables) provide more of these critical nutrients than any other type of food. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D and E), which are bodies can store for future use, water-soluble vitamins are needed every day for our bodies to function optimally!  Fruits are rich in health-promoting phytonutrients (plant nutrients), which act as powerful antioxidants!  

A new season has arrived (summer) and we can now add new fruits to our daily diet that are delicious, healthy and will help us with our weight-loss goals. 

Peaches (Prunus persica) and nectarines (P. persica var. nectarina) share their origins in the Orient. Peach trees were considered the most sacred plant in the Taoist religion. Even today, peaches are served at Chinese birthday celebrations as a symbol of hope and longevity. Peaches eventually made their way to Persia, then Europe, where they were considered a rare treat.

The Facts: Botanically, peaches and nectarines differ by only one recessive gene, the one responsible for--you guessed it--fuzz. However, today's peaches have little of the fuzz you may remember from your youth. It's either been bred into ...

A peach and a nectarine are very similar. Genetically, there is not much difference between the two. The main difference is that a peach has fuzz on its skin while a nectarine does not.

Peaches and nectarines are low in calories and contain no fat, cholesterol, or
sodium.  They are also rated low on the glycemic index (42). Peaches and nectarines are a good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Niacin, Potassium and vitamin C. A medium size peach or nectarine contain around 60 to 70 cals, 2g protein, 15-17g carbs, 0g fat, and 2-3g fiber.

To maintain optimal health, it is recommended that you eat 3-4 servings of fruit per day–so grab a peach or nectarine (or a few) today!  

When choosing fruits and vegetables, go for colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple, and even white. Each color is a pigment that signifies the presence of certain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

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