The peach , sweet an juicy fruit that makes you feel summer in your mouth every time you take a bite. You may love it, but how much do you know much about it?
The fuzzy peach is actually a member of the rose family and originated in China.
Peach (botanical name: Prunus persica) originated from China nearly 1000 B.C. Through the Silk road it has found its way to the west. Romans called peaches Persian apples, due to the country that Peaches came to Europe. Now is second most cultivated three in the world, after apple three.
According to Chinese legend, the peach was said to be consumed by immortals for its ability to prolong life for all who ate them. The peach often is an important part of Chinese tradition and is symbolic of long life.
China is the largest world producer of peaches, followed by Italy.
Because they contain a single, inedible pit at the center, peaches are considered a “drupe,” and share characteristics of other fruits in its class, such as plums, nectarines etc.
The difference between peaches and nectarines is that peaches have fuzzy skin while the others do not. Either way, the skin is edible and delicious. Nectarines, which are slightly more susceptible to disease, are actually a variety of peach, nota cross between peaches and plums.
Health Benefits of Peaches
Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and very high containment of dietary fiber, peaches are very good snack. A medium size peach contains about 3 grams of fiber. That why peaches are especially beneficial for digestion.
Peaches are good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C does much more than just fight infection. It’s also an antioxidant that scavenges free radicals looking for a place to do damage in the cells and body, and is required for connective tissue synthesis and glowing skin.
Vitamin A is another nutrient in peaches, offering B-carotenes that convert to retinol, essential for sharp eyesight. It also protects your skin against sunburns. Beta-Carotene provides protection against sun damage and helps to even out skin tone and improve skin texture. Beta carotens protects against oxidative damage due to exposure to sunlight, and protects the skin from aging. The darker the peach’s flesh, the more vitamin A it contains.
Minerals also are in abundance in peaches, such as potassium, an enzyme component used to digest foods, help regulate the heart rate, and lower blood pressure. Potassium works with sodium to maintain the body’s water balance.
The iron in peaches is required for red blood cell formation and to carry oxygen from our lungs and throughout our bodies. Another health benefit of peaches is the flavonoids, such as lycopene and lutein, which work together to help prevent macular degeneration, cancer, and heart disease.
Peaches are versatile, delicious, and travel tolerably well, making them a great lunchbox meal. With several other nutrients, peaches provide many health benefits, such as free radical scavenging, improved eyesight, protection against infection, lowered blood pressure, a healthy heart rate, and even lowered incidences of cancer and heart disease.
So eat a peach – it’s good for you!