Peach Nutrition: Heart-healthy, gut-friendly, downright delicious

Peach Nutrition: Heart-healthy, gut-friendly, downright delicious
June 17 00:37 2017

You should learn to love your peachfuzz — and no, I’m not referring to the facial hair. Peaches are a valuable source of nutrition, and peach nutrition helps your body fight free radicals, prevent cancer and protect your heart from disease.

A native fruit to China, the peach has been around for millennia and is considered a succulent, tasty fruit for use in different kinds of dishes all over the world. But the benefits don’t just stop at taste. Peaches are high-antioxidant foods that have anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, which is why peach nutrition offers a slew of impressive health benefits.

Benefits of Peach Nutrition

  1. Combats Free Radicals

One of the greatest qualities in peach nutrition is the high quantity of antioxidants found in these delicious fruits. Peaches display strong antioxidant properties that have long-term implications for fighting disease and ridding the body of free radicals. (1) When free radicals are able to bounce around in your various body systems, they can wreak all kinds of damage, known as oxidative stress, and contribute to disease and cell breakdown on many levels.

A diet heavy in antioxidants is your best, natural defense against the damage caused by free radicals. In fact, many fruit juices (including freshly squeezed peach juice) begin the process of relieving oxidative stress in just 30 minutes after you consume them.

As with many types of food, the specific variety of peach determines the exact antioxidant load. In addition, the part of the peach you like to consume also impacts how much of the antioxidative benefit you get from eating peaches. Research indicates a higher level of antioxidants in the peel versus the pulp, for example. You’ll also find better nutrient content in fresh peaches, as peach preserves and peach syrup contain very little of what makes peaches so beneficial.

Caffeic acid is an antioxidant specifically found in high levels in peach nutrition. It protects the body from the dangerous carcinogenic mold aflatoxinthat’s often found in certain types of food like peanuts, corn and peanut butter. More than any other antioxidant tested, caffeic acid destroyed the production of aflatoxin, reducing it by 95 percent. Considering the mountain of evidence linking aflatoxin with cancer, the presence of caffeic acid in peaches is an especially important reason to eat them regularly.

  1. Fights and Prevents Cancer

Like so many whole, fresh foods, peaches have been strongly linked to the prevention and regression of various cancers, placing them among some of the best cancer-fighting foodsaround. According to a 2014 study by researchers at Texas A&M, polyphenolsin peaches (and plums) successfully inhibited the growth and metastasis (spreading to other organs) of at least one strain of breast cancer cells. They recommend breast cancer patients eat two to three peaches a day to experience the same cancer-protective effects.

Another study by the same university found that not only do these polyphenols slow breast cancer growth, but they also kill those same cancer cells without causing any healthy cells to die.

Caffeic acid, the antioxidant found so richly in peaches, can inhibit a type of fibrocarcinoma, a tumor that grows in fibrous connective tissue. Certain colon cancers are also stunted in their growth by the consumption of peaches and similar fruits.

And it’s not just the pulp and skin that are so beneficial in the peach’s fight against cancer. In traditional Asian medicine, the seed of the peach has been used for millennia in the treatment of many diseases. In 2003, scientists found that the compounds in peach seeds reduce the growth of papilloma (tumors) on the skin and slow their carcinogenesis, the process by which benign tumors develop into cancer.

Your skin can also benefit from the flowers of the peach tree. Peach flower extract, through antioxidation, protects your skin from UV damage and the development of skin cancer.

While I don’t recommend chemotherapy treatments for cancer until all natural options have been exhausted, peach nutrition also offers help alongside the use of the common chemotherapy drug cisplatin. One dangerous side effect of this type of chemo is hepatotoxicity, which refers to chemical-induced liver damage. When cisplatin is administered alongside peach skin, however, the degree to which the liver was damaged was drastically reduced in one 2008 study in Korea.

  1. Prevents Dangerous Heart-Related Conditions

As the staggering obesity rate in the West begins to rise, the rise of a condition known as metabolic syndrome also goes up. This cluster of conditions is dangerous and broadly affects age groups from teenagers to the elderly, greatly increasing the risk of heart disease if the syndrome is left unchecked.

However, peaches (along with plums and apricots) offer hope for the occurrence of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. These “stone fruits,” termed as such because of their large inner seed shells, have proved to have a unique combination of bioactive compounds that, together, create drastic improvement in individuals at risk for heart disease. While all of the antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and other vitamins and minerals in peaches may be found in other foods, researchers believe the fusion of the specific levels of these nutrients is what makes them so special.

Various facets of metabolic syndrome are treated by consuming stone fruits, including diabetes, cholesterol, inflammation and weight gain.One study examined the effect of replacing sugary drinks with natural fruit juices high in polyphenols and found it had a significant impact on cardiovascular disease risk factors.

One study of over 1,300 people in China tested the effect of higher bioflavonoidconsumption from fruits, including peaches, and found that, especially in women, the subjects’ lipid profiles all showed improvement. This means that the risk factors for heart disease that are tested from the blood, such as cholesterol levels, improved across the board.

  1. Reduces Inflammation

Because inflammation is at the root of most diseases, it’s also helpful to know that peaches and other fruits like it help decrease inflammation levels in the body. Among its many anti-inflammatory abilities, peach nutrition stops the production of inflammatory cytokines and suppresses the release of histamines in the bloodstream that cause allergic reactions. Fresh pulp and peel from peaches have serious fighting power against inflammation that causes cell death in the body, making peaches excellent anti-inflammatory foods.

  1. Treats Gut Disorders

Not only does the extract of peach flowers protect against certain cancers, but it’s also a reasonable treatment for certain gut disorders known as motility disorders. Motility is the contraction of the muscles that mix and expel materials within your gastrointestinal tract.

Motility disorders include things like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), constipation, diarrhea and many others. Peach flower extract is an effective prokinetic agent that increases the frequency and/or strength of contractions in the GI tract while maintaining their proper rhythm.

  1. Destroys Candida Fungus

As I mentioned above, what gives peaches their power isn’t only the presence of individual nutrients, but the bioactive compounds that result from the combination of the specific amounts of nutrients they provide. This is also true in explaining the peach’s potency against candida symptoms, the most common yeast infection. Peach nutrition fights and eliminates the growth of candida fungus with its combination of polyphenols, bioflavonoids and condensed tannins.

  1. Supports Healthy Eyes

Because they contain the powerful antioxidants like lutein, peaches also help to protect your eyes and keep them healthy. The carotenoids build up in the macular tissue of your eyes and help prevent macular degeneration, an age-related cause of blindness and blurred vision caused by damage to macular cells.