Our family is so excited, peach season is right around the corner. We love peaches and eat them ALL year round. Yes, that is right…ALL year round! How do we do that? Read on. Peaches are originally from China, with written records of this stone fruit dating back to the tenth century B.C. But let’s talk about the nutritional benefits of peaches. Peaches are loaded with lots of vitamins, minerals and nutrients for a healthy body. In fact one peach can pack in 880 IU of Vitamin A, 8 mg of Vitamin C, 8 mg of Calcium, 310 mg of Potassium, 0.6 gm of dietary fiber, all for only about 50 calories. There are many health benefits from eating peaches. For example, peaches help make the skin healthy and also add color to the complexion. Vitamin-C has anti-oxidant effects and is required for connective tissue synthesis in the body. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and help scavenge harmful free radicals. It has been seen that consumption of peaches helps in the removal of worms from the intestinal tract. Being rich in Vitamin A, peaches might help prevent cancer in organs and glands with epithelial tissue. Beta carotene is a pro-vitamin which converts into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Peaches comprise of more than 80 percent water and are a good source of dietary fiber. Consumption of peaches can keep your bowel movements regular and even prevent straining. Researches have suggested that peaches have good to excellent antioxidant activity, some antimicrobial activity and good to excellent tumor growth inhibition activity. In fact, peaches have been found to be beneficial for individuals suffering from ailments such as acidosis, anemia, asthma, bladder and kidney stones, bronchitis, constipation, dry cough, gastritis, high blood pressure, nephritis and poor digestion. They are rich in many vital minerals such as potassium, fluoride and iron. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Fluoride is a component of bones and teeth and is important for prevention of dental caries. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Peaches contain many health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta cryptoxanthin. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease process.
The peach season is from May to October, with the summer months being the best time for fresh, ripe peaches. Canned or processed peaches do have some nutritional value, but not nearly the same health benefits as fresh peaches. My daughter used to get so sad when September rolled around. She knew that peach season would be ending and that mom would not be buying peaches for another 9 months! Then one day I was talking to a friend and she told me that she freezes her peaches to have all winter long. Wow, I never thought of that!
Here is how you can eat fresh peaches all winter long! Note that the taste of fresh/frozen peaches in not for everyone, but they sure are a nice treat in the middle of January.
Fresh Peaches in Winter
1. Buy a crate of fresh, ripe peaches in August.
2. Place in 1 gallon Ziploc bags in the freezer.
3. To eat, remove on peach and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
4. Run peach under hot water to remove skin.
5. Slice semi frozen peach on a cutting board into cubes.
6. Serve with fresh whipped cream.