Typically in season from July to September, peaches are a staple of summertime salads, meals and desserts. They’re also a popular choice for nutritionists, who say their sweet taste makes it easier for people to add them to their diet.
“They’re in season for a fairly short time, so enjoy them as a fruit choice when locally grown peaches are available,” says Judith Wylie-Rosett, a professor emerita in the department of epidemiology and population health at New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
How Peaches Benefit Your Health
Known for their golden orange color and delicate, fuzzy skin, peaches are packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants, which research suggests may help prevent heart disease, stroke and cancer. The fresher and riper they are, the more antioxidants they contain.
They’re low in fat, high in potassium and free of cholesterol and sodium. They also are loaded with fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which improves satiety and can contribute to good digestion and gut health. Peaches also contain short chain fatty acids, that are known to reduce inflammation and treat conditions like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
How to incorporate peaches into your diet
1. Add them to your favorite foods
Peaches work well when paired with any number of foods. They can be added to salads or served with a scoop of yogurt. Peaches also can add a surprisingly sweet taste to salsa, be blended into beverages like tea or smoothies, or even grilled in a kabob with other fresh fruit.
“We’re trying to increase people’s adoption of healthier diet patterns, but taste is a huge part of why we eat,” says Maya Vadiveloo, an associate professor in the department of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston. “When you eat fruit and things that are in season, it’s much tastier and adds variety to your diet.”
Vadiveloo says peaches and other fruits also enhance the taste of vegetables – such as when paired with spinach or kale – which makes a healthy diet easier to adopt. “It’s easier not to feel deprived when the fruit you are choosing is fresh and has good flavor,” she adds.
One way to incorporate peaches with other produce is by blending them into a smoothie – but be sure to monitor the overall amount when mixing them in, Vadiveloo shares. A medium peach contains less than 50 calories, but those numbers add up quickly when several are added to a blender.
“Depending on the calorie count, a smoothie can be a meal substitute, so I would be looking to balance fruit with