What are Health Benefits of Nectarines?
We have a big nectarine tree in our back yard. This year it bore a huge crop. That prompted me to look more closely at the health benefits of nectarines. Fruits are a major staple in my raw foods diet. All fruits are good for you, I believe. But is there anything special about this hairless cousin of the peach?
First, know that nectarines—like all commercial fruits—come in several varieties. The white- and yellow-flesh nectarines have a smooth, dark red skin, and taste stronger—and tangier—than peaches. White nectarines are sweeter and less acidic than the yellow-fleshed ones. Sometimes, the variety’s name says it all…Clingstone nectarines are those whose flesh tends to adhere tightly to the pit. In the freestone variety, the flesh is not attached to the pit at all. And in the semi-freestone variety, well—you guessed it—some of the flesh is attached to the pit.
Nutritionally, nectarines offer beta-carotene, vitamin C, and lutein, which protect vision, enhance immunity, help prevent diseases, and improve skin health. Regularly consuming nectarines and other stone fruits may also prove helpful in maintaining cardio health because they contain heart-friendly antioxidants. Nectarines can help fight hardening of the arteries and encourage proper circulation of platelets.
Nectarines contain phosphorus, an essential mineral in the normal function of cells and tissues. Phosphorus also helps form strong teeth and bones, and aids in metabolizing carbs and fats. It supports cellular repairs, and helps kidney functioning, muscle contractions, heart rate, and nerve health. The iron present in nectarines helps form hemoglobin in red blood cells. The copper in nectarines boosts energy and helps you stay active.
Nectarines are very rich in fiber, too. Fiber aids in digestion and weight loss. It fights abdominal ailments such as stomach and colon cancers.
If you’re diabetic and crave something sweet and filling, nectarines are the perfect snack: law-cal, low glycemic index, and tasty.
Nutritionally, there’s just no better fruit than the nectarine. You may not be able to pick them in your back yard. But they are readily available, and fairly cheap, as fruits go. So, especially in their July-August-September season, munch away!