July 16, 2012
In Season: Peaches
One medium peach has just fewer than 60 calories, with no fat and no sodium. It has 17 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C, 10 percent of vitamin A and 8 percent of potassium needed daily by adults. It has 3 grams of fiber, and even a sprinkling of the important trace minerals zinc, copper and manganese.
And like many fruits and vegetables, peaches have phytochemicals called flavonoids. Including more flavonoids in our diets seems to lower risk for cancer and heart disease.
Research reported in 2010 by Texas AgriLife Research showed extracts from peaches and plums killed cancer cells in their lab, even aggressive-type cancer cells, but unlike traditional chemotherapy, which also kills cancer cells, the peach and plum extracts did not destroy normal cells as well.
Two phenols, called chlorogenic and neochlorogenic, were the active components in the fruits that were responsible for destroying the cancer cells. These two phenolic compounds are common in many fruits, but especially high in peaches and plums.
Fresh, local peaches are in abundant supply right now and can be found at the various farmers markets around the Mid-South, or you can pick your own at several peach orchards in our area.
If your peaches are not quite ripe when you get them home, set them on a table or your kitchen counter to ripen. When ripe, they should have a bit of give when you give them a gentle squeeze and their characteristic sweet, fragrant aroma will be present. Once ripe, put them in the refrigerator to keep until you are ready to eat them. Take a peach out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to eat it, letting it come closer to room temperature. It will taste its best then.
Posted by Lisa at July 16, 2012 5:06 PM
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