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Fruit of the Month: Peach
August is National Peach Month, a time to celebrate both the internal and external health benefits of this delectable fruit. You know peaches are delicious, but did you realize they may keep your skin looking youthful, strengthen your immune system, and even protect against diabetes, heart disease and cancer?
The vitamin C and other antioxidants contained in peaches, such as zeaxanthin and lutein, help protect your skin against free radical damage, which is the number one cause of premature skin aging. Free radicals are generated by UV radiation, stress, alcohol consumption, poor diet, overeating, and pollution. Vitamin C also helps build collagen, a type of connective tissue that keeps skin looking smooth and full. Meanwhile, peaches’ flavonoids help skin shed dead cells and revitalize the new cells below.
In addition to its skin care benefits, vitamin C is also a key player in your immune system. Vitamin C stimulates your existing white blood cells and helps your body produce more of them, making your infection-fighting abilities even stronger. Peaches also contain beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, another immune-supporting nutrient.
Packed with Nutrients
Peaches are also a nutritious fruit. One cup of peach slices (about what you’d get from a medium-sized peach) provides:
- 17% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C, which aids immune function and is needed for the health of connective tissue
- 10% of the DV for vitamin A, necessary for healthy vision, immune strength, as well as the integrity of the skin and mucous membranes
- 8% of the DV for potassium, an electrolyte that maintains fluid balance in cells and is critical to a healthy heart
- 2.3 grams of fiber, which is necessary for normal digestion and reduces the risk of heart disease
Peaches are so delicious you may not have a chance to cook with them before they get gobbled up, but if you’ve brought home a big bag of them from the market, try these creative ideas:
- Peaches pair well with cucumbers and savory seasonings in this peach gazpacho recipe.
- This grilled peach relish is also intriguing.
- No collection of peach recipes would be complete without a dessert recipe, whether it’s a pie, a cobbler, or Peach Melba. Check out this reduced-sugar peach cobbler.
What’s your favorite way to eat peaches? Share with us in the comments below!
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