Meet this small, fuzzy summer fruit from China! The name of this fruit with its white or yellow-colored flesh is peach. Its other name is Prunus persica. This fruit is originated in China and existed ever since more than 8.000 years ago. They are native to the region of Northwest China, located between the northern slopes of the Kunlun Mountains and the Tarim Basin. The scientific name of the fruit refers to “Persia” where it was cultivated widely and transplanted to Europe. Peach belongs to the genus Prunus, altogether with apricot, cherry, almond, and plum. Peach and nectarine are also the same species, but nectarine skins usually lack the fuzz that can be found in peach skin.
Peach reached their peak of bloom from June to the end of August. They can grow as tall as 25 feet tall and can produce fruits for 12 years. A peach tree can produce up to 66 pounds of fruit and requires about 3 to 5 months to harvest.
Peach can be eaten as it is or added to many dishes. They can even be cooked, baked, and many more. Peach is nutritious and offers a lot of health benefits. In this article, we will talk about the 10 facts about this fantastic fruit, including their benefits for promoting our well-being and the short history of how they first originated.
1. What are peaches made of?
Peaches have various vitamins, minerals, and other nutritions that we need for our body’s daily intake. One medium-sized peach, approximately 5.4 ounces or 150 grams, contains these nutritions:
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: < 1 gram
- Carbs: 14 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Calories: 58
- Vitamin A: 10% of the Daily Value
- Vitamin C: 17% of the Daily Value
- Potassium: 8% of the Daily Value
- Niacin: 6% of the Daily Value
- Small amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, vitamin B, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Now you are probably amazed at how this small fruit can provide such a variety of nutritions! But we are not done yet. A study has demonstrated the effect of the antioxidants from fresh peach juice, where they quickly acted within 30 minutes of consumption in healthy men. The peaches will contain more antioxidants the fresher and riper they are.
2. Your friendly aid for digestion
As we have pointed out above, a medium-sized peach provides 2 grams of fiber. Half of them are soluble fiber, while the other half is insoluble. The soluble fiber provides food for beneficial bacteria in our intestines, to produce short-chain fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation, improving the symptoms of digestive disorders. Meanwhile, the insoluble fiber can help to add more bulk to our stool, aiding our food to move through the gut to reduce the chance of having constipation.
Besides the fruit, peach flowers can also be extracted into an herbal tea and widely consumed in Korea. They are also used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat digestive disorders.
3. A heart-loving fruit
Peaches can promote the health of our hearts. These fruits can lower the risk factors of having heart diseases like high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels. Peaches can bind bile acids that might cause cholesterol in our liver.
4. The skin protector
Peaches have protective effects to keep our skin healthy and glowing. Peaches can improve our skin to retain moisture and improve our skin’s texture. The extracts from peach flowers can also be applied to the skin, preventing UV damage and make our skin stays beautiful, well-hydrated. The powerful antioxidant of peach can form collagen that able to support the skin’s system to promote wound healing and enhance our skin’s strength.
5. Reducing risks of cancer
Peaches have a significant amount of vitamin C, so they can help to produce a high amount of antioxidants to prevent the formation of free radicals. They also have a lot of polyphenols that capable to reduce the growth of cancer cells and kill the cancerous cells without causing any damage to healthy ones.
6. Immunity booster
Peaches have antioxidants that are capable to fend off viruses and several types of bacterias from coming into our body and boosting our immunity. Because they contain energizing complex carbs, fiber, and minerals, they can promote our health in general, making us unable to get sick easily.
7. Peach skins can be eaten
Peaches’ skin can be eaten by humans and proven not to be toxic. What’s more, they even provide some health benefits for us. Their skin has at least 3 grams of fiber, antioxidant compounds, and even double the number of polyphenols than the flesh.
However, before consuming the peach skin, make sure to wash them well with water or choose the organic ones to prevent any side effects from consuming a peach skin that contains a lot of pesticides. Note that people with moderate or severe inflammatory bowel disease must avoid eating the peach skin to prevent any negative effects from occurring.
8. All-time, all-day fruit
It is easy to find peaches everywhere. Be it in your favorite supermarket nearby or any fruit shops you can find in town, most of them will have peaches for sale. You can easily buy them and have a taste of their juicy and sweet flavor that will match well for your summer feels.
9. Can be cooked along with many dishes
Although peaches taste good when eaten raw, they can taste even better when cooked into a variety of dishes. From sweet to savory, peach fruits can fit well with your meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It can be mixed along with grilled chicken breasts, topped up with jalapeno to produce a sweet and spicy flavor, or be served with your sandwich for breakfast along with prosciutto and avocado. To enhance your summer feels, you can turn them into popsicles to keep you cool during the summer heat!
10. Traveled from China to all over the world
Peaches have a long story of how they originated from China and spread all over America. They are first found and consumed in China along the Yangzi River, where archaeologists have founded fossilized peach stones from 6000 BC. The historians also found that peaches are discussed in Chinese writings from the 10th century. It traveled as far to Persia, where it has later given its botanical name, ‘Prunus persica’ that means ‘Present from Persia’ in Latin, referring to when the Persian first introduced the peach to the Romans. After conquering Persia, Alexander the Great took the fruit’s seeds to Europe. It took hundreds of years until peaches were finally commercially grown in the United States and grown for sale in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, and Delaware. Until now, it has been cultivated worldwide, and you can easily find them anywhere.