Your summer is about to start looking peachier because August is officially National Peach Month! One of my favorite summer memories as a kid was stopping by a fruit stand on the side of the road and getting a small brown paper bag full of juicy, ripe peaches. Back then I just knew peaches were incredibly delicious. Now, however, I know that these fuzzy stone fruits pack a LOT of health benefits!
1. Loaded with Antioxidants
Peaches are packed with a lot of beneficial vitamins and minerals. But perhaps more surprising is the amount of antioxidants they contain. Eating fruits and vegetables with antioxidants helps protect you against oxidative damage, which can lead to aging and disease.
2. Heart Health
Studies have shown that compounds in peaches may bind to your bile acids, which are compounds themselves produced by your liver from cholesterol. These acids, along with the cholesterol they contain, are then excreted through your feces. It is believed that this helps keep your blood serum cholesterol levels low, keeping your heart and vascular system healthy.
3. May Prevent Certain Types of Cancer
The fuzzy skin of the peach contains two specific antioxidants called carotenoids and caffeic acid. These two antioxidants have been shown to have anticancer properties. So be sure to give that peach a good wash and eat the whole thing, skin and all!
4. May Reduce Allergy Symptoms
Peaches contain compounds that help to suppress the release of histamines in the body. Histamines are released when an allergen triggers your senses and leads to sneezing, itching, and coughing.
5. May Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Animal studies have shown that compounds in peaches may actually help to prevent blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance. This may mean that while diabetics must be careful with the types of fruit they eat, they can enjoy a peach every once in a while!
These are just a handful of the amazing health benefits offered by the humble, fuzzy peach. So the next time you see a farm stand on the side of the road, go ahead and buy a bag full of peaches and enjoy!