Nutritional Information for Peaches
Peaches possess many excellent antioxidants like polyphenolic compounds and anthocyanins. All types of peaches are a great choice. The deeper and more yellow the fruit perhaps the more antioxidants will be present. Donut peaches have been studied and found to be a great source of antioxidants. This summer, go crazy. Find that neighbor with a tree, hit the farmers market, or buy some at the store on sale and in season. When you cannot get fresh, frozen peaches are still a good choice and retain much of their antioxidant value.
Benefits of Peaches
Cancer Prevention Benefits
Although there is little data, if any, on prostate cancer risk and peach consumption, there are studies that focus on other cancers. Several peach and plum polyphenolic molecules have been found to play a role in the growth and spread of colon cancer cells, in vitro. When peaches were tested against liver cancer cells, high concentrations of peach was able to ward cancer proliferation by 10%.
In a well-known study of about a half million people, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP Diet and Health Study, those eating more fruits were found to have less risk of a type of esophageal cancer called esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) – cancer of the esophagus skin lining. Another type of esophageal cancer is called esophageal cancer adenocarcinoma (EAC) – cancer that can be many places in the esophagus, deeper down in the tissue and not just the skin. The type of esophageal cancer seems to correlate with certain fruits and vegetables. Those eating more fruits in the certain botanical subgroup, inducing peaches, apples, nectarines, plums, pears, strawberries and citrus fruit, seemed to have a significant level of protection from ESCC, but not from EAC. In contrast, those eating more vegetables, apparently in this case it was spinach, seemed to have protection from EAC. The authors conclude that depending on the type of esophageal cancer, certain fruits and vegetables may be more protective. This is why eating a variety of different fruits and vegetables is important! They all possess thousands of biochemicals and plant molecules able to counter the risk of esophageal cancers.
A review looking at diet and cancer prevention notes that diet is considered to be up to 30% related to cancer risk. Dietary background is important and certain food components may help prevent or slow down cancer formation. Peaches are among one of the fruits that may help reduce cancer risk.. Other stone fruit like apricots, plums, peaches and nectarines may also help play a role. The paper goes on to label almonds, cherries, pears, figs, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, grapes, strawberries, avocados, bananas, olives, lemons and limes, oranges (tangerines, mandarins, clementines, satsuma), grapefruit and pomelos, artichokes, potatoes, green beans, carrots, cabbages, melons, watermelons, pumpkins, cucumbers, garlic, cauliflower, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, onions, dry bean, soybeans, maize, barley, wheat, rye, and lentils. Yikes! That is a lot of food. Now this does not mean eating these foods can reverse cancer or give someone 100% protection from it, but this does give some insight as to what foods may be protective. The trend here is plant-foods. When consumed in their whole, unprocessed form, they contain ample fiber and antioxidants and phytochemicals, all of which tend to play a role in reducing many types of cancer risk.
Furthermore, stone fruit like peaches and plums, when tested in vitro against breast cancer cells, seemed to have a toxic effect to the cancer cells without harming normal cells. It appears the polyphenic compounds, are what makes these fruits so powerful against breast cancer cells. Another in vitro study showed similar results where the researchers found peach polyphenols to inhibit the growth and spread of breast cancer cells. They calculated how much fruit an adult would need to eat to perhaps generate the same results and came up with two to three peaches per day. In human trials, postmenopausal women eating more peaches, nectarines, and berries had a significantly lower risk of estrogen receptor negative breast cancer.
Men's Health Benefits
Eating fruits and vegetables have been associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Some studies show that certain fruits seem to be better at reducing type 2 diabetes risk. Unfortunately, peaches ain’t one of them. It’s not that peaches are “bad,” they just don’t seem to have any major benefits on diabetes. They are still beneficial in that they are packed with antioxidants known to quench free radial damage and promote overall good health.
Peaches may accumulate pesticides more readily than other fruits. Choosing organic or local peaches with less pesticide use may be a better choice than eating conventional peaches. Having said that the benefit of eating conventional peaches outweigh any potential risk that may come from the pesticides. Fruits with a thicker and tougher skin (pineapple, banana, orange, grapefruit, melons) tend to accumulate less pesticides because they have less chance of penetrating thru the stronger skin.
Ways to Use Peaches
+ Serve with cashew cream for a dairy-free peaches and cream.
+ Add to smoothies or salads.
+ Cut peaches and grill for a tasty summer dessert.
+ Add peaches and blueberries to overnight oats or chia pudding.
Resources for Peaches
American Institute for Cancer Research: www.aicr.org
Nutrition Facts: www.nutritionfacts.org
Physicians Committee: www.pcrm.org
USDA Nutrient Database: Peaches
- Lea MA, Ibeh C, desBordes C, et al. Inhibition of growth and induction of differentiation of colon cancer cells by peach and plum phenolic compounds. Anticancer Res. 2008;28(4B):2067-76.
- Freedman ND, Park Y, Subar AF, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and esophageal cancer in a large prospective cohort study. Int J Cancer. 2007;121(12):2753-60.
- Akcicek E, Otles S, Esiyok D. Cancer and its prevention by some horticultural and field crops in Turkey. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2005;6(2):224-30.
- Vizzotto M, Porter W, Byrne D, Cisneros-Zevallos L. Polyphenols of selected peach and plum genotypes reduce cell viability and inhibit proliferation of breast cancer cells while not affecting normal cells. Food Chem. 2014;164:363-70.
- Noratto G, Porter W, Byrne D, Cisneros-Zevallos L. Polyphenolics from peach (Prunus persica var. Rich Lady) inhibit tumor growth and metastasis of MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells in vivo. J Nutr Biochem. 2014;25(7):796-800.
- Fung TT, Chiuve SE, Willett WC, Hankinson SE, Hu FB, Holmes MD. Intake of specific fruits and vegetables in relation to risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer among postmenopausal women. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013;138(3):925-30.
- Loizzo MR, Pacetti D, Lucci P, et al. Prunus persica var. platycarpa (Tabacchiera Peach): Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Pulp, Peel and Seed Ethanolic Extracts. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2015;70(3):331-7.
- Sun J, Chu YF, Wu X, Liu RH. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common fruits. J Agric Food Chem. 2002;50(25):7449-54.
- Muraki I, Imamura F, Manson JE, et al. Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies.