Full of nutrients and antioxidants, in addition to versatile and delicious, the benefits of nectarine come with a long list of health favors and can be a delicious addition to everything from pizzas to cakes. Coming from the Rosaceae plant family, nectarines are related to raspberries, pears, apricots and plums. They are also genetically identical to peaches, separated by a single different allele. There are many different types of nectarines that can range between white and vibrant yellows and reds, although they all offer similar health benefits. From supporting better intestinal health to increasing immunity, nectarines can be a nutritious and delicious part of the diet.
1.High in Antioxidants:
Antioxidants are compounds that can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases by neutralizing harmful free radicals. These are molecules that accumulate as a result of poor diet, stress or pollution and can damage your cells. Antioxidants have been associated with a decreased risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and inflammation. The benefits of nectarine are full of beneficial plant compounds that act as antioxidants in the body, thanks in part to its high vitamin C content. Including some portions of nectarines in your diet every week can help you provide many antioxidants to improve your health. and fight against these dangerous free radicals. In addition to nectarines, other foods high in antioxidants include berries, green leafy vegetables, bitter chocolate and herbs such as cinnamon and turmeric.
2. Promotes Better Digestion:
The benefits of nectarine provide a good piece of fiber, a nutrient that is incredibly important when it comes to digestive health. Dietary fiber moves through your undigested gastrointestinal tract, supporting regularity by adding volume to stool and helping things move. Fiber also acts as a prebiotic, providing food for the beneficial bacteria found in the intestine, which can help improve digestion and nutrient absorption. In addition, it has been shown that increased fiber intake lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels and helps maintain normal blood sugar. The most recent dietary guidelines for Americans recommend at least 25 grams of fiber per day for women and 38 grams for men. Eating only one nectarine per day can eliminate up to 8 percent of daily fiber needs. Other high-fiber foods that can help you optimize your digestive health include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
3. Help in Weight Loss:
Similarly, the benefits of nectarine are low in calories but high in fiber, which makes them an excellent addition to the diet if you are looking to lose weight quickly.
“Fiber travels slowly through the digestive tract, helping you stay full longer to decrease appetite, control cravings and promote weight loss”.
Research suggests that increasing the intake of fruits such as nectarines may help you lose weight. In fact, several studies have found that fruit consumption is related to lower body weight and greater weight loss. Swapping high-calorie snacks and candy for nectarines can help reduce the amount of calories you consume and keep your waistline under control.
4. Improves Eye Health:
Nectarines are rich in vitamin A, an important nutrient when it comes to vision and eye health. In fact, a deficiency in vitamin A can cause symptoms such as night blindness, dry eyes and decreased vision. They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two types of plant pigments that play a central role in the prevention of eye disease. Growing evidence from researchers shows that these important carotenoids could even protect against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. A single nectarine per day can meet 9 percent of your daily vitamin A requirements. Be sure to also include many other good sources of vitamin A in your diet, such as green leafy vegetables, carrots, milk, eggs and liver.
5. It Can Help Kill Cancer Cells:
As if that were not enough, the benefits of nectarine contain potent compounds that have been shown to help block the growth of cancer cells in some test tube studies. One study noted that the polyphenols in nectarines and peaches helped kill and stop the growth of breast cancer cells without negatively affecting healthy cells. Another study showed that the polyphenols found in peaches and nectarines reduced the growth and spread of breast cancer cells. The researchers recommended eating two to three peaches or nectarines every day to see the same beneficial effects. On the other hand, research aimed at more than 472,000 participants showed that eating nectarines was associated with a lower risk of lung cancer in men. Of course, more research is needed to confirm these possible cancer benefits, but it is clear that eating antioxidant-rich foods such as nectarines has the potential to have a major impact on your health.
6. Strengthens the Immune System:
Nectarines contain several compounds that promote health that could help boost your immune system and prevent infections. For example, a massive review comprising 30 studies showed that vitamin C helped reduce the severity and duration of colds. The benefits of nectarine also contain fiber, which can act as a prebiotic to provide food for beneficial intestinal bacteria. It has been shown that promoting a healthy intestinal flora improves immune health and may even help prevent disease. In addition, nectarines have a high antioxidant content that can also protect immune cells from damage and maintain the effective functioning of your immune system. In addition to eating nectarines, be sure to fill your diet with other foods that improve the immune system, such as fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods, to help boost intestinal health even more.
7. Stabilize Blood Sugar:
The fiber found in nectarines can help regulate blood sugar levels to avoid spikes and shocks. Fiber decreases the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream and prevents blood sugar levels from firing after eating. Studies have found that the increase in the intake of whole fruits may be related to a lower risk of diabetes, probably thanks to the beneficial fiber they contain. One study even found that daily fruit consumption was associated with a 12 percent lower risk of developing diabetes. However, if you have diabetes, it is important to keep your fruit intake under control. Although nectarines contain additional fiber that can help decrease sugar absorption, they can still increase your blood sugar level and should be taken in moderation as part of a healthy, carbohydrate-controlled or low-carb diet.
8. Improves Heart Health:
Heart disease is the leading cause of death and represents a whopping one third of all deaths. However, in most cases, it can be easily prevented by making simple modifications to your diet and lifestyle. Including nutrient-rich foods such as nectarines is a way to help improve the health of your heart. The benefits of nectarine contain several nutrients that can reduce certain risk factors for heart disease. They contain soluble fiber, for example, which has been shown to help lower levels of total and bad LDL cholesterol. They are also rich in polyphenols that could help in the prevention of heart disease. In fact, one study found that a higher intake of food polyphenols such as nectarines and peaches was associated with lower triglyceride levels and high levels of good HDL cholesterol. In addition, a nectarine provides 8 percent of your daily potassium needs. Adequate potassium intake can help lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease and stroke. Follow a healthy diet, get a lot of physical activity and limit alcohol and tobacco consumption to further improve your heart health.
Nectarines are low in calories but can provide an explosion of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A along with other important micronutrients. A medium nectarine contains approximately:
- 5 calories
- 15 grams of carbohydrates
- 5 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fat
- 4 grams of fiber
- 7 milligrams of vitamin C (13 percent DV)
- 471 IU of vitamin A (9 percent DV)
- 285 milligrams of potassium (8 percent DV)
- 6 milligrams of niacin (8 percent DV)
- 1milligrams of copper (6 percent DV)
In addition to the above nutrients, nectarines also contain some manganese, phosphorus, vitamin K and vitamin E.
Although it is generally considered a safe and healthy part of the diet, some people may be allergic to nectarines. If you think you may have a nectarine allergy or experience adverse side effects after eating nectarines, you should consult your doctor. Nectarines also have a high content of fructans, a type of sugar that gut bacteria can easily ferment and that can trigger symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome. For this reason, nectarines are often restricted in a diet low in FODMAP . If you find that you are sensitive to foods high in fructans, you should consider limiting your consumption of nectarines. Also, keep in mind that the nectarine well contains cyanide. While you will need to eat a large amount of nectarine pits to see any real negative effects, it is always important to remember that moderation is the key.
How to Find / Use Nectarines?
Nectarines are widely available in most grocery stores. Be sure to look for one that is bright and firm in color with smooth, spotless skin. You should also opt for organic nectarines of local origin whenever possible. This is because nectarines are considered one of the “dirty dozens ” that most likely harbor harmful pesticide residues. Buying organic products guarantees that you are not consuming these potentially toxic chemicals. While nectarines are a satisfying snack on their own, you can also add them to a variety of dishes, both salty and sweet. Fix them and put them in pizzas, sandwiches and salads, or mix them in your next batch of frozen yogurt or cobbler. Alternatively, try some of the nectarine recipes that come to get some servings of this healthy fruit in your day.
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Nectarine:
- Nectarines are of the same species as peaches, but contain a recessive gene that results in a lack of peach fluff.
- They are low in calories but can provide fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and niacin.
- Thanks to its impressive nutrient profile, nectarines can strengthen eye, immune, cardiac and digestive health; can help with weight loss; may lower blood sugar levels; And it can even help kill cancer cells.
Best of all, they can be easily included in a healthy diet and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.