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TPC Health Ministries presents Health Benefits of Peaches/Nectarines – Part XVIII

They Promote Healing. Don’t be fooled by a peach’s small size and delicate skin. Just one fruit has up to 15% of the vitamin C you need each day. This nutrient helps your body heal wounds and keeps your immune system going strong. It also helps get rid of “free radicals” — chemicals that have been linked to cancer because they can damage your cells.

They Help Eyesight. An antioxidant called beta-carotene gives peaches their pretty golden-orange color. When you eat it, your body turns it into vitamin A, which is key for healthy vision. It also helps keep other parts of your body, like your immune system, working like it should.

They Help Keep Digestion Running Smoothly. One medium peach can give you as much as 9% of the fiber your body needs each day. High-fiber foods can protect you from health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and colorectal cancer. But the benefit you may notice the most happens in the bathroom: Getting enough fiber can help prevent constipation.

They help Maintain a Healthy Weight. Clocking in at fewer than 60 calories, peaches have no saturated fats, cholesterol, or sodium. And more than 85% of a peach is water. Plus, foods high in fiber are more filling. When you eat them, it takes you longer to feel hungry again.

They provide Vitamin E. Nuts and seeds are the best-known sources of this vitamin, but peaches are ripe with it, too. This antioxidant is important for many of your body’s cells. It also keeps your immune system healthy and helps widen blood vessels to keep blood from clotting inside.

They Help Keep Bones Healthy. Potassium can help balance out the effects of a diet high in salt. It may also lower your blood pressure, along with your chances of kidney stones and bone loss. You need about 4,700 milligrams of potassium every day, and it’s far better to get it from food than a supplement. One peach has as much as 250 milligrams.

They Help Look After Teeth. As sweet as they are, peaches may help keep your teeth healthy because they have fluoride. This mineral, which you find in toothpaste, is also in some foods, including peaches. It helps get rid of the germs in your mouth that can cause cavities.

Choosing a Perfect Peach. The sweeter the smell, the riper the peach. (They’re members of the rose family, after all.) They’re ready to eat when they give to the gentle pressure of your finger. Firm peaches can sit on your counter for a few days to ripen, but once they’re ready, pop them into your fridge. Leaving them out once they’re ripe will lessen their vitamin C.

So, now we are in Summer, make the most of the plentiful supply of peaches, or their close cousins, Nectarines.

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