Nectarines are extremely delicious and nutritious, offering many benefits for your health. Yet, even though nectarines are fairly popular, there are many people who have never had one before. But that’s probably all about to change after you discover what nectarines can do for you. You’ll be sprinting down to your nearest farmers market to pick some up. Ready to see what this versatile fruit can do for you? Let’s check it out.
What Are Nectarines?
There is a fair amount of confusion when it comes to differentiating nectarines from peaches, and this is probably because they are very closely related. The major difference between them is the fact that nectarines have a very smooth exterior, while peaches have the characteristic fuzz.
Nectarines and peaches both belong to the species Prunus persica, which was a nod to the place believed to be their point of origin (Persia), even though studies have now confirmed that it did indeed originate in China. To this date, China still accounts for more than 50% of the world’s total peach and nectarine production, with the rest mainly coming from parts of Europe and the Middle East.
They do not grow readily in tropical areas because of humidity, as their growth requires dry yet cold climates at night.
Nectarines Nutrition (per medium fruit, 2 ½ inch diameter)
Total Carbohydrate 15 g 5% RDI
Dietary fiber 2.4 g 9% RDI
Protein 1.5 g- 3% RDI
Potassium 285.4 mg- 8% RDI
Vitamin A-9% RDI
Vitamin C- 12% RDI
Magnesium- 3% RDI
11 Amazing Benefits of Nectarines
1. Helps Prevent Constipation
Nectarines are rich source of fiber, an important nutrient for the regulation of bowel motility. The fiber found in nectarines help ensure that waste material is moved along the digestive tract in a timely manner. Fiber adds bulk and assist with moisture retention so that a compact mass is not formed awaiting exit from the body.
2. Can Help With Diabetes Management
If you’ve got an insatiable sweet tooth and find it hard to fight cravings, nectarines are just the thing you need to help break the cycle. By swapping out sweet treats with nectarines you add a greater amount of fiber to your diet, which benefits subsequent sugar absorption by slowing its speed of uptake.
Nectarines are a much better option to artificial snacks which do more harm than good when it comes to maintenance of blood sugar.
3. Helps With Weight Loss
Consumption of a fiber heavy diet is an effective way to support your weight loss goals since fiber has a very strong appetite suppressing effect. Fiber holds on to water, expanding its volume several times and signaling to your brain that you are full.
Naturally, you stop eating sooner than you normally would and the amount of calories you ingest is reduced in similar fashion.
4. Helps With Vision
Nectarines are an excellent source of vitamin A, one of the most critical nutrients involved in regulation of vision and overall eye health. Nectarines contains two natural carotenoid compounds lutein and zeaxanthin which help to protect the eyes from oxidative damage.
In turn, your night vision benefits, you reduce your risk of developing cataracts or glaucoma and are less likely to be affected by premature macular degeneration.
5. Supports Immune Function
Nectarines are great for supporting the functions of the immune system thanks to the presence of numerous antioxidant vitamins. These nutrients help to improve your body’s resistance to illness, make it better equipped to target and destroy pathogens, and also assist with healing and recovery.
6. Can Reduce Asthma Symptoms
While citrus fruits are the undisputed best choices for helping to improve asthma symptoms, nectarines also work well thanks to their abundance of vitamin C and other flavonoids. These nutrients are important as they help to regulate the immune response to allergens. The respiratory tract of asthmatics are hyperspastic and willing to constrict at the slightest immune trigger. Of course, this is not an ideal course of action as it can be lethal if not properly managed.
7. Anticancer Potential
Not only are nectarines great at helping to reduce your risk of cancer, but preliminary studies done in labs show that it may also help to block the growth of cancer cells. These findings were observed on breast cancer cells, and all without negative effects on cancer free cells.
This is one of the major problems with cancer therapy medications today – the fact that they harm healthy cells just as much as they do the cancer cells. This makes it great to consume nectarines daily to at least obtain some degree of protective benefit.
8. Reduces Cardiac Risk
Cardiac risk is a measure of your likelihood to experience heart attacks, strokes or other serious circulatory disorders that are in large part preventable if you practice healthy lifestyle choices. The most important of these would have to be exercise and diet. Nectarines can’t necessarily help you with exercise (unless you plan to fetch a few bags full everyday), but it can offer great nutritional support for your heart.
For instance, nectarines are rich sources of fiber, which can help to reduce cholesterol levels. In addition to this, it also contains several polyphenol and antioxidant compounds which decrease the rate at which fatty acids are oxidized, making them less likely to be deposited on your blood vessel walls.
9. Helps Control Blood Pressure
Maintaining an ideal blood pressure is important for many reasons, and luckily nectarines can help you do so. They are rich in the mineral potassium which functions as a vasodilator to blood vessels. This means that blood will have a reduced likelihood to experience circulatory disruptions that can contribute to strokes or even heart attacks.
Potassium also keeps blood vessels elastic so that they can accommodate changes to your blood volume that can influence blood pressure.
10 Maintains Fluid Balance
If you consume a sodium heavy diet, not only do you increase your risk of hypertension, but you also stand to develop fluid disruptions. Sodium and potassium work together to regulate fluid and salt balance. Many people already have potassium deficiencies that cause water retention, placing excessive strain on the kidneys.
Potassium removes excess sodium and fluid from circulation to maintain homeostasis.
11. Supports Skin Health
The combination of vitamin A and C that nectarines possess help to ensure your skin is well supported. Vitamin A exerts antioxidant actions and also helps to safeguard against the damaging effects of UV radiation, while vitamin C supports collagen synthesis to maintain the youthful vigor of your skin. Not to mention that nectarines play supporting roles on your hydration levels and you have a great way to keep your skin healthy.
Nectarines are one of nature’s tasty indulgences, one that is good for you and much better than snacking on junk food. By far, its most promising effect has to be on cancer prevention, so even if you have one fruit 2 times a week you would be doing a major service to your future self.
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