Discover the 8 shocking health benefits of nectarine.
Packed with nutrients and antioxidants, as well as versatile and delicious, nectarine benefits come with a long list of health favors and can be a delicious addition to everything from pizzas to pastries.
Coming from the Rosaceae family of plants, nectarines are related to raspberries, pears, apricots, and plums. They are also genetically identical to peaches, separated by a single different allele.
Many different types of nectarines can range from white to vibrant yellows and reds, although they all offer similar health benefits.
From supporting better gut health to boosting immunity, nectarines can be a nutritious and delicious part of the diet.
Antioxidants are compounds that can help reduce the risk of chronic disease by neutralizing harmful free radicals.
These are molecules that build up 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.
Nectarine benefits are packed with beneficial plant compounds that act as antioxidants in the body, thanks in part to its high vitamin C content.
Including a few servings of nectarines in your diet each week can help provide you with plenty of antioxidants to improve your health. and fight these dangerous free radicals.
Besides nectarines, other foods high in antioxidants include berries, green leafy vegetables, dark chocolate, and herbs like cinnamon and turmeric.
Nectarine benefits provide a good chunk of fiber, a nutrient that is incredibly important when it comes to digestive health.
Dietary fiber moves through your GI tract undigested, supporting regularity by adding bulk to your stool and helping things move.
Fiber also acts as a prebiotic, providing food for beneficial bacteria found in the gut, which can help improve digestion and nutrient absorption.
Additionally, higher fiber intake has been shown to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and help 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 just one nectarine per day can eliminate up to 8 percent of your daily fiber needs.
Other high-fiber foods that can help you optimize your digestive health include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
Similarly, nectarines are low in calories but high in fiber, making them an excellent addition to your 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 your intake of fruits like nectarines may help you lose weight.
Several studies have found that fruit consumption is linked to lower body weight and greater weight loss.
Swapping high-calorie snacks and sweets for nectarines can help reduce the number of calories you eat and keep your waistline in check.
Nectarines are rich in vitamin A, an important nutrient when it comes to vision and eye health.
A deficiency in vitamin A can lead to 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 preventing eye disease.
Growing evidence from researchers shows that these important carotenoids may even protect against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
A single nectarine a day can meet 9 percent of your daily vitamin A requirements.
Make sure you also include many other good sources of vitamin A in your diet, such as green leafy vegetables, carrots, milk, eggs, and liver.
To top it off, nectarine benefits contain potent compounds that have been shown to help block cancer cell growth 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 adversely affecting healthy cells.
Another study d showed that 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.
Furthermore, research targeting more than 472,000 participants showed that eating nectarines were associated with a lower risk of lung cancer in men.
Of course, more research is needed to confirm these potential anticancer benefits, but it’s clear that eating antioxidant-rich foods like nectarines has the potential to make a big impact on your health.
Nectarines contain several health-promoting compounds that may help boost your immune system and prevent infection.
For example, a massive review comprising 30 studies showed that vitamin C helped reduce the severity and duration of colds.
Nectarine also contains fiber, which can act as a prebiotic to provide food for beneficial gut bacteria.
Promoting healthy gut flora has been shown to improve immune health and may even help prevent disease.
Additionally, nectarines are high in antioxidants that can also protect immune cells from damage and keep your immune system functioning effectively.
In addition to eating nectarines, be sure to fill your diet with other immune-boosting foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods, to help further boost gut health.
The fiber found in nectarines can help regulate blood sugar levels to avoid spikes and crashes.
Fiber slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and prevents blood sugar levels from spiking after eating.
Studies have found that increased intake of whole fruits may be linked 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 in check.
Although nectarines contain additional fiber that can help decrease sugar absorption, they can still raise your blood sugar level and should be taken in moderation as part of a healthy, carbohydrate-controlled, or low-carbohydrate diet.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death, accounting for 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-dense foods like nectarines is one way to help improve your heart health.
Nectarine contains several nutrients that can reduce certain risk factors for heart disease.
They contain soluble fiber, for example, which has been shown to help lower total and bad LDL cholesterol levels.
They are also rich in polyphenols that could help prevent heart disease.
One study found that a higher intake of polyphenols from foods like nectarines and peaches was associated with lower levels of triglycerides and elevated levels of good HDL cholesterol.
Additionally, nectarine provides 8 percent of your daily potassium needs. Adequate potassium intake can help lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease and stroke.
Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of physical activity, and limit alcohol and tobacco use to further improve your heart health.
Nectarines are low in calories but can provide a blast of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A along with other important micronutrients.
A medium nectarine contains approximately:
• 62.5 calories
• 15 grams of carbohydrates
• 1.5 grams of protein
• 0.5 grams of fat
• 2.4 grams of fiber
• 7.7 milligrams vitamin C (13 percent DV)
• 471 IU vitamin A (9 percent DV)
• 285 milligrams potassium (8 percent DV)
• 1.6 milligrams niacin (8 percent DV)
• 0.1-milligram 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 are also high in fructans, a type of sugar that bacteria in the gut can easily ferment and can trigger symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
For this reason, nectarines are often restricted on a low-FODMAP diet. If you find that you are sensitive to high-fructan foods, you should consider limiting your nectarine intake.
Also, be aware that the nectarine pit contains cyanide. While you will need to eat a large number of nectarine holes to see any real negative effects, it is always important to remember that moderation is the key.
Nectarines are widely available in most grocery stores. Be sure to look for one that is brightly colored and firm with smooth, blemish-free skin.
You should also opt for locally sourced organic nectarines when possible.
This is because nectarines are considered one of the ” dirty dozens ” most likely to harbor harmful pesticide residues.
Buying organic ensures that you are not consuming these potentially toxic chemicals.
While nectarines make a satisfying snack on their own, you can also add them to a variety of dishes, both savory and sweet.
Fix them up and put them on 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 along to get a few servings of this healthy fruit in your day.
• Nectarines are 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 their impressive nutrient profile, nectarines can support eye, immune, heart, and digestive health; can help with weight loss; can lower blood sugar levels, and 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.
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