August means the end of the summer, and fruits are in full swing. It’s also the month when the fuzzy stone fruit peach is celebrated.
Peaches have two major varieties: clingstones and freestones. It describes whether the flesh sticks to the stone or not. If the flesh comes away freely from the stone, it’s a freestone peach; while if the pit clings to the flesh, it’s a clingstone. Usually, the peaches we eat in processed form (canned, preserved, pit removed, juiced, or made into baby food) are clingstone peaches. Freestone peaches are bought fresh and ready to eat.
Both peach varieties have either yellow or white flesh. Yellow-fleshed peaches usually have an acidic tang mixed with sweetness, though this varies from peach to peach. White-fleshed peaches are usually very sweet with little acidity. Both of these colors have reddish skin. Low-acid white-fleshed peaches are most popular in Asian countries like China and Japan, while the acidic, yellow-fleshed cultivars are popular in North America and Europe.
Nutrients in Peaches
Peaches are rich in different vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds.
A medium-sized peach weighing around 150 grams provides approximately:
- 58 calories
- 14 grams carbs
- 2 grams of fiber
- 1 gram protein
- Less than 1 gram fat
This fruit is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin K, manganese, and copper. It also provides smaller amounts of magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and some B vitamins.
In addition, peaches are packed with antioxidants, which help fight oxidative damage and protect your body against diseases and aging.
Benefits of Peaches
Here are some of the notable health benefits peaches can bring:
- It contributes to smooth digestion.
Peaches have both soluble and insoluble fiber, which works to reduce the likelihood of constipation and provide food for bacteria in your intestines. Peach flowers also offer certain compounds that have been shown to support a healthy gut.
- It prevents certain types of cancer.
Like most fruits, peaches contain beneficial plant compounds that offer protection against different cancers. The carotenoids and caffeic acid in peaches are antioxidants that are found to have anti-cancer properties. Peaches are also full of polyphenols, which is shown to reduce cancer cells’ growth and limit its spread.
- It helps minimize allergy symptoms.
Peaches may help reduce allergy symptoms by preventing the release of histamines in the blood. Histamines are part of the body’s defense system that can trigger sneezing, coughing, and itching.
- It boosts immunity.
The nutrients and antioxidants in peaches help boost the immune system, making the body more able to fight certain bacteria types. It also helps protect the body against certain toxins like nicotine.
- It can keep your skin healthy.
Compounds in peaches help improve the skin’s ability to retain moisture, improving skin texture.
- It may help manage blood sugar levels.
Studies have revealed that compounds in peaches may help prevent high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
Fun Facts About Peaches
Besides the nutritional benefit of peaches, here are some more fun facts about this fruit:
- In March 1982, former President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as “National Peach Month” and called upon people of the United States to add this nutritious fruit into their diets. He also called upon interested groups to celebrate the month with appropriate activities and programs. Somehow today, the celebration done in August.
- The United States supplies about one-fourth of the world’s total supply of fresh peaches.
- Georgia is known as the Peach State, but it is not the leading peach producer in the United States. As of 2018, the top peach-producing states in order are California, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Georgia places in fourth.
- California produces more than 50 percent of the peaches in the United States, and the state grows 175 different varieties.
- Peaches originated in China and have been cultivated ever since 1,000 BCE. For Chinese culture, peaches are believed to bring luck, protection, and abundance. China is also the leading producer of peaches in the world.
- Christopher Columbus brought peach trees to America on his second and third voyages. Today, it’s the third most popular fruit grown in America.
- Peaches are in season from mid-June to the end of August.
Recipes to Try for National Peach Month
Peach is an easy ingredient to work with. It’s fine to eat alone, but it makes a lot of dishes taste better. Here are some tasty peach recipes to try in August:
Enjoying peach cobbler at the end of a summertime meal is one of life’s sweet little pleasures. The classic peach cobbler captures the flavors of summer, as the sweetness of the peaches balances the crisp topping. Top it off with fresh whipped cream or a cold vanilla ice cream to make it even better. Making peach cobbler is easy as the ingredients can be found in your pantry.
The dried peaches and dried apricots in fried pies make it so yummy. You can eat them as a snack on themselves, but it’s fun and delicious to cook with them. Try out this fried pies as a snack to celebrate National Peach Month.
Serve this show-stopping dessert on your summer party (or a quarantine indulgence). It’s made of layers of vanilla ice cream, pound cake, and juicy fresh peach. It’s also easy to make – you don’t need to bake it, you just need to pile it up neatly on top of another.
Congealed salads may be old school, but its flavor never goes out of style. It’s a retro recipe that will make you nostalgic for your childhood. With peaches mixed with cherries and pecans, it will look like a summertime jewel on your table.
We all turn to ice pops when it gets too hot in the summer. This time, make your own creamy ice pop sweetened and made flavorful by peaches. It’s everything your tastebuds are waiting for this summer.
Make a crowd-pleasing, creamy fruit salad with this recipe. This peach cobbler cheesecake salad makes fresh peaches, cheesecake filling, and cobbler bits to come together.
If you’re feeling a little fancy, try out a classic French dessert in your own home. You will need to poach your peaches for this recipe and make your own sweet sauce. Top it off with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream for a sweet and cold finish.
Sometimes, all we need after a long, hard day is a refreshing drink. A sweet, frozen, peachy margarita brings you a heavenly summer feels that you will surely enjoy. Make sure you serve this delicious concoction on your next ladies’ night.