Though their names may imply they’re two different species of fruits, nectarines and peaches are actually genetically similar. Nectarines come about through a recessive gene that results in smooth non-fuzzy skinned peaches. That is the main differentiating characteristic of nectarines. It is also probably why this fruit is mistakenly thought of as a hybrid of peaches and plums.
Just like its parent fruit, nectarines originated in China. Its slightly different taste and texture was pleasant enough that it was deliberately cultivated. A peach tree can bear both peach and nectarine fruits. To consistently grow nectarines, only the strain of peaches bearing the recessive gene can be used.
Nectarines may be the result of a natural occurring mutation but that doesn’t make them less nutritious. Continue reading and find out the benefits of nectarines and how they can help you Become Superhuman.
The fruit is a good source of Vitamin C, provitamin A carotenoids, B-complex vitamins, and various types of minerals. There are slight differences in the concentration of these nutrients depending on the variety of nectarine.
An investigation that measured the amount of nutritional substances in nectarines found that white-flesh nectarines contained ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) which ranged from 5-14 mg/100 g, carotenoids were at 7-14 micrograms/100 g, and phenolic compounds were at 14-102 mg/100 g. Yellow-flesh nectarines meanwhile had 6-8 mg of Vitamin C, 80-186 micrograms of total carotenoids, and 18-54 mg of total phenolic compounds.
As it turns out nectarines, particularly those varieties with yellow colored pulp, have slightly more Vitamin C and can supply twice as much provitamin A than peaches.
Another study has pointed out that the phenolic compounds in nectarines (as well as in other stone fruits like plums and cherries) have a strong potential to counteract metabolic syndrome. This is a set of obesity-related conditions and factors that highly likely lead to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Some of the nectarine phytochemicals cited are chlorogenic acid, quercetin, and catechins.
Nectarine Practical Uses:
Color is one of the typical references for selection when picking out fruits in the market. For nectarines, you should pay more attention to the background color than on the red blush. Look for pieces that have a creamy yellow or orange color behind the red.
If it’s still greenish around the stem, then the fruit isn’t fully ripe yet. In this case leaving the nectarines in room temperature would ripen them in around 1-2 days. Avoid putting unripe ones in the refrigerator as this could result in mealy and bland nectarines. Wait for them to ripen and only then use cold storage to extend your supply of the fruit.
Whether you’re using the nectarines as ingredients for dessert or main dishes, you’re always going to have to peel and deseed them. Here are some tips on how to go about it:
- Peeling – Cut a shallow “x” at the blossom end of the fruit. Boil the fruit in water until you see some of the skin where you made the cut start to separate. Use a slotted spoon to pick up and transfer the fruit into a bowl of ice water. This is to immediately stop the fruit from getting cooked further. You can now easily remove the skin with a paring knife. Start with where you made the cut and simply peel away.
- Deseeding – Cut the fruit lengthwise along the cleavage just deep enough until your knife reaches the stone seed in the middle. Twist the halves apart and again with a paring knife pull out the seed. Nectarines are sometimes classified as freestones or clingstones. This is in reference to how much the meat is stuck to the seed.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of oranges that will help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the benefits of nectarines, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the benefits of nectarines.