The scientific name for peaches is Prunus persica and that second half of the name refers to Persia (Iran) which was the place Europeans mistakenly thought the fruit came from. Peaches in fact originated in China and have been cultivated there since 2000 B.C.
It was only around 300 B.C. that the fruit spread through Persia and into Greece. It was largely through Alexander the Great and his conquest of that region that peaches were introduced into Europe. In the 16th century Spanish explorers finally brought the fruit to the New World.
It is fortunate that the fruit has long been a part of the human diet as it has much nutritional value to offer. Continue reading about the benefits of peaches and understand why the Superhuman Food Pyramid wholly recommends the fruit.
Scientists have devised ways to measure the antioxidant capacity of various types of food. An example of such methods is Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FARP). One study that used this, as well as two other testing methods ranked peaches at number 19 compared to 29 other fruits for the FARP method.
Another investigation into the antioxidant profile of peaches compared three different cultivars and found that most of the oxidative damage reducing activity is due to Vitamin C supported by other plant substances like polyphenols and carotenoids.
Here are some of the beneficial phytochemicals that can be found in peaches:
- Chlorogenic acid – Regulates the break down of lipids and fatty acids and thus improves body weight
- Gallic acid – Found to be toxic on cancer cells but relatively harmless on normal cells
- Ellagic acid – Can alleviate inflammation and wrinkles caused by ultraviolet radiation
- Anthocyanins – A substance also abundant in berries, this phytochemical can be found in red-fleshed peaches and has been studied for its anti-diabetic properties
- Rutin – One of the main flavonols in clingstone type peaches (the seed is more attached to the meat), this substance has been found to protect the liver by reducing accumulation of fatty acid in the organ
Peaches can be a good source of dietary fiber. A fairly large piece weighing around 175 grams can provide 3 grams of dietary fiber. As you may know, this is a highly recommended nutrient that among other things reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Peach Practical Uses:
The great thing about this fruit is its versatility in culinary use. Peaches are equally good for dessert and main dish recipes. For the former it may be better to use freestone varieties for their ease in preparation. Clingstone varieties meanwhile can be a good option for cooking since their meat tends to hold together longer.
You can bake or grill peaches. You can cook them along with pork, poultry or veal. They of course can also be added fresh to salads or turned into smoothies. There are few fruits such as the peach that goes well enough with a variety of spices and flavorings from cinnamon to cooking wine. One popular Italian dessert preparation involves simply soaking peeled and pitted slices in red wine.
Since peach season can be quite short, you might want to purchase an adequate supply during its peak and then store some surplus. Freezing peaches can make them last for at least 6 months. Here’s one way to do it:
- First make sure the peaches are fully ripe. Freezing unripe fruit can make them mealy.
- Prepare a solution composed of cold water, ascorbic acid and sugar. Proportions are – ½ teaspoon ascorbic acid for every 6 tablespoons of water, and 2/3 cup of sugar for every quart of fruit. Mix and dissolve ingredients.
- Take out the pits and slice the peaches. Place these pieces in the solution in airtight freezer-safe containers.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of pears 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:
• Sugar Coated Dried Fruit
• Packaged Dried Fruit
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the benefits of peaches, 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 peaches.