- Rich source of Vitamin C
- Easily digestible
- Gentle laxative
Fresh, ripe peaches are a tasty, low-energy food. One average 100g fruit contains around 30 calories and, if eaten unpeeled, provides more than three-quarters of the daily requirement of vitamin C. The soft fruit is easy to digest and has a gentle laxative effect.
Weight for weight, dried peaches contain six times the calories of the fresh fruit. A 50g portion of dried peaches supplies about two-fifths of the daily recommended amount of iron and a sixth of the potassium. Canned peaches lose over 80 per cent of their vitamin C content and, if in syrup, are much higher in calories.
The name nectarine comes from the Greek nektar, which is the drink of the gods in Roman and Greek mythology. Nectarines are sweeter than peaches, from which they were originally cultivated, and slightly more nutritious. One fresh nectarine contains almost enough vitamin C to meet the average adult's daily requirement. Vitamin C, which helps the body to absorb iron efficiently and maintain its immune system, is also vital to the production of collagen, which is an important component of the skin. Collagen helps to build scar tissue over wounds - an essential part of the healing process.
Nectarines have smoother skins than peaches, with none of the 'fur' that some people find unpalatable. The flesh, which tends to be firmer and may be pink, yellow or white, is often more intensely scented and flavoured than that of a peach. They also contain slightly more energy - 36 calories in an average nectarine compared with 30 in a peach of a similar size.
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