The benefits of eating peaches
December 14, 2006 12:40am CST
Peaches are low in calories and one 100 g peach provides almost three quarters of the daily vitamin C requirement. The fruit has a gentle laxative effect. Peaches are also rich in iron and potassium. How many peaches should you eat? Fresh peaches are low in calories and can be eaten freely. If canned in syrup, however, their calorie counts increase significantly. Maximizing the benefits of peaches Weight for weight, dried peaches contain six time the calories of fresh peaches. It must also be remembered that when peaches are canned, they lose 80 percent of their vitamin C content.
14 Dec 06
The Peach (Prunus persica) is a tree native to China that bears a juicy fruit of the same name. It is a small deciduous tree growing to 5–10 m tall, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. It is classified with the almond in the subgenus Amygdalus within the genus Prunus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated seed shell. The leaves are lanceolate, 7–15 cm long and 2–3 cm broad. The flowers are produced in early spring before the leaves; they are solitary or paired, 2.5–3 cm diameter, pink, with five petals. The fruit is a drupe, with a single large seed encased in hard wood (called the "stone" or "pit"), yellow or whitish flesh, a delicate aroma, and a velvety skin that bruises easily. The seed is red, oval shaped and 1.5-2 cm thick. Peaches, along with cherries, plums and apricots, are stone fruits (drupes). The scientific name persica derives from an early European belief that peaches were native to Persia (now Iran). The modern botanical consensus is that they originate in China, and were introduced to Persia and the Mediterranean region along the Silk Road in early historical times, probably by about 2000 BC (Huxley et al. 1992). Cultivated peaches are divided into "freestone" and "clingstone" cultivars, depending on whether the flesh sticks to the stone or not; both kinds can have either white or yellow flesh. Peaches with white flesh typically are very sweet with little acidity, while yellow-fleshed peaches typically have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness, though this also varies greatly. Both colours often have some red on their skin. Low-acid white-fleshed peaches are the most popular kinds in China, Japan, and neighbouring Asian countries, while Europeans and North Americans have historically favoured the acidic, yellow-fleshed kinds.