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Georgia Peaches: Summer’s Superfruit

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Savor the flavor of summer’s healthiest picks when they’re at the peak of ripeness. Sweet Georgia Peaches are a warm-weather favorite and you’ll find them at their best in June and July. This sweet summer fruit not only tastes amazing, it’s also a nutritional powerhouse. In just 60 calories, a medium peach packs in more than 20 different macro and micronutrients, including fiber, vitamins A, C, E, potassium and zinc. They’re also naturally free of fat, sodium, cholesterol, gluten and trans fats.

There are plenty of reasons why peaches deserve superfruit status. First, they’re an all-natural fruit. And a large body of scientific research shows that diets rich in fruit (…and veggies) helps you maintain a healthy weight, and reduces the risk for many chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. And, chances are, you’re not meeting your daily fruit requirement: a recent national study conducted by the Produce for Better Health Foundation found that just 8% of Americans meet their daily fruit targets.

The orange-yellow hue of peaches is a cue that they’re an excellent source of beta-carotene, an important antioxidant that’s converted to vitamin A. In fact, a medium peach (1 cup slices) has about 500 IU of vitamin, equal to about 10% of the Daily Value for this nutrient. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for optimal growth, bone health and vision. According to the American Cancer Society, some studies suggest that beta-carotene from colorful fruits and vegetables may even offer protection against certain types of cancer.

Peaches also provide 285 mg potassium (about 8% of the DV) and 2 grams of fiber. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend choosing foods that provide potassium and fiber, as they are nutrients that are lacking in the US diet.

How to Enjoy Sweet Summertime Peaches: 

Peaches are a great snack but can also be a featured ingredient in many dishes, from appetizers to desserts. Peaches can be baked, grilled or pan-seared and topped with cinnamon for a wonderful dessert. They’re also perfect on salads and make wonderful chilled soups and refreshing beverages. Peaches are an ideal partner for main courses too – try them with chicken, pork, seafood and grains like rice and couscous.

References: 

American Cancer Society: Vitamin A, Retinoids, and Provitamin A Carotenoids. 2012. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/vitamin-a-and-beta-carotene

Produce for Better Health Foundation. State of the Plate: 2010 Study on America’s Consumption of Fruits & Vegetables. http://www.pbhfoundation.org/pdfs/about/res/pbh_res/stateplate.pdf 

Suggested citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010

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