The Power of the Peach: 6 Health Benefits of Stone Fruits
Summer is a great time to add more fruit to your diet. In most parts of the country, fruit is at its peak during the warmer months of the year. This includes the stone fruits, or fruits with a stone—also known as a pit—inside. They include peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, and cherries.
In honor of National Eat a Peach Day on August 22, we share some of the health benefits of these savory treats.
- Boost immune system: Many of us think of oranges as the fruit that best pumps up your vitamin C. But incorporating stone fruits into your diet is another way you can boost your vitamin C intake and your immune system.
- Nerve and muscle health: Potassium contributes to keeping your nerves and muscles healthy while also helping to regulate blood pressure. And bananas aren’t the only fruit rich in potassium. Two small peaches have the same amount of potassium as a half of a banana.
- Increase fiber: An important part of maintaining a healthy digestive system comes from consuming enough daily fiber, and stone fruits are rich with fiber. In addition to improved digestion, fiber also helps with cholesterol and weight management.
- Vision protection: If you’ve ever discussed the connection between vision and diet with your eye doctor, chances are good that they mentioned carotenoids. These are a type of antioxidant believed to help strengthen your eyesight. They are found in vibrant-colored fruits like peaches and nectarines.
- Better bone health: Rich with vitamin K, stone fruits can also help promote healthier bones and teeth. That can help prevent osteoporosis, a health condition for which the risk increases with aging.
- Creates collagen: This benefit may be especially appealing for older adults: the vitamin C in stone fruits might help increase collagen production. Collagen is a protein that gives the skin strength and elasticity.
How to Incorporate Stone Fruits into Your Diet
How can you add stone fruits to your summer and fall menus?
We have a few suggestions:
- Add chopped stone fruits to a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.
- Grill fresh peaches to serve with your favorite chicken dish.
- Puree plums and add them to unsweetened applesauce.
- Blend plums and peaches together to use as a marinade for pork chops.
- Make a batch of peach mustard and use it to grill fish, chicken, or pork.
- Drink a glass of pure cherry juice every morning.
- Mix up a batch of peach or cherry salsa to serve with baked nacho chips.
- Add fresh or frozen stone fruits to a Greek-yogurt-based smoothie.
MyPlate for Older Adults
The Sunrise Signature Dining program uses the MyPlate guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging to ensure the nutritional needs of our residents are met. Visit our page, “A Healthy Diet for Seniors,” to learn more.