Peach Nutrition Facts
Peach Nutrition Facts
Peaches are low in calories, cholesterol and saturated fat and contain a wide array of minerals and vitamins. Most prominent is vitamin C; a serving contains 17% of the daily recommended value. Other nutrients are lower in quantity but there are a wide variety present like vitamins A, E and K, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, manganese, iodine, copper, sulfur and iron. The B vitamin content is modest as in most fruits.
One medium peach (about 3.5 oz) contains about 40-60 calories, 10-15 g carbohydrates, 9-13 g sugar (usually less than 9%), 2 g fiber and 1 g protein. The soluble fiber, especially pectin, is useful in lowering blood cholesterol. Often canned and frozen peaches are higher in calories that fresh because of additional heavy syrup and sugar. Dried peaches are very nutrient dense since it takes 6 to 7 pounds of fresh peaches to produce 1 pound dried. A serving size of 10 dried peaches has about 300 calories, 1,295 mg potassium, and 5 mg iron. Dried peaches often contain sulfites, which is a preservative that can cause an allergic reaction in those sensitive.
Vitamin C is important in fighting infection, and acting as an antioxidant that removes damaging free radicals. It also is required for synthesis of connective tissue. Vitamin A is also present in peaches and provides beta-carotene that is converted to retinol. Vitamin A is important in eye health and also protects against mouth and lung cancers. Because of the polyunsaturated fatty acid content, it helps to maintain mucus membranes and skin elasticity. The darker color the peach flesh, the greater the vitamin A content.
Minerals found in peaches include potassium. Potassium is important in food digestion, it helps to regulate heart rate, lower blood pressure and works with sodium to maintain water balance. Iron is needed for the formation of red blood cells and to carry oxygen throughout the body. Flavonoids, like lutein and lycopene, work together to prevent macular degeneration, heart disease, and cancer. Other flavonoids include zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin, which protect against free radicle damage.
Peaches are a good source of phytochemicals. A study looking at polyphenol content in a medium sized fruit at 100 g or 3.5 oz found that polyphenols were measured at 18-54 mg in yellow-flesh nectarines, 14-102 mg in white flesh nectarines, 21-61 mg in yellow-flesh peaches, and 28-111 mg in white flesh peaches. The major phenolic compounds present were epicatechins, catechins, and chlorogenic acid. Red-fleshed peaches are particularly rich in anthocyanins. There are around 110 chemical compounds that make up the aroma of peaches. These include alcohols, aldehydes, esters, ketones, polyphenols and terpenoids.
Peaches should be consumed in moderation because of their high amount of fructose, which may be harmful in excess amounts. Peach allergy or intolerance is seen in those hypersensitive to the proteins present in peaches. Symptoms may be localized to the mouth or throat or more severe and systemic including anaphylaxis. Some adverse reactions may be related to the ‘freshness’ of the fruit while canned or peeled fruit may be better tolerated.
The oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) value is 1814, which is fairly high. However, canned peaches in heavy syrup have an ORAC value of 436, which indicates that antioxidants are highest in fresh peaches, and these antioxidants are significantly lost in the canning process.