Most people who have read about peaches being recalled in the news lately are probably not rushing to bite into the juicy fruit but the reported health benefits will likely draw peach lovers back soon. The FDA issued a nationwide recall of peaches shipped from a California packing company after tests revealed that the fruit may have been contaminated with Listeria, a bacteria responsible for Listeriosis, a serious gastrointestinal illness. The peaches, shipped between June and July 12, 2014, have been sold in stores like WalMart, Costco, and Trader Joes and can be identified by a label reading, “Sweet 2 eat.”
Ironically, August is Peach Month in the U.S. and during the summer months people are usually tempted by peach ice cream and peach cobblers warm from the oven. Not so much this year but there are a lot of health benefits that peach lovers may be missing right now. Peaches, it seems, are packed with health benefits that most may not know about.
Despite the recent recall, peach lovers, desirous of the many benefits of eating peaches will likely be drawn back soon. In a May episode of the Dr. Oz Show, peaches were extolled for their ability to fight breast cancer. A recent study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health asserts that consuming peaches could reduce the risk of breast cancer by as much as 40 percent but that is not all.
Peaches, rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, less than 70 calories per serving when eaten fresh, and containing about three grams of fiber are apparently good for a lot of other health related reasons as well. Vitamin C helps the body in the development of resistance against infection. Vitamin A helps to improve vision and keeps skin looking healthy. Fiber aids in the digestive process and as an added bonus, peaches have a diuretic effect aiding in the cleansing of the liver and the kidneys.
In addition to fighting breast cancer, peaches actually help regulate blood pressure which in turn lowers the risk for some cardiovascular diseases. Other reasons for eating peaches include their ability to quiet an upset stomach and to relieve stress. Peach flowers are said to have sedative powers which probably account for the fact that they are known as the “fruit of calmness” in Hungary. They are also lauded as an aphrodisiac.
Peaches, because they have a diuretic effect and a slight laxative effect, are often prescribed for people who suffer from gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, work done in a scientific study conducted at the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia indicates that phenolic properties identified in peaches have anti-inflammatory properties, may aid in the prevention of diabetes and obesity, and may play a part in reducing the oxidation process in LDL, the “bad” cholesterol associated with heart disease. With all these benefits, it is hard to imagine that many peach lovers will not be drawn back to eating the juicy fruit as soon as the recall is lifted.
By Constance Spruill