Health Benefits of Nectarines
These non-fuzzy fruits are often confused with peaches and contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Beta-carotenes, bioflavonoids, calcium, carotenoids, fibre, folic acid, iron, lutein, magnesium, natural sugars, pantothenic acid, potassium, phosphorous, pyridoxine and thiamine.
The smooth nectarine has long-earned its favorable ranking amongst health-minded individuals who loves its sweet yellow-pinkish flesh and its outstanding health benefits including but not limited to:
Anti-cancer properties Vitamin A, Vitamin C, beta-carotene and lutein are all mighty anti-oxidants that help stave off certain forms of cancer. Carotenoids reduce cell damage due to the burning of oxygen in the body. Lutein may also decrease your risk of developing cancer. Eating nectarines on a more regular basis has been shown to prevent one from developing oral cavity cancer, in particular.
Arthritis Anti-oxidant Vitamin C fights off free radicals that often cause inflammation in individuals afflicted with osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Blood health Magnesium produces healthy red blood cells in the body.
Bone health / teeth health Vitamin A and Vitamin C (in its form as ascorbic acid) build and maintain healthy strong bones and teeth. Speaking of Vitamin A, beta-carotene is a crucial anti-oxidant that actually turns into Vitamin A in the body! If you don’t have enough beta-carotene in your diet, you will consequently not have enough Vitamin A and that could lead to poor or even abnormal bone development. Vitamin C plays an important role in repairing bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.
Digestive health Potassium can increase metabolism and aids in the proper digestion of carbohydrates. The nectarine’s rich fibre content can relieve constipation.
Eye health Beta-carotene promotes healthy vision and can prevent age-related macular degeneration. Nutrient lutein also supports healthy eyes.
Heart Health Vitamin C is known to lower blood pressure and fight atherosclerosis. Both potassium and fibre are phenomenal substances for the heart. They can help keep your cholesterol levels in check and lower your blood pressure. Nectarines have no cholesterol, no saturated fat and no sodium, all of which are a huge plus for those taking careful stock of their heart.
Immune system health Vitamin C is an incredible champion for the immune system and can help heal wounds, form healthy scar tissue and ward off innumerable infections and diseases ranging from the common cold to the flu. Vitamin A maintains healthy mucous membranes.
pH balance Potassium regulates proper pH balance in the body.
Anti-oxidant properties Vitamin A, Vitamin C, beta-carotene and lutein are powerful anti-oxidants in their own right and help fend off cell-damaging free radicals. Vitamin A and lutein promote healthy, supple skin. All of these anti-oxidants strengthen the hair and nails and make them strong and less prone to splitting and breakage. Vitamin C assists Collagen production.
Fibre Since nectarines are a great source of dietary fibre with 2.4 grams per medium-sized fruit, eating them will allow you to feel full longer, and can thus keep your appetite at bay, reduce your cravings for empty calories and reduce your overall calorie consumption.
Metabolism Potassium is said to improve your metabolism, which can help you keep moving and exercising more regularly and as a result, speed up weight loss.
Nutritional Intake Nectarines are extremely low in calories with approximately 50-60 in one medium-sized fruit. They are sodium-free, have no saturated fat and only half a gram of total fat.
COOKING / CONSUMPTION
Just make sure the ones you choose have tight, wrinkle-free skin and a slight give to them when you press them with a finger.
They are wonderful eaten raw, and especially with the skin on, as it maximizes their nutritional effectiveness, not to mention gives you additional fibre.
Spend a homey day rolling up your sleeves and getting messy in the kitchen making a batch of Nectarine that you can enjoy spread at seasons peak with your Sunday morning breaky, infuse with Native Australian Strawberry gum adding a strawberry bubblegum aroma and extra antibiotic and antioxidant health benefits to the mix.
Make some nectarine sorbet, serve with smashed pavlova ,coconut yoghurt, powdered Australian native blood lime.
Simply chargrill on the Bbq and serve with your favorite grain & veggie salad and/or white meat.
Nectarines make for sweet and unique inclusions when chopped up and combined in a spicy-sweet salsa or ceviche.
Looking for a scrumptious and impressive appetizer that is oh so simple to put together? Just slice some pumpernickel and spread with goat cheese, place a ripe nectarine wedge on the cheese, drizzle with a little honey and sprinkle with toasted macadamia nuts.
Nectarines, especially when combined with peaches, plums orange juice, chopped garlic cloves, onion and red peppers, butter, honey and soy sauce make for lip-smacking sweet and sour sauces perfect for Asian-style or fusion stir-fries utilizing your favorite lean proteins such as chicken breast or pork.
A nectarine cobbler is a nice break from the traditional peach one and is as luscious as it is easy to compose. Merely melt some butter in an oven-proof baking dish, mix coconut flour, rapardsa sugar and milk into a batter, pour into the baking dish, scatter a whole bunch of beautiful, fresh nectarine wedges across the batter, bake at 180* for an hour and serve with Greek style yoghurt or a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream.
“What wondrous life is this I lead! Ripe apples drop about my head; The luscious clusters of the vine Upon my mouth do crush their wine; The nectarine, and curious peach, Into my hands themselves do reach; Stumbling on melons, as I pass, Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.”