The Prunus Persica, or peach tree, is a plant of the Rosaceae family. Its fruits are the peaches, juicy drupes that are characterized by a yellow, red or brown skin, with or hairless. Among the different varieties of peaches that can be found on the market we find nectarines, which are peaches with smooth skin without hair and whose harvesting period goes from June to the end of September. Today we are talking about this type of peach, trying to understand its properties on the basis of scientific studies.
Nectarines are rich in fibers, but also in vitamin A, important for the health of the skin and eyes, and in vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant, protects the immune system, fights infections and allergies and is also able to play a key role in several metabolic processes such as the conversion of cholesterol to bile acid and of tryptophan to serotonin, the feel-good hormone (Chambial et al, Indian J Clin Biochem, 2013). But nectarines also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and copper (FDA Database). Not only that, nectarines also provide valuable flavonoids, which are antioxidant substances (Abidi et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2011). These substances are useful in counteracting the aging processes and free radical damage, as has been demonstrated by a study that observed the ability of nectarine extracts, corresponding to about 5 nectarines per day for a person, to repair DNA damage (Croteau et al, J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2010). Clearly, it is difficult to reach this amount within your daily diet, also because it is important to vary the type of fruit you eat during the day. However, the study is undoubtedly noteworthy as it allows us to understand the powerful action of a simple fruit like nectarines and how important it is to include it, albeit in a more moderate way, in our diet. Also because, as reported in another research (Boyd et al, Free Radic Biol Med, 2012), nectarines are capable, through their fight against free radical damage, of extending lifespan.