8 impressive health benefits of Nectarines
Nectarine (Prunus persica) is a fruit that belongs to the Rosaceae family. The fruit resembles peach fruit, but one can spot the difference between the two through their skin and flavour.
Nectarines possess innumerable health benefits which we are going to discuss in the article. Nectarines are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants and they are of two types – freestone and clingstone.
The freestone nectarines have pits that can be easily removed and they are easier to eat. The clingstone nectarines have pits that are harder to remove and are mostly used in cooking and canning.
Nectarines are nutrient-dense and low-calorie fruits which come in a variety of colours such as white, yellow, pink and red. Here are 8 health benefits of this fruit:
1. Help in weight loss
Nectarines are rich in fibre and low in calories which make them an excellent fruit for losing weight. An increase fibre intake helps you to stay fuller for longer which in turn aids in reducing appetite and curb cravings, thus promoting weight loss.
2. Prevent cancer
Nectarines have the potent ability to kill cancer cells. According to a study published in the journal Food Chemistry, the polyphenols in nectarines inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells without affecting the healthy cells. Another study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that nectarines can lower the risk of lung cancer in men.
3. Promote heart health
The fibre content in nectarines has been shown to decrease bad cholesterol, a risk factor of heart disease. In addition, a higher intake of polyphenols found in fruits like nectarines has been linked to lower levels of triglycerides and increased levels of good cholesterol. Also, nectarines are a good source of potassium, an important mineral that helps reduce blood pressure which is known to cause stroke and heart disease.
4. Improve blood sugar levels
Due to their high fibre content, nectarines can help regulate blood sugar levels. Fibre aids in slow absorption of sugar in the bloodstream and prevents a spike in blood sugar, thus reducing the risk of diabetes.
5. Encourage better digestion
As nectarines are a good source of fibre, consuming them will help support digestive health. It acts as a prebiotic by providing food to the healthy gut bacteria in the stomach, which further aids in better digestion and nutrient absorption.
6. Boost immunity
The vitamin C content in nectarines helps in boosting the immune system and ward off infections  . In addition, these fruits are rich in antioxidants which may also protect the immune cells from damage and keep the immune system working in proper condition.
7. Enhance eye health
Nectarines are an excellent source of vitamin A, an important nutrient that is required for normal vision. According to a study, nectarines contain carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are known to play a major role in preventing eye disease.
8. Reduce neural tube defect risk
The presence of folate in nectarines can help in reducing the risk of neural tube defect. It is a group of serious birth defects that affect a baby’s brain, skull and spinal cord. Consuming nectarines during pregnancy will help contribute to the overall health of the mother and baby.
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