Nutrition & Health Benefits
Nectarines are delicious, one of my favorite summer fruits. They belong to the same species as peaches but aren’t hairy. Nectarines are actually also related to plums, cherries, and loquats. Yellow-fleshed nectarines generally contain more beta-carotene than white-fleshed varieties. Like peaches, nectarines also come in “clingstone” and “freestone” varieties. The difference between them is the fact that the flesh will easily separate from the flesh of the nectarine if it is of the freestone variety, whilst the flesh of clingstone types will cling to the pit. Nectarines are generally sold by flesh colour, as either white- or yellow-fleshed.
As with the consumption of most fruits, eating nectarines is a healthy way to include important vitamins, minerals, and fibre in your diet. Epidemiologic evidence has shown time and time again that fruits and vegetables have a protective role to play in the prevention of cancer, as well as things like cataract formation, diverticulosis, heart disease, and a number of other diseases. Getting a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet each day isn’t a bad idea, so why not enjoy nectarines before they’re no longer in season.
Nutritionally, nectarines are very similar to peaches, boasting good amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, and fibre. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant, along with polyphenols found in nectarines such as beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin. Nectarines are also a source of potassium, containing 201 mg per 100 g (6% DV).
- Antioxidant Capacities, Phenolic Compounds, Carotenoids, and Vitamin C Contents of Nectarine, Peach, and Plum Cultivars from California
- Overview of the Health Benefits of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption for the Dietetics Professional: Selected Literature