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Nectarine offers amazing health benefits, but it's still in the shadow of its fuzzy sibling – peach.

Little On The History Of Both

Prunus Persica, or the peach, has been around for thousands years. It's native to China and its first mention dates to 10th century BC, but it got its name because of its popularity throughout Persia. Nectarine is probably younger, as the first mention of it was in America in 17th century. Peaches are often bigger and have a fuzzy coating around them. Nectarines are smaller and smooth-looking.

Although they look similar, there's a gene variation between them. Peaches have a dominant gene, and that's the reason their skin is "hairy". Both can be freestone, which means their pits come out easily, or clingstone — meaning that the pit sticks to the flesh. Also, they both come in white and yellow varieties. White flesh means that the peach or nectarine is sweeter with little acidity, and yellow flesh means more acidity with little bit of sweetness. Both varieties have some red color on their skin. Asians prefer white ones with lower acidity, while Europeans and Americans through the history preferred less sweet ones. In order to develop fruits, both trees require colder weather conditions, and the fruit is fully ripped by June.

Nectarines express a recessive gene, meaning there's no fuzz on the outside. They tend to be small and firm, often smelling better than peaches, but because of the recessive gene they can be more susceptible to pests and diseases. There's so much similarity between them that it doesn't matter which one you buy, only make sure they're fresh from the market.

 

Health Benefits Of Nectarines

Nectarines are low in calories and contain no fat. They're also naturally cholesterol-free. They help to keep the immune system healthy for a long time. In terms of vitamins and minerals, nectarines are a good source of various nutrients including:

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin E

  • Vitamin K

  • Niacin

  • Potassium

  • Zinc

  • Copper

  • Phosphor

  • Dietary fiber, and more

 

Research has shown that nectarines can be extremely beneficial for the skin because of their rich bioflavonoid properties. Also, due to the high content of beta-carotene, the flesh has yellowish-orangy color. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant responsible for protecting the body from the damage of free radicals. Their high level of antioxidants also helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays. Part of their beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Another way nectarines protect the skin is through their high lutein and vitamin C content. Vitamin C has the potential to provide the skin with a youthful appearance by promoting the synthesis of collagen.

Benefits For Pregnant Women

Studies have shown that nectarines are amazing for pregnant women because of their rich folate content which helps in reducing the risk of neural tubal defects, and contributes to the overall health of the mother and the baby. Also, their abundance in potassium prevents muscle cramps, and keeps the energy levels up. Fiber keeps up digestion in order, and vitamin C content contributes to the development of the muscles and tissues in babies.

 

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