Peaches Are So Much More Nutritious Than You Think—Here's Why

According to RDs, this fruit is an anti-inflammatory superhero.

As much as I love an early autumn apple-picking adventure or a springy asparagus and pea pasta recipe, peak-peach season always wins. There's just something about biting into a fresh-picked stone fruit that's so ripe it drips down your chin, or diving into a slice of warm peach pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top. Mess factor and all, peaches are perfect.

According to Jenn Lavardera, RD, a nutrition expert for Naturipe Farms, peaches are also one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. Here's what health benefits you'll reap when you bite in. Just keep a napkin close!

01 of 05

They Have Antioxidant Benefits

"While berries are often touted for their antioxidant benefits, peaches have many of those same healthful compounds," explains Lavardera. "In fact, some varieties of peaches show just as much antioxidant activity as blueberries." These antioxidants help your body combat and prevent oxidative stress and the production of cell-damaging free-radicals. This is key to staving off inflammation and lowering your risk for chronic illnesses like Alzheimer's, cancers, and heart disease (more on this below). Take note: the more ripe and fresh the fruit, the more antioxidants it contains. Keep this in mind before opting for canned versions.

02 of 05

They Help Protect Your Eyes, Skin, and Immune System

According to Lavardera, peaches contain beta-carotene, the healthful compounds you think of when you think of carrots and orange vegetables. Beta-carotene plays an important role in skin and eye health and is also a powerful antioxidant. It's also a precursor for vitamin A, which helps your body fight inflammation, keeps your gut healthy, and boosts your immune system.

03 of 05

They May Help Prevent Cancer

One lab study found peaches (specifically the Rich Lady peach) may be beneficial in inhibiting breast cancer cells. Additionally, the carotenoids in peaches have also been shown to have anticancer properties.

04 of 05

They Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease

"Lab work has also shown peaches may be beneficial in preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease," says Lavardera.

05 of 05

They Have Digestive Benefits

"Peaches are a good source of fiber—one large peach has about 3 grams of fiber and just under 70 calories," says Lavardera. Fiber is a key factor in supporting optimal digestion and gut health, plus it can help maintain stable blood sugar levels. Just make sure you're eating the whole peach, not just the juice.

Was this page helpful?
Real Simple is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy.
  1. Gasparotto J, Somensi N, Bortolin RC, et al. Effects of different products of peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) from a variety developed in southern Brazil on oxidative stress and inflammatory parameters in vitro and ex vivo. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2014;55(2):110-9. doi:10.3164/jcbn.13-97

  2. Dabbou S, Maatallah S, Castagna A, et al. Carotenoids, Phenolic Profile, Mineral Content and Antioxidant Properties in Flesh and Peel of Prunus persica Fruits during Two Maturation Stages. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2017;72(1):103-110. doi:10.1007/s11130-016-0585-y

  3. Gil MI, Tomás-Barberán FA, Hess-Pierce B, Kader AA. Antioxidant capacities, phenolic compounds, carotenoids, and vitamin C contents of nectarine, peach, and plum cultivars from California. J Agric Food Chem. 2002;50(17):4976-82. doi:10.1021/jf020136b

  4. Johra FT, Bepari AK, Bristy AT, Reza HM. A Mechanistic Review of β-Carotene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin in Eye Health and Disease. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020;9(11):1046. doi:10.3390/antiox9111046

  5. Gilbert C. What is vitamin A and why do we need it? Community Eye Health. 2013;26(84):65. PMID:24782580

  6. Noratto G, Porter W, Byrne D, Cisneros-Zevallos L. Polyphenolics from peach (Prunus persica var. Rich Lady) inhibit tumor growth and metastasis of MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells in vivo. J Nutr Biochem. 2014;25(7):796-800. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2014.03.001

  7. Zhao B, Sun M, Li J, Su Z, Cai Z, Shen Z, Ma R, Yan J, Yu M. Carotenoid Profiling of Yellow-Flesh Peach Fruit. Foods. 2022;11(12):1669. doi:10.3390/foods11121669

  8. Li G, Zhu Y, Zhang Y, Lang J, Chen Y, Ling W. Estimated daily flavonoid and stilbene intake from fruits, vegetables, and nuts and associations with lipid profiles in Chinese adults. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013;113(6):786-94. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2013.01.018

  9. Noratto G, Martino HS, Simbo S, Byrne D, Mertens-Talcott SU. Consumption of polyphenol-rich peach and plum juice prevents risk factors for obesity-related metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease in Zucker rats. J Nutr Biochem. 2015;26(6):633-41. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2014.12.014

  10. Cronin P, Joyce SA, O'Toole PW, O'Connor EM. Dietary Fibre Modulates the Gut Microbiota. Nutrients. 2021;13(5):1655. doi:10.3390/nu13051655

Related Articles