Peaches (Prunus persica) contain some vitamin C and vitamin A (through its beta-carotene content), and anthocyanins. Peaches have been shown to possess antioxidant properties. Peaches also have substantial bile acid binding potential, which has been associated with lower cholesterol and lower risks of heart disease and cancer. Consumption of canned or dried peaches has been found to be associated with decreased risk of glaucoma. Nectarines are essentially the same fruit as peaches (not a crossbreed between peaches and plums), but with a recessive gene that eliminates the fuzzy skin found on peaches.
Cancer-related effects of eating peaches
Maternal consumption of canned or dried peaches (i.e., nonfresh peaches) during pregnancy has been found to be associated with subsequent lower risk for the child of medulloblastoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET), a common childhood brain tumor. Peach consumption also has been found to be associated with reduced risk of head and neck and esophageal cancers. One study using animals found that peach extract protected against liver toxicity caused by cisplatin, a type of platinum-based chemotherapy used to treat a variety of solid tumors. The few population studies that have specifically included peaches have not find a significant association between peach consumption and risk of breast cancer.
Non-organic peaches must be washed very thoroughly to remove pesticide residue as much as possible. Anthocyanin and phenolic content and antioxidant activity is higher in peaches with yellow flesh than in light colored peaches such as white peaches, and is also higher in the peels than in the flesh of peaches.
Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list of studies, please click on peach.