Sweet, delicious nectarine is closely related to peach. As in peach, the fruit is described as a drupe (fruit flesh surrounded by central single hard seed) belonging to the genus prunus that also includes plums, damson, almonds…etc. This novel fruit is appreciated worldwide for its juicy, fragrant aroma, and sweet taste.
Health benefits of Nectarine
Like most fruits, the nectarine is a low-calorie choice. A medium nectarine -- 2.5 inch diameter -- contains only 62 calories. Including more low-calorie foods in place of high-calorie foods can make it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight.
· Supplies Energy
Most of the calories in the nectarine come from its carbohydrate content. Your body uses the carbohydrates in foods like nectarines as its preferred source of energy. One medium nectarine contains 15 g of carbohydrates.
The nectarine also has a low glycemic index, which is a system that ranks how food affects your blood sugar. Foods with a low glycemic index raise your blood sugar slightly, while foods with a high glycemic index cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. Eating lower glycemic index foods may reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
· Good Source of Fiber
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate your body cannot digest. One medium nectarine contains 2.4 g of fiber. Fiber in food can help prevent constipation and lower blood cholesterol levels. Because you cannot digest fiber, it can also help you manage hunger and aid in weight control. Adults need 20 to 30 g of fiber a day. One nectarine meets about 10 percent of your daily fiber needs.
· Reduce Risk of Cancer
The antioxidants in the nectarine, including vitamin A, vitamin C and beta carotene, may protect you against cancer. Antioxidants protect cells from oxidation by free radicals -- unstable molecules that cause cellular damage. Antioxidants minimize and prevent cell damage, which may slow or prevent cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day to prevent cancer.
· The fruit is also useful in upkeep of immune system of the body.
· Improve Blood Pressure Control
One medium nectarine contains 285 mg of potassium. Potassium is a mineral that aids in blood pressure control by counterbalancing the effects of sodium. Including more natural sources of potassium in your diet may improve your blood pressure when combined with a healthy diet. You should aim for 4,700 mg of potassium a day. Talk to your doctor before increasing your daily potassium intake. A high potassium diet can be harmful for the elderly and people with kidney disease.