Nectarines, a close relative to the peach, are known for their smooth skin and slightly spicier flavor. Originating from China over 2000 years ago, nectarines are now enjoyed globally and are cherished for their sweet and tangy flavor and their refreshing crunch. Like peaches, they come in two types: freestone and clingstone, referring to how the fruit’s flesh relates to its inner stone.
Per 100 grams, nectarines provide:
- Calories: 44
- Protein: 1.06 grams
- Fat: 0.32 grams
- Carbohydrates: 10.55 grams
- Fiber: 1.7 grams
- Vitamin C: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 6% of the DV
- Potassium: 4% of the DV
- Niacin: 4% of the DV
Nectarines offer a wealth of health benefits:
- Antioxidant-rich: They contain several antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta carotene, and choline. These compounds help combat oxidative stress in the body.
- Digestive Health: Thanks to their dietary fiber, nectarines aid in maintaining a healthy digestive system by promoting regular bowel movements and helping to prevent constipation.
- Supports Eye Health: The presence of lutein in nectarines contributes to eye health, potentially helping to prevent conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Though nectarines are generally safe for consumption, a few potential issues should be noted:
- Allergy: Some people may have an allergic reaction to nectarines, with symptoms similar to those for peach allergies.
- Pesticide Residue: Like peaches, nectarines can contain pesticide residues. To minimize exposure, it’s best to thoroughly wash them or choose organic when possible.
Weight Loss Benefits
Nectarines can contribute positively to weight loss efforts:
- Low in Calories: Nectarines are low in calories, making them an excellent choice for a light, refreshing snack.
- Dietary Fiber: Their fiber content aids in promoting satiety, which can help control calorie intake.
Five Practical Ways to Incorporate Nectarines into Your Diet for Weight Loss
- Nectarine Parfait: Layer Greek yogurt, chopped nectarines, and a sprinkle of granola for a healthy breakfast or dessert. This parfait is a good balance of proteins, carbs, and a little healthy fat.
- Roasted Nectarines: Roast nectarines in the oven with a sprinkle of cinnamon. It intensifies their sweetness and makes a great dessert option when paired with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
- Nectarine Salad: Add sliced nectarines to salads. They pair well with arugula, pecans, and feta for a sweet and savory meal.
- Nectarine Salsa: Combine diced nectarines with chopped tomatoes, onion, and cilantro for a twist on traditional salsa. It’s a flavorful accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish.
- Nectarine Infused Water: For a refreshing and hydrating drink, add slices of nectarine to your water. It’s a great way to liven up your hydration without added sugars.
Nectarines are a versatile fruit with a distinct flavor profile and impressive health benefits. They’re easy to incorporate into a balanced diet and their dietary fiber and low-calorie content make them an excellent choice for those looking to maintain or lose weight.