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Fact of the day – Peach

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Delicious and widely popular peaches are native to China from where they spread to rest of the world via ancient silk route. They belong to the genus: Prunus, family of Rosaceae.Technically, the fruit is a “drupe” having similar features of the other members of the genus: Prunus including plums, nectarine, almonds, and damson.

The peach plant is described as a small, deciduous tree that grows up to 25 to 30 feet tall and widely grown in the United States, Europe, and China for its juicy fruits. There are many cultivars of peaches are grown all over the world, which differ in their color, size and growing characteristics based upon their country of origin.

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Generally, the peach tree bears numerous, almost uniform sized fruits between May and September months. Its fruit is about the size of small apple, measuring about 7-10 cm in diameter and weigh about 130 g. It features fuzzy outer surface with longitudinal depressions extending from the stem end to the tip. Depending up on the seed that is free or firmly attached to the pulp, they are classified into free-stone variety or clinging seed variety.

Here are some healthy facts and serving tips:

1. Wonderfully delicious peaches are low in calories (100 g just provide 39 calories) and contain no saturated fats. Nonetheless, they are packed with numerous health promoting compounds, minerals and vitamins.

2. Fresh peaches are a moderate source of antioxidant, vitamin C. Vitamin-C has anti-oxidant effects and is required for connective tissue synthesis in the body. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents.

3. Fresh fruits are an also moderate source of vitamin A and ß-carotene. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to offer protection from lung and oral cavity cancers.

4. They are rich in many vital minerals such as potassium, fluoride and iron.

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5. Peach sections are a great addition to fruit salads.

6. Fresh fruits are being used in variety of fruit cocktails along with grapes, pineapple, cherry, and plums.

7. Peaches are being used in the preparation of pie, baklava, charlottes, tart, desserts, jams and jellies.

8. They can also be used in various traditional recipes.

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