Chew on This

Too hot? Eat a peach to hydrate. Memory issues? Eat cherries.

Peaches are excellent fruits to eat, particularly in hot climates. An average peach has only 60 calories and provides 2 grams of fiber.  Peaches, with an 88 percent water content, are hydrating.  A 3-ounce peach provides about 2.5 ounces of water.
Peaches are excellent fruits to eat, particularly in hot climates. An average peach has only 60 calories and provides 2 grams of fiber.  Peaches, with an 88 percent water content, are hydrating.  A 3-ounce peach provides about 2.5 ounces of water. TNS

Are you enjoying your summer drupes? I hope so. Stone fruits, also known as drupes, include peaches, plums, nectarines and cherries and the produce section is overflowing with these delicious fruits.

They don’t get the glowing superfood headlines of berries but they are equally deserving.

I have sampled some amazing Georgia peaches this season. An average peach has only 60 calories and provides 2 grams of fiber. Peaches, with an 88 percent water content, are hydrating. A 3-ounce peach provides about 2.5 ounces of water. Exactly what we need during the hot summer months.

A study from 2012 suggested that peaches, plums and nectarines have bioactive compounds that can potentially fight obesity-related diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Peach skin and flesh are rich in carotenoids that have been found to have anti-cancer properties.

Sweet peaches are a nutrient-rich treat that can satisfy a sweet tooth. Peaches are terrific in salsa, sauces and topping a desert. When grilled, they are even sweeter.

So many clients have told me they don’t eat cherries because they are too high in calories. As with every food, it depends on how much you eat.

One cup of cherries is only 90 calories with 3 grams of fiber. And they are an excellent source of vitamins A and C. A 2018 cherry review article in the journal, Nutrients, listed reduced oxidative stress, lower inflammation and decreased hemoglobin A1C (a marker for blood glucose) after cherry consumption.

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Cherries are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and studies have shown they can boost your cognitive skills and memory. ANDREW SCRIVANI NYT

A study this month in Food and Function revealed more. This randomized controlled trial of 34 subjects, aged 65-73 years, showed that after 12 weeks of 2 cups a day of Montmorency tart cherry juice, subjects had improved scores for both cognitive function and subjective memory.

Tart cherry juice also reduced errors in episodic visual memory by 23 percent when compared to the control group. These authors add that there is some evidence demonstrating that both tart and sweet varieties of cherries enhance cognition. Enjoy the drupes.

Sheah Rarback MS, RDN is voluntary faculty at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami

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