Nectarine is a summer fruit with very healthy properties for our body. It is a food with a high fiber content, rich in water and with a low caloric intake. As a consequence, it is an ideal fruit for the hottest season.
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What is nectarine?
The nectarine is the fruit of Prunus persica var. The fruit tree of the nectarine is practically identical to the peach tree. Likewise, it is from the Rosaceae family. This fruit tree is somewhat smaller than the peach tree and it gives us this delicious food.
The tree from which nectarines come, Prunus persica var, is a natural mutation of the peach tree . It’s amazing right?
That is why the nectarine is a very close cousin to the peach and the Paraguayan fruit . Also, they are all summer fruits and have a lot in common.
It is also known as pelón, pavía or briñón.
How is the nectarine?
It is a globose fruit , that is, more or less round in shape. In addition, it has a stone very similar to that of a peach. However, the skin is not as hairy. As a consequence, we find a smooth-skinned fruit that we recommend eating without peeling.
Continuing with the comparison, nectarines have a more vivid yellowish-red color than peaches. However, they are somewhat smaller in size than peaches.
Origin of nectarine
The origin of its name comes from the word nectar thanks to its delicious flavor . Nectarines have been cultivated for centuries.
The origin of nectarines, although very doubtful, is closely linked to that of peaches, as they are a sister fruit. As a consequence, in historical data from the 1st century, they are almost always named together.
For a long time it was thought that this fruit was a genetic mix between a peach tree and a plum tree. In reality, it has never been proven. Likewise, researchers affirm that it is a natural mutation of the peach tree. In fact, they claim that it is a natural variety of the peach.
Its popularity reached all of Europe in the 16th century and it is currently a widely consumed fruit around the world.
It is a delicious food that has cleansing properties and gives us few calories. For this reason it has become one of the main fruits of the summer.
The productions of this fruit are centered in Mediterranean countries, South Africa, the United States, China, Turkey, Chile, Argentina and Australia.
Currently more than 25 million tons per year of peaches and nectarines are produced, according to the FAO. Likewise, China is currently the largest producer of these fruits with almost 15 million tons per year.
In Spain, the cultivation is centered in the regions of Lérida, Seville and Huelva , although the Levant has been gaining much prominence in recent years. Production in Estaña is around 1.5 million tons per year.
The nectarine season in Spain coincides with that of the peach, which is from April to October. However, the Paraguayan fruit, although it is also a summer fruit, is somewhat shorter.
As these fruits are grown in many regions around the world, we can find these products in our markets throughout the year. However, we always recommend consuming seasonal and local products.
You can check the calendar of the fruit season to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season they provide us with more benefits for our health, they have a better aroma and are tastier , among other advantages.
There are several varieties of nectarines, but we will focus on dividing them into two large groups.
The main characteristic is that its pulp has a yellow or orange color. The texture of its pulp is fibrous and its flavor is sweet. Ideal to eat raw and in season. In addition, it can be used as an ingredient in different recipes such as fruit smoothies, desserts or jam.
The varieties with yellow flesh include the following: Venus, Fairlane, Flamensky, Big-Top, Red Diamond, Red-Jim and Albarred.
As the main characteristic we have to say that its pulp is white. However, its flavor is slightly more acidic than the red variety.
The white-fleshed varieties include the following: Silver Late, Snow Queen, Early Giant, Flavor-Giant, Queen-Giant, Silver-Romme, Caldesi 2000-2020.
How to buy nectarines?
It is important to choose nectarines binen to be able to eat a quality food. In this way we will taste a wonder of fruit with all five senses.
Like most summer fruits, it is very fragile. Therefore, we have to pay special attention when choosing them. It is important that they have smooth and shiny skin. When it matures too much, we can see that the skin wrinkles and is too soft to the touch.
On the contrary, if it is too hard, it can give indications that green has been collected from the tree. As a consequence, it loses flavor, aroma and nutritional properties.
They must be at their optimum ripeness to taste delicious sweet fruit.
Once we buy them from our trusted greengrocers, we transport them with care not to hit them.
If we are going to consume them soon, we can keep them at room temperature in a dry place that does not give it direct light. However, if we are not going to eat it shortly, it is better to keep them in the fridge , separate from other foods.
In this case, our recommendation is to take it out of the fridge for a while before consuming it. In this way, they will be tastier and with an incredible aroma.
How do you eat nectarine?
We always recommend eating fresh, raw and seasonal fruit . In addition, in the case of these fruits, it is ideal to eat them with the skins for their nutritional contribution.
Likewise, we can take this food in different recipes for jams, fruit smoothies or jams. It is also an ideal ingredient to make recipes for desserts, cakes, pastries. As it is a summer fruit, we can also prepare a delicious and refreshing nectarine ice cream recipe.
We cannot forget that it is ideal to mix with yogurt or crepes. It is also ideal to accompany cheese, quince or nuts.
Properties of nectarine
It is a very tasty fruit that is gaining followers every day, not only for its flavor but also for its nutritional properties.
The nutritional values are very similar to that of peaches. However, we can observe some differences. Like its sister fruits, it is a very antioxidant and digestive food. In addition, it gives us very few calories. It is rich in water and provides us with carbohydrates and proteins.
They also provide us with insoluble fiber and different vitamins. It provides us with carotenes and vitamins A and C. Thanks to the beta-carotene and vitamin C that it provides, it is an antioxidant food.
In relation to minerals, calcium, magnesium and, above all, potassium stand out. Also, it is copper that appears in its nutritional composition. This mineral actively participates in energy metabolism.
Furthermore, nectarines are fruits with a low GI glycemic index (only 40 on a scale of 0-100). Therefore, it can be a fruit tolerated by diabetics, combining in a balanced diet.
Average nutritional value per 100 grams of nectarine
|Total fat||0,3 g|
|Saturated fatty acids||0 g|
|Polyunsaturated fatty acids||0,1 g|
|Monounsaturated fatty acids||0,1 g|
|Dietary fiber||1,7 g|
|Vitamin A||332 IU|
|C vitamin||5,4 mg|
Benefits of nectarine
Nectarines have a delicious refreshing taste that the whole family loves. In addition, it provides us with essential nutritional benefits for our health.
1. Ideal for weight loss diets
It is an ideal food to include in a diet to lose weight. It provides us with a lot of water, approximately 87%. In the same way, it does not provide us with hardly any fat, since it does not reach 2%. It also gives us 44 kcal per 100 grams of product, making it a hypocaloric fruit.
In addition, the fiber in nectarine is soluble and according to this study can be favorable for weight loss.
This fiber helps the intestines absorb fats and cholesterol, preventing it from passing into the blood. It also helps reduce bad cholesterol in our body.
As a consequence, we find an ideal ingredient to include in our weight loss diet and to make our favorite recipes.
2. Satiating effect
It has a recognized satiating power thanks to the amount of water and fiber it provides. We named students of the benefits it has for health.
3. Favorable for lowering cholesterol
The soluble fiber in this food helps us fight cholesterol. Also, as this report shows, eating 5-10 grams of soluble fiber per day on a regular basis can actively lower bad cholesterol.
4. Natural intestinal regulator
They are foods rich in mainly insoluble fiber. Therefore, it is a food that helps us regulate our intestinal transit like the plum .
5. Powerful natural antioxidant
It is a powerful natural antioxidant that helps us neutralize free radicals in our body. It provides us with vitamins C and A that are powerful antioxidants.
According to this study, the phenols and flavonoids in these foods have very powerful antioxidant properties . These antioxidants reduce oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
6. For healthy bones
Thanks to the fact that it provides us with phosphorus, it is an ideal product to maintain strong bones.
7. Help for our renal system
The potassium that it gives us helps us to establish the hydric control of the organism. Therefore, it makes it easier for us not to retain liquids.
8. For strong defenses
Thanks to its vitamin C content, this food helps to strengthen our immune system , as this study shows.
Other antioxidants such as beta-carotene and other carotenoids present in these fruits also help strengthen our defenses. Also, vitamin A.
9. It favors the prevention of cardiovascular diseases
Also thanks to the potassium that it provides us, it helps us to have a strong cardiovascular system. According to a Harvard University study, low potassium levels can affect the heart rate and therefore the heart.
10. Promotes eye health
It is a food that provides us with carotenes that promote eye health . Also, carotenes are essential for healthy skin, nails and hair.
They are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, very favorable nutrients for eye health and against macular degeneration.
11. To treat anemia
It helps us better absorb the iron from our breath thanks to the contribution of vitamin C.
12. Favorable for diabetics
According to a study conducted by ScindeDaily, nectarines have bioactive compounds that are beneficial in helping to prevent obesity-related diabetes .
In addition, the phenolic compounds in these fruits have favorable properties to prevent diabetes. Also, as we have already explained, it has a low GI glycemic index.
On the other hand, they have carbohydrates that make sugar pass into the blood more slowly.
However, it is still a food with high sugar content that could harm certain states of diabetes. We always recommend consulting your doctor and nutritionist beforehand.
Of imprecise origin, but closely linked to the peach, it gives us its aroma, flavor and color. With its intense sweet taste, it provides us with vitamins and other nutrients that make nectarines an essential food for the summer.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.