What are nectarines good for? Can you eat nectarines if you have diabetes? What about if you’re on a weight loss diet? Are nectarines good for high blood pressure? Should you eat nectarines if your blood sugar is high? Do nectarines cause allergic reactions or are they safe to eat? How are nectarines good for you more exactly?
What are benefits of eating nectarines?
1) Seasonal fruit
One of the benefits of nectarines is that they are seasonal fruit. The benefits of seasonal fruit is they add variety to the diet as convenient, readily accessible and low priced fruit options. Fruit are always a good idea and seasonal fruit are great because they allow everyone their chance at fresh produce that boost health for a reasonable price.
When are nectarines in season?
Nectarine season is late spring to late summer-early fall. In the Northern hemisphere they usually start to hit the market mid to late May at the earliest, although there are a few early season nectarine varieties available as early as late April. If the weather is warm enough, they also taste good, sweet and juicy with a heavy fruit scent. The best tasting nectarines are available June through late August. Find out more about nectarine season by month and region.
2) Low in calories
One of the biggest benefits of nectarines is they are low in calories. How many calories in nectarines? There are only 39 calories or kilocalories (kcal) in 100 grams of the fruit. How many calories in one nectarine? One medium-sized nectarine at an average weight of 140 grams has less than 55 calories. Including low calorie foods in your diet is good for you because low calorie foods help with weight control.
3) Low glycemic food with limited effects on blood sugar
Nectarines are best known for two things: their lack of fuzz and their extremely sweet taste. With 9.5 grams of carbs per 100 grams, 8.5 grams of which are sugars, nectarines don’t seem like the best food to eat for high blood sugar. But they actually are good to eat even if you have high blood sugar.
Nectarines are actually low glycemic foods meaning they have limited effects on blood sugar. What is the glycemic index of nectarines? Nectarines GI score is 40 which is low. While eating nectarines will raise blood sugar levels, the rise is limited and gradual which means that nectarines can be consumed safely with high blood sugar so long as intake is reasonable.
4) Safe to eat with diabetes
Provided intake is reasonable, nectarines don’t raise blood sugar levels excessively and can be consumed safely with diabetes, either alone or in combination with other foods. Ideally, a diabetic diet should be a varied diet, balanced in terms of macronutrient intake so as to contribute to better blood sugar control.
Nectarines have a moderate sugar content of around 8.5 grams per 100 grams and a total of 9.5 grams of carbohydrates. However, they have a low glycemic index score and, as a result, limited effects on blood sugar. That is to say you can eat a nectarine safely if you have diabetes, just keep intake low.
Even better, pair it with a source of protein and/or fat such as a small piece of cheese or a small serving of raw nuts or grilled meat to further lower the rate of sugar absorption into the bloodstream and limit glycemic effects even more.
5) Good content of vitamin B3
Nectarine nutrition is modest at best with the content for most vitamins and minerals being at 2% to 3% of daily values. However, they are a good source of vitamin B3. There are 1.57 mg of vitamin B3 in one medium nectarine at 140 grams which accounts for close to 10.5% of daily values of the vitamin for the average adult.
Getting enough vitamin B3 is important for skin health, helping counteract and lower inflammation of the skin. The forms of niacin found naturally in food also help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and improve HDL (good) cholesterol numbers, according to research.
Nectarines also provide benefits for diabetes via their content of vitamin B3, as well as help memory and support learning. While nectarines aren’t the best source of the essential vitamin, it’s good to know they do contribute to daily values measurably.
6) Good content of dietary fiber
How much fiber in nectarines? On average, there are 1.5 grams of dietary fiber in 100 grams of the fruit. The dietary fiber is located primarily in the skin, but also the fruit pulp. Eating nectarines is good for constipation, helping improve transit time for more regular and easy bowel movements.
Dietary fiber in the fresh fruit also has prebiotic benefits meaning it nourishes beneficial gut bacteria. Having a balanced gut flora maintains the health of the gut environment and holds extensive benefits for general health, including aspects such as inflammation, immune system regulation and mental health.
7) Hydrating effect and tonic properties
Mild dehydration is extremely common in hot weather. High temperatures require changes in the diet to be made so that more fluids are incorporated in a way that feels natural and effortless. Eating juicy fruits such as nectarines has a hydrating effect considering they are 89% water, and contributes to maintaining a good blood volume for a feeling of wellbeing.
Nectarines also have small amounts of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium which exert a revitalizing effect on the body, helping keep blood pressure numbers within a normal range and supporting the cardiovascular function. If it’s hot outside and you are feeling tired, lethargic or sleepy, have one or two juicy nectarines.
8) High content of bioactive antioxidants
One of the biggest benefits of eating nectarines is that you get a high intake of antioxidants. Nectarines are high in pigmented antioxidants such as carotenoids, and anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins with scientifically proven anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. Pigmented antioxidants are concentrated in the fruit skin and increase with fruit ripening.
Other antioxidants in nectarines include isoquercetin, ellagic acid, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, naringenin, apigenin and other highly bioactive flavonoids known to lower inflammation levels, scavenge free radicals and mediate cell damage.
9) Nectarines have anti-aging effects and promote longevity
According to research, ‘fruits containing high antioxidant capacities and other bioactivities are ideal for promoting longevity and health span’. Nectarines have a high content of antioxidants, pigmented and others. In a study, ‘supplementation with 4% nectarine extended life span, increased fecundity, and decreased expression of some metabolic genes […] and oxidative stress-response genes […] in female wild-type flies’ (Drosophila melanogaster).
‘Moreover, nectarine improved the survival of and reduced oxidative damage in female sod1 mutant flies. Together, these findings suggest that nectarine promotes longevity and health span partly by modulating glucose metabolism and reducing oxidative damage (source).’
10) Minor benefits for high blood pressure
While there are much better options in terms of foods that are good to eat for high blood pressure, know that nectarines too have some degree of anti-hypertensive benefits. One medium fruit at 140 grams provides 183 mg of potassium which is 4% of daily values for an adult. The same amount accounts for 3% of daily magnesium. Additionally, nectarines are almost sodium free.
The small amounts of potassium and magnesium in the fruit contribute electrolyte balance with minor blood pressure lowering effects. Not just this, but as very low sodium foods, nectarines are especially good to eat for high blood pressure.
11) Anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and fever-reducing properties
Nectarine kernels have been identified as a source of anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and fever-reducing benefits. More exactly, animal studies have shown that an extract containing bioactive elements extracted from nectarine kernels exerts anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities (source).
However this is not an invitation to eat nectarine kernels. On the contrary, avoid doing this as nectarine kernels contain toxic components that become dangerous for health after ingestion. Even small amounts of the likes of a few kernels can cause side effects.
12) Good food for a weight loss diet
You can lose weight with nectarines. Nectarines are very low in fat and low in calories so they don’t contribute significantly to daily energy intake – substituting a snack higher in calories for one nectarine can help you drop 100 or more calories in a day and actively support your weight loss efforts.
Nectarines are also very versatile – you can add them fresh to a salad with less palatable greens to boost taste and add antioxidants to your meal, eat them at breakfast on top of Greek yogurt or oatmeal for better transit and satiation, or grill them and enjoy as a standalone snack or low-calorie side dish for dinner or lunch.
Furthermore, nectarines are a low glycemic food which means they help keep blood sugar levels stable which helps better control hunger and appetite. The good content of dietary fiber in the fruit skin and pulp contributes to the limited glycemic effects and satiation, making nectarines a good food for losing weight with. Naturally sweet, they satisfy sugar cravings without packing on the calories.
This post was updated on Monday / May 31st, 2021 at 10:39 PM