A nectarine is really a distinct fruit all its own. The nectarine and the peach are so similar that there is only one gene that separates the two to make them distinct. The nectarine has one recessive gene … the one with the fuzz.
California Produces 95% of Nectarines in the US.
Most of the nectarines in the United States are grown in the San Joaquin Valley, just south of Fresno, California. White flesh varieties of peaches and nectarines represent about 15% of the total California peach and nectarine crop. Nectarines are more delicate than peaches and bruise very easily.
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Nectarine Health Benefits
Eating nectarines is a healthy way to include many vitamins and minerals in your diet, and a medium-sized nectarine only has 60 calories. Among the many health benefits listed below, nectarines also contain iron, folic acid, vitamin K, as well as naturally occurring sugars that help provide energy.
Nectarines are High in Beta Carotene
The bright orange-red color of nectarines is due to its high beta-carotene content. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that helps protect the body from damage from free radicals. One cup of fresh nectarines supplies 214 mcg of beta-carotene.
Nectarines Create Healthy Vitamin A
Beta-carotene is also converted by the body into vitamin A, which helps build and maintain healthy skin, teeth, bone tissue, soft tissue and mucus membranes.
California Nectarines Provide Vitamin C
The vitamin C found in California Nectarines may protect molecules from being damaged by free radicals and other chemicals that cause cellular changes. Vitamin C may also protect you from toxins and pollutants that cause illness.
It makes up part of a protein responsible for producing skin, scar tissue, tendons and ligaments. It also helps to repair cartilage, bones and teeth as well as heal wounds. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that may help prevent cancer, heart disease and some medical conditions such as arthritis. One cup of nectarines has 7.7 mg of this important antioxidant.
Nectarines are High in Fiber
Nectarines, whether fresh or dried, are a good source of dietary fiber, which is important for maintaining overall health. Dietary fiber is the part of the plant that your body cannot digest. Fiber also helps prevent constipation and helps with digestion. One medium-sized nectarine contains 2.4 grams of dietary fiber.
Nectarines Contain Lutein
Lutein has health-protective benefits that support healthy eyes and skin. It is also considered an important antioxidant because it helps destroy the presence of free radicals in your body, which may decrease your risk of chronic diseases like cancer. Most humans do not get enough lutein in their diet, but adding nectarines can help you increase how much you consume.
California Nectarines are Packed with Potassium
Potassium is a mineral that is necessary for electrical and cellular functions in the body. It plays a role in metabolism, regulates pH balance, assists with protein synthesis and helps with the digestion of carbohydrates.
Fun Facts About Nectarines
- The name ‘nectarine’ comes from the sweet food the gods eat, ‘nectar’.
- Nectarines come from the same family as the rose and are also related to the almond.
- Nectarines are not, as some people think, a cross between a plum and a peach.
- It is not uncommon for a peach or a nectarines to grow on each other’s tree.
- A nectarine is a stonefruit, which is a fruit with a large seed in the middle.
- Nectarines and peaches have identical looking trees.
Resource via: Fresh for Kids