Wednesday, June 29, 2011

FUEL Better: Farmer's Market Style

Southern as a Peach
It is peach pickin’ time! Peaches are a popular fruit in the South and many have memories of picking peaches off a tree barefoot.  No peach tree? The next best thing is to enjoy fresh peaches from your local farmer’s market.
Peaches can be dried, canned, made into jams, jellies, and preserves, used a filling for desserts, and used as an ingredient in many other dishes, from appetizers to entrees. Although it is peachy keen to enjoy the different forms all year long take advantage of the health benefits fresh peaches have to offer.

Peaches are good sources of lycopene and lutein.  Lutein gives the red, orange, and yellow colors to the fruit.  These phytochemicals are especially beneficial in the prevention of heart disease, macular degeneration, and cancer.  A study in China found that those who ate peaches more than two times per week had less risk of developing cancers of the mouth than those who did not eat peaches. 
One cup of sliced peaches has only 60 calories and composed of 80 percent water and packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Rich in iron and potassium, peaches are the perfect post run snack; they help balance fluid and electrolytes in the body, and replenish muscle glycogen (FUEL) stores.
Is peach fuzz a put-off? Like most fruits and vegetables, the vitamins are found in the skin, so try to enjoy peaches skin and all.  Choose fragrant peaches without blemishes and not overly firm. Fresh peaches are highly perishable, don't buy more than you plan to use. Even when unripe, they spoil easily. Peaches that are greenish colored were probably picked too early should be avoided. Sweetness does not increase after picking, so ripe-picked fruit is always the tastiest.
FUEL Tip: Peaches that are dried, canned made into jams, jellies or preserves are high in sugar and calories - enjoy these in moderation!

Peaches at Fresh Way Farmer's Market

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