Wondering which of your favorite’s for summer are considered stone fruits? These varieties, named for their hard, stone like pit in the center, include peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, and nectarines. They sweeten summer picnic baskets, star in the most yummy desserts, and taste so good that you may be surprised by all the benefits they offer. Although different types vary, all stone fruits are loaded with the antioxidants and fiber that keep your body full and functioning at its best. They’re also low in calories—the perfect summer snack!
Peaches are high in potassium which can lower blood pressure and aid arthritis symptoms. A large size peach also has 3 g. of fiber to keep you fuller longer.
Plums and prunes (dried plums) contain neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid which can help prevent damage from free radicals, and their fiber content could lower your risk of heart disease.
Apricots are good for your eyes and skin because they’re high in Vitamin A. One cup of apricots provides 60% of the daily recommendation of vitamin A.
Cherries, and particularly tart cherries, contain high concentrations of antioxidants and flavonoids that block enzymes associated with inflammation. They make a great post-workout snack.
Use your senses to pick the best stone fruit. It should smell sweet and have bruise-free skin. Give it a squeeze—ripe fruit is firm with some give. Peaches and nectarines may be even more delicate and tender when ripe. Keep in mind that stone fruits are some of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops, so you could consider buying organic.
You should keep stone out on the counter as its flavors are best preserved at room temperature. These summer staples are known to stand out in pie, cobbler or jam. Add them to your cereal or smoothie, or try them grilled.