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Nutrition 101 - Reach for the Peaches

August 30, 2018

With more than 300 varieties of peaches grown in North America, there are plenty to choose from. Peaches have two main varieties, clingstone and freestone, along with two different colors, yellow flesh and white flesh.

The peach is a summer staple for salads, desserts, or just eaten alone. When selecting peaches at the store or local farmers market, look for the following qualities:

  • Even background color of golden yellow or creamy yellow

  • A well-defined crease

  • A slight give to the flesh, not rock-hard or mushy

  • Avoid peaches with green around the stem or that have shriveled skin

  • Select fruit that smells how you hope it will taste

Peaches should be stored on the counter at room temperature until they are at the desired ripeness. Keeping peaches in a paper bag speeds up the ripening process. When ripe, store in the crisper bin in the refrigerator.

Peaches are low in calories and are a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium and niacin. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend choosing foods that provide potassium and fiber, as they are nutrients that are lacking in the diet of many Americans. Peaches aid in maintaining healthy vision, skin care, nervous system, healthy bones, and teeth. Scientific research shows that diets rich in fruit (and vegetables) helps you to maintain a healthy weight, and reduces the risk for developing many chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. So grab yourself a peach!

To find out more information on how to incorporate more fruits into your diet, contact your UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown dietitians at (641) 854-7530 or MT_dietitians@unitypoint.org.

Click here to find out more information about UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown’s Outpatient nutrition services.

Try this recipe

Peachy Chicken Salad

Makes 4 servings



3 boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 large peaches, peeled and chopped

½ cup shredded carrots

1 cup shredded cabbage

4 large bibb lettuce leaves

2 Tbsp cumbled goat cheese

2 Tbsp chopped walnuts, toasted


¼ cup champagne vinegar

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp minced shallots

1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil

2 tsp honey

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper



  1. Heat grill pan to medium-high heat

  2. Spray the grill with cooking spray, and place the chicken on it. Grill 5 to 6 minutes on each side until done.

  3. Shred or chop the chicken and add it to the mixing bowl along with peaches, carrots, and cabbage

  4. Place the dressing ingredients in a separate mixing bowl; whisk to combine.

  5. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and toss gently.

  6. Arrange one leaf of bibb lettuce on each plate. Divide the peachy chicken salad among the four plates

  7. Garnish with goat cheese and toasted walnuts.

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