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  • PeachesPosted 5 years ago under Uncategorized

    Peaches were a revered fruit in China centuries ago and were even considered to be a symbol of immortality. (1) Though we know that to not be true today, we do know they have enormous health benefits. In fact, eating a couple of servings a week can lower risks of certain types of breast cancer by up to 41% as has been shown in research. (2) Peaches also can help with digestive track issues and contain compounds that act as a laxative. (3)

    Taxonomy

    Peaches grow on the Prunus persica tree.

    Kingdom (Plantae) > Angiosperms > Eudicots > Rosids > Order (Rosales) > Family (Rosaceae) > Genus (Prunus) > Subgenus (Amygdalus) > Species (Prunus persica)

    Description

    Peaches grow on a tree that can reach heights of up to 21 feet but usually ranges between 10 to 13 feet. The leaves are shaped like a lance and bright green and glossy. The flowers grow in groups of two or three or singly and are pink in color. The edible fruit, the peach, is a drupe that contains one or two seeds inside encased in a hard stone pit. The flesh around the stone pit can range in color from white to red based on the variety but is typically yellow. The outer skin is yellow in color with a reddish flush to part of it and is covered with a fuzz. (4)

    Distribution

    Peaches originated in China but spread from there throughout the world by trade. They can grow in just about any temperate climate. Most peaches are grown in the United States, Spain, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa. (5) They require full sun exposure and slightly acidic, sandy soil to thrive in. (6)

    Nutritional Information

    Peaches are a rich source of nutrition. They are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are high in B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and copper. They also contain polyphenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, and B-cryptoxanthin which are important in fighting free radicals in the body. (7)

    Commercial Cultivation

    Peach trees bloom in summer and are ready for harvest once all the green is gone from the top of the peaches. They produce peaches for harvest between May and September. Peach trees are planted by grafting. Depending on the region, peach trees can last 8 to 10 years or 20 to 25 years. (8)

    Diseases. Pests, Predators

    Peach trees are susceptible to a number of pests and diseases. Possible pests include borers, aphids, and leaf hoppers. Common diseases include brown rot, powdery mildew, leaf curl, and mosaic viruses. (9)

    Sources

    (1) http://www.botanical-online.com/melocotonesangles.htm
    (2) http://www.naturalnews.com/040227_breast_cancer_prevention_superfoods.html
    (3) http://www.botanical-online.com/melocotonesangles.htm
    (4) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/447786/peach
    (5) http://www.botanical-online.com/melocotonesangles.htm
    (6) http://www.almanac.com/plant/peaches
    (7) http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/peaches.html
    (8) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/447786/peach
    (9) http://www.almanac.com/plant/peaches

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