The icing on the cake – fruits are good for you! Members of the stone fruit family have an array of long-term and immediate health benefits that, according to a study by the University of Illinois, may actually be enhanced by the process of canning. Below you’ll find some of the benefits of your favorite stone fruits. Don’t forget: stone fruits contain the most antioxidants at the peak of ripeness, so plan your canning accordingly!
- Cherries are rich with potassium, which recent studies have shown may reduce the risk of hypertension and stoke, as well as be a contributing factor to healthy blood pressure.
- Cherries contain four components – fiber, vitamin C, anthocyanins and cartenoids – that have been linked to cancer prevention. The anthocyanins work double-duty to also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Evidence has shown cherries have compounds that may reduce the risk of diabetes and inflammation.
- Peaches are a good source of lycopene and lutein – phytochemicals that are especially beneficial in the prevention of heart disease, macular degeneration, and cancer.
- Peaches have carotenoids, which protect the eyes from the harmful effects of sunlight, and prevent or slow down the progression of eye conditions such as cataracts and night blindness.
- Nutrients in apricots can help protect the heart and eyes, as well as provide the disease-fighting effects of fiber. The high beta-carotene content helps protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which may help prevent heart disease.
- The high content of iron in apricot makes it an excellent food for anemia sufferers.
- Eat an apricot before a meal to aid digestion, as it has an alkaline reaction in the digestive system.
- Plums are a good source of vitamin C, which research has shown is necessary to build healthy tissue and maintain a healthy immune system.
- Plums contain vitamin
- A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin B2, dietary fiber and potassium.