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Could Peaches, Cherries, and Plums Fight Obesity and Diabetes?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Metabolic syndrome has become increasingly common in the United States and paves the way toward obesity and heart disease for millions of people every year. Since these are two of the most common chronic diseases today, making lifestyle modifications are important especially changes in diet and exercise.
A new study found that stone fruits known as drupes contain compounds that could reduce serious health risks from obesity and inflammation found with metabolic syndrome. Since insulin resistance or diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol abnormalities and abdominal obesity affect millions of people every year, this could be a very important finding. Although lifestyle, genetic predisposition, and diet play an influential role, research findings suggesting diet can be turned into an asset instead of liability provides some hope for those seeking to change their medical condition outcomes.
While it is great that stone fruits can help us reach health goals, they only help if we include them in our diets. 

Facts about stone fruits also known as drupes:
  • A fruit where the outer flesh surrounds a pit or stone such as peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and cherries
  • Name comes from their very large, hard seed
  • Provide delicious fruit from June through September
  • Most are native to warmer climates of the world so can suffer injury to blooms that receive spring frost
While eating them fresh (after washing them properly) is a great way to enjoy a piece of stone fruit, here are some other fun, summer recipes you may enjoy.

Grilled Fresh Peaches 
Stewed Plums

Chef Meg's Spicy Stone Fruit Salsa
Cooking with Caitlin's Stone Fruit Quesadilla
Stone Fruit Pandowdy
Here are some other great resources to help you include more of these special fruits this summer.
Enjoy the Season's Freshest Foods – What to Eat This Summer
A Beginner's Guide to the Farmers Market
Plan Your Meals and Grocery Trips with the Shelf Life of Fruits and Vegetables in Mind
How to Keep Fruits and Vegetables Fresh with Proper Storage
30 Days to More Fruits & Vegetables
Are you more likely to include stone fruit in your diet regularly now that you know they could help you reach your health goals? What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy stone fruits?

Which of these popular stone fruits is your favorite?

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RAPUNZEL53 1/27/2020
Great Report
Certain fruits! Not sure about that. Think more regional as helpful Report
PWILLOW1 8/10/2019
Good to know. Report
KOALA_BEAR 7/7/2019
Growing up in Michigan I ate peaches 🍑 & cherries 🍒from the trees (of course blueberries & apples too.) Now I think I prefer nectarines w/out the fuzz but dark sweet cherries remain my favorite, & I have some on hand; these are from Gilroy California just up the road from me. We had lots of rain so they are sweet this year. The black plums are also good however the red ones which look ripe were very sour. I eat most fruits usually 2 a day which won't change. My preference in apricots is dried & I use them when making tzimmes (a type of European stew) or just to snack on 2 or 3. Report
NIGHTGLOW 7/1/2019
The study was "funded by the California Tree Fruit Agreement, The California Plum Board, the California Grape and Tree Fruit League and the Texas Department of Agriculture."

Always good to note who is funding a study to evaluate bias and determine objectivity (or lack thereof)! Report
KITT52 5/27/2019
very intersting, thanks Report
Very interesting article Report
Good to know! Report
Thank you for the suggestions. Report
Helpful information Report
Good to know. Report
Interesting article. Report
Thanks for a great article! :) Report
Interesting but won't change a thing as I always included these fruits in my diet when they're in season. When they're not, I look for the frozen variety. Report
Interesting information. Report
Interesting Report
The (future) belongs to we who believe in our dreams. - Lakota saying ~ 4/8/18 Report
Hmmmm. Link is not to study itself, but to a vague article (which also does not link to an actual study.) Phrases like "could be" and "may reduce" combined with an absolute lack of information about the study itself (sample size? Duration? Control group?) Make me very suspect. Not to mention the funding by AgriLife.

I love when SP shares evidence-based information and uses peer-reviewed scientific process and journaled articles that we can trust. Can I vote for you to do more of that in the future, and less of this? Thank you. Report
I have always enjoyed peaches and cherries, have no problem eating them. Nectarines have never appealed to me so don't buy them. Report
Interesting article! Report
I haven't met a fruit I did not like. I eat all these and then some Report
Good article, Thanks! Report
Cherries are one of my all time favorites. I also love plums. I look forward to their season and enjoy them to the fullest. Report
I love stone fruits although I have never heard them described that way before! Report
Stone fruits make hot, humid summer days worth while! Other than eating out of hand, I love peaches and nectarines in my breakfast cottage cheese, cherries are my favorite dessert, and plums...yum! Sadly, this wasn't a good year for our local apricots, but I love them too! I love fruit salsas, so I'm going to explore recipes for that. Because I want to restrict carbs and use no cane sugars I want to use these fruits in Paleo desserts. I'm not Paleo, but I like using non-wheat flours and natural sweeteners, so Paleo desserts are great for diabetics. Report
Good information. Love all the stone fruits! Report
Thanks for the info...it will help me to control my diabetes. Love your site! Report
Hard to choose my favorite of these. I chose nectarines but plums and peaches are definitely close choices too.
I have never grilled peaches but may have to try. Report
Along with fighting obesity, did you know cherries can fight exercise induced muscle damage? Natural Standard gives cherries a “B,” or good scientific evidence, to repair muscles after exercise. This study found that marathoners drank tart cherry juice five days before and two days after their race increased their isometric strength faster than the marathoners who didn’t drink tart cherry juice. The benefits of cherries extend may also include anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. But more research still needs to be done. Report
Recently grilled peaches, first nuked a little honey with a rosemary sprig in it. Spread that on the peach halves and grilled them. Very good! It was an adaptation of recipe in AARP magazine. Report
I didn't realise I liked apricots until I went to a Farmer's market and tried them. I don't like canned though. Will these fruits work for you if you use frozen after the season ends? Report
Cherries and Peaches. So hard to choose. I do love Apricot pits. Trader Joes sells them and they are fantastic, an alternative to almonds. Report
Love love fruits, can't choose Report
Fresh Cherries, Red Cherries, Rainier Cherries, and Tart Cherries are all very good. Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, and Plums are runners up - they are prone to bruising so I eat one at home with breakfast. That way I can wash and section them. Report
Good to know! I've been eating a lot of peaches and cherries lately. Love them! Report
Given a choice, these are exactly the fruits I choose. My absolute favorites are peaches and apricots. Important to note that many other fruits are NOT friendly to diabetics. Melons and pineapple are apt to spike your blood sugars. Report
Whenever possible, get them organic--which also means in season. Stone fruits, unfortunately, are among the fruits/veggies most likely to retain pesticide residue. Report
I agree with GMAGEE. Last year and this year I have not been able to get ripe peaches and they usually rot when I try to let them ripen. They grow tons of them just across the mountains around Grand Junction and they have farmers markets where they bring them in every day, but they aren't ripe. They might as well be getting them from overseas then. This year they started bringing them in by the end of May and they will be out of them within a week or two because of the weather we have been having. I wish I had some trees in the back yard still, but they all got something that killed them. Report
A juicy warm (not just out of the fridge) peach is my favorite though plums are a close second, especially if a little sour. I think they would be good grilled but I always eat them before I can think about grilling them. Report
@ Mamachick4--thank you for the information, although there really can't be MORE sugar in a dried plum than a fresh one--unless you are measuring by weight. Other nutrients certainly can be lost by drying, cooking, or even waiting too long to eat.

When I followed the link to the study, I found that "The studies on the health benefits of stone fruit are funded by the California Tree Fruit Agreement, The California Plum Board, the California Grape and Tree Fruit League and the Texas Department of Agriculture."

For me, that rather reduces the value of the conclusions--special interest groups generally get the results they pay for. Scientists know how to ask questions so they get the answers they want. Report
This a surprise blog. I did not know. Report
Grilled peaches are awesome with almost any kind of meat! Who knew? Report
While I was shopping last week I wasn't going to buy nectarines but then I smelled them. Delicious! I think I ended up buying 6. :) Report
@ britomart, the dried fruits do not provide similar benefits, the sugars in the dried fruits are big no-noes, (according to my dr). I would like to know the recommended servings per day to help me...1 average, 2?
I to agree that I can't pick just one.I love fruit,just knowing that one of my favorit can cut the changes of me being obesity and haveing diabetes:) Report
peaches and cherries are my favs! Report
Do we have to pick just one? Nectarines, cherries, apricots--yum! Peaches & Italian Prunes if they're ripe. Can't pick just one! Report
I love apricots best, but my apricot tree died over the winter :( Report
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