Peaches are a summer delight, rich in juicy flavor, succulent texture and key nutrients. Just check out how the vitamins, minerals and lutein (that bright yellow pigment in peaches…pronounced loo-teen) protect your health!
1) Peaches and Cream Skin: The vitamin C, beta-carotene and lutein strengthen collagen and fight oxidative damage from UV light, helping keep skin supple and protect against skin cancer. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19168000
2) Clearer Vision: Lutein migrates to the retina to help prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness as we age. Those with the highest lutein concentration in the retina have the lowest incidence of macular degeneration.
3) Preventing Cataracts: Lutein and beta-carotene work on the lens as antioxidants to reduce the formation of cataracts, another major cause of preventable blindness.
4) Preserving Memories: Lutein concentrates in the brain to help “crystalize intelligence”, the ability to use the memories we’ve formed over our lifetime.
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2016; 8 DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00297
5) Better Prostate Health: Diets rich in lutein are inversely related to the occurrence of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, the enlargement of the prostate gland that affects half of men over age 50. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17284753
GO ORGANIC! Because peaches are one of the crops most heavily sprayed with pesticides, they’re on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen”.
To make sure your peaches are pesticide-free, buy organic, rinse them well and grow healthy with this amazing summer fruit!
Summer Salad with Arugula, Grilled Peaches, Goat Cheese & Marcona Almonds
There’s something magical about the combination of sweet peaches, tangy arugula, crunchy Marcona almonds and creamy goat cheese. But it’s the blend of phytonutrients that make this salad good for your skin, eyes, heart and waistline!
- 4 fresh ripe peaches, pitted and quartered
- ½ cup Marcona almonds
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 2 cups butter leaf or little gem lettuce
- 4 ounces high quality goat cheese
- Oil to brush the sliced peaches
Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon tarragon, dried
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the grill to medium high. Gently pit and quarter the peaches and brush with olive oil. Grill the peaches for several minutes on each side, allowing to rest in one place to develop grill marks. This may take 6-12 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill. Turn once to grill the other side. Remove to cool.
While the peaches are on the grill, make the dressing. Soak the minced shallots in lemon juice for 15 minutes. Whisk in the avocado oil, mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper.
Form the goat cheese into loose balls.
Toast the pine nuts in a hot skillet over medium high heat, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until starting to turn golden brown. Transfer to plate to cool.
Toss the greens in the dressing and divide evenly between four plates. Arrange the peaches, goat cheese and almonds on top and serve immediately, knowing that you’re gifting yourself a composed salad that will thrill your palette and help your body thrive!