By Alyssa Adler
Stone fruits, or drupes, are fruits that have thin skin and a large and hard middle seed. Drupes include nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots and cherries. These fruits commonly grow in warm climates, but in the northern states the growing season is June to September.
Drupes are well known for their Vitamin C components. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which helps fight off the free radicals that can be cancer causing. Vitamin C is also good for the skin and can aid in fighting skin damage, especially in the summer sun. In addition, vitamin C intake is important during treatment to keep the body nourished. According to a study, nectarines were found to have the highest phenolic and antioxidant activity of all the stone fruits.
Also, stone fruits are found to fight off obesity related diseases according to a study done by Texas A&M. More specifically, these fruits contain bioactive and phenolic components that are anti inflammatory, obesity fighting, and help lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). As obesity is a risk factor for cancer, these components in stone fruits are beneficial to lessening cancer risk by controlling inflammation and obesity.
When out grocery shopping, select drupes that are bruise-free and have a sweet, fruity aroma. If they are hard, don’t put them in the fridge. Let them ripen and soften on the kitchen counter for a day or two until they are perfect to eat! Stone fruits are great cooked too. Try them in our Peach Salsa, Broiled Plums, Cherry Compote, or Steamed Apricot Pudding.
Alyssa Adler is a Boston University Graduate from Long Island, New York. She was CFYL’s 2016 summer web intern after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Sciences with a concentration in Dietetics. Alyssa has since gone on to earn her Masters degree, and is now a Clinical Nutritionist at Mt. Sinai’s St. Luke’s hospital here in New York City. Alyssa has a food blog called Red Delicious and Nutritious which focuses on healthy eating and living and how decadent foods can be made wholesome and delicious. A woman after our own heart!