Nectarine is a tasty, healthy, bare fruit obtained by selection or mutation of peaches. The plant is not a hybrid of peach and plum, as some amateur gardeners claim. Cultivation of culture is possible on the territory of our country.
According to the biological characteristics and chemical composition of the fruit, nectarine is very similar to the common peach. What are the benefits of nectarine? This popular fruit is rich in vitamins A, C, contains a large supply of minerals, therefore it has high culinary and dietary properties, saturating the human body with vital elements. There are many varieties of nectarine. Each differs in taste, fruit shape, skin color. Nectarine is eaten fresh, a variety of preserves, jams are prepared, added to pastries as a filling, and even ice cream is made on its basis. In some varieties, seeds are used for food, which taste like almonds.
In this article:
What is a nectarine
There is an opinion that the nectarine peach is the result of crossing plums and common peaches. However, this statement is erroneous. Nectarine is the closest relative of the peach, but the exact origin of the culture has not yet been clarified.
On the territory of our country, the nectarine tree has taken root very well, and many have managed to fall in love with its tasty, juicy, sweet fruits. A real nectarine taste, size, color of the pulp is almost identical to a peach. The only difference is an absolutely smooth skin, while peach fruits are covered with soft fluff. Even the trees of both cultures are outwardly difficult to distinguish.
Nectarine fruits are rich in vitamins and vital elements. Therefore, it is useful to use them not only for adults, but also for children, the elderly to strengthen immunity. Fruits can be eaten fresh, prepared on the basis of a variety of desserts, fruit salads, sweet sauces, fortified freshly squeezed juices.
Nectarine, the beneficial properties of which cannot be underestimated, can be grown on the territory of our country. Landing in a warm area is carried out in early autumn. If you live in areas with a cool climate, it is advisable to plant a tree in the spring, before the start of sap flow. The flowering of the tree begins in early or mid-May, then leaves appear. In order for the culture to develop properly and give high yields, proper care is necessary. The tree feels comfortable in a well-lit area with loamy or sandy soil. Early varieties need to be watered 2–3 times during the season, mid-early and late — 4–6 times. For 2 — 3 weeks before harvesting, abundant watering is carried out — from 30 to 6 liters of water per 1 m² of the near-stem circle. To strengthen the tree and high yields, fertilizing with organic and mineral fertilizers is carried out.
Many amateur gardeners are interested in how to grow a nectarine from a seed. For reproduction, it is recommended to choose strong, large, high-quality bones. The action description is as follows:
- The bones selected for reproduction should be left in a dry room for 2–3 days. Next, soak them in water.
- The soil for planting is better to buy ready-made in the store. It is desirable to plant bones for the winter. It is important to regularly moisten the soil, the temperature in the room should be + 20 … 25 ° C.
- After 3 months, the first shoots should appear.
- Seedlings are planted in open ground in May, when the warm weather is completely stabilized.
Now you also know how easy it is to grow a nectarine from a stone, but it is worth noting that the fruits from such a plant will not meet the reference quality.
There is an assumption that the plant appeared as a result of natural changes in peach trees. Natural mutations caused the nectarine buds to develop differently due to adverse weather conditions. As a result, fruits appeared that looked like a peach with one single difference — a bald peel.
East Asia is considered the birthplace of culture, from where plants began to spread throughout the world.
Nowadays, large-fruited varieties, which are distinguished by high transportability, are especially popular, which the common peach does not boast of. The new varieties have a fiery red or red-purple skin color and are characterized by high taste and technological qualities.
Fruit comes to the shelves of stores mainly from the Mediterranean countries:
Also, the culture is successfully grown in Bulgaria, France, and the USA. California is one of the largest suppliers of nectarines in the world market.
High-yielding varieties are successfully grown in the Caucasus, where the climate is mild, ideal for a heat-loving crop. In Ukraine, the culture has taken root in the southern regions with a mild climate. The lack of varieties adapted to more severe weather conditions does not allow the plant to be cultivated throughout the country, so nectarine is grown mainly in the following areas:
What is useful about the nectarine fruit is that it contains a huge supply of vitamins and minerals that have a beneficial effect on the state of the whole organism. The fruit is rich in natural sugars, giving it a pleasant sweetness. Of the fat-soluble vitamins in fruits, there are:
- Vitamin A. A powerful antioxidant involved in redox processes.
- Beta carotene. Vitamin A provitamin. Takes part in regenerative processes at the cellular level, prevents the development of cancer.
- Vitamin E. Protects cell membranes, accelerates the removal of harmful toxins from the body.
- Vitamin K. Helps to absorb calcium more efficiently, participates in the processes of hematopoiesis, ensures bone health.
Nectarine also contains water-soluble vitamins:
- Vitamin C. Natural antioxidant, increases the protective functions of the body, is involved in the synthesis of collagen, improving the condition of the skin, ligaments, cartilage, blood vessels.
- Vitamin B1. Regulates metabolic processes, neutralizes the toxicity of waste products, favorably affects the state of the central nervous system.
- Vitamin B2. Helps to process and effectively assimilate proteins, fats, carbohydrates, increasing energy reserves.
- Vitamin B3. It has a vasodilating effect, thereby lowering blood pressure, improves microcirculation, is involved in the synthesis of hormones, the production of hemoglobin, and protein absorption.
- Vitamin B4. Prevents disorders of the central nervous system, prevents stone formation in the gallbladder, restores liver cells, lowers cholesterol levels.
- Vitamin B5. Participates in the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol, hemoglobin. Affects the metabolism of fats, proteins, carbohydrates.
- Vitamin B6. It has a beneficial effect on brain tissue, as it is a powerful catalyst for the exchange of amino acids and the synthesis of CNS neurotransmitters.
- Vitamin B9. Folic acid affects cell division, growth and proper development of all tissues. Improves the functioning of the immune system, strengthens the cardiovascular system, favorably affects the work of the hematopoietic system.
The impressive mineral composition allows the fruit to be used for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes to prevent the development of many diseases associated with digestion, cardiovascular disorders, and malignant neoplasms. Ripe fruits are rich in such minerals:
- Calcium. Participates in the processes of muscle contractility and excitability of nerve tissues, affects blood clotting, contributing to the blockage of injured areas with blood clots, increases membrane permeability, and prevents the development of atherosclerosis.
- Iron. Responsible for delivering oxygen to tissues and transporting carbon dioxide to the lungs. A sufficient amount of iron from food is an excellent prevention of iron deficiency anemia, which adults and children often experience.
- Magnesium. Participates in the transmission of neuromuscular impulses, prevents the development of diseases of the cardiovascular system, maintains healthy teeth and bone tissue, and regulates cell division processes.
- Phosphorus. Strengthens tooth enamel, prevents the development of dental diseases, supports metabolism, normalizes metabolism, favorably affects the functioning of the brain, kidneys, liver, and heart muscle.
- Potassium. Regulates acid-base and water-salt balance, maintains normal blood pressure, participates in protein synthesis and some specific enzymes.
- Sodium. Supports acid-base and water-salt balance, improves kidney function, participates in the transfer of blood sugar.
- Zinc. Participates in protein synthesis, the production of vital hormones that affect metabolism. The element strengthens bones and teeth, activates the immune system, strengthens the central nervous system, regulates the sebaceous glands, and has a beneficial effect on the condition of the skin.
- Copper. Participates in metabolic processes, neutralizes and accelerates the removal of free radicals, increases the body’s resistance to viruses and infections.
- Manganese. Regulates metabolism, prevents the development of atherosclerosis, strengthens bones.
- Selenium. A powerful antioxidant that reduces the risk of developing cancer, prevents heart disease, has a positive effect on brain function, and improves thyroid function.
- Fluorine. It takes part in hematopoietic processes, strengthens the immune system, participates in enzymatic and biochemical reactions, strengthens tooth enamel, preventing the development of common dental diseases.
Calorie content of nectarine
Nectarine, the benefits of which are very large, with a rich vitamin and mineral composition, has a relatively low calorie content — 45 — 50 kcal per 100 g. Therefore, fruits can be included in the diet for people who control body weight. Ripe fruits will successfully replace a sweet dessert, saturate the body with vitamins, micro and macro elements, help to effectively reduce weight and feel full even with a strict diet menu.
Varieties of nectarine
There are many varieties of nectarine that differ in taste characteristics, appearance, ripening time, etc. Nectarine, the varieties of which are described below, is successfully cultivated in our country:
- Stark Red Gold. Nectarine “Red Gold” is a product of American breeders. The variety is late-ripening, harvested in August. Fruit weight 190 — 240 g. The pulp is of high taste, yellow, the stone is easily separated. Nectarine “Red Gold” is characterized by high transportability and long shelf life.
- Crimson Gold. Winter-hardy, early-growing, high-yielding variety, ripens in the first or second decade of July. The fruits are large 115 — 130 g, the pulp is juicy, sweet, melts in your mouth. Other varieties of peach or nectarine are needed for pollination.
- “Donat”. A completely new variety, which is very popular in Europe. Early fruiting, high yield — up to 50 kg per tree. Fruits weigh 130 — 140 g, the pulp is juicy, sweet, fragrant. Peach nectarine variety “Donat” frost-resistant, resistant to common diseases and pests.
- “Novel”. Columnar nectarine, late ripening. The variety is high-yielding, the fruits are large, beautiful, weighty, with a delicate raspberry blush. The pulp is juicy, tender, aromatic. The culture tolerates low temperatures well, is unpretentious in care.
- “Fantasy”. Winter-hardy, resistant to diseases and pests variety. The fruits are large, yellow with ruddy stains. The pulp is sweet, juicy, aromatic.
- “Beloved”. The pulp has a sweet and sour harmonious taste. The fruits reach a weight of 150 — 170 g. The tree is frost-resistant, unpretentious in care.
- Stark Sanglo. The tree reaches a height of 2.5 — 3 m. The variety is high-yielding, frost-resistant. The fruits are yellow with a red blush. The pulp is sweet with a barely noticeable sourness.
Useful properties of nectarine
Nectarine is a healthy fruit rich in minerals and vitamins, which, when used correctly, brings great benefits to the body of adults and children. The benefits of fruit are invaluable:
- Accelerates the removal of toxins and toxins that poison the body and negatively affect overall well-being.
- Participates in carbohydrate metabolism, normalizing cholesterol levels and preventing the development of atherosclerosis.
- Normalizes metabolism, helps to get rid of excess weight and maintain normal body weight after weight loss.
- Calms the nervous system, improves mood, helps in the fight against depression, neuroses, insomnia.
- Strengthens blood vessels, favorably affects the heart muscle.
- Participates in the processes of hematopoiesis, is an excellent prevention of iron deficiency anemia.
- Enhances the secretion of digestive enzymes, promotes the digestion of heavy, fatty foods.
- Strengthens the immune system, increases immune resistance to viruses and infections.
Nectarine, whose calorie content is low, is recommended to be included in the diet of men suffering from excess weight. A healthy fruit will accelerate the excretion of heavy metal salts, help normalize cholesterol levels, speed up metabolism, and strengthen protective functions.
Ripe fruits will protect the male body from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Fruit contains zinc, which is actively involved in the synthesis of male sex hormones. Nectarine juice improves the composition of sperm, so the drink is recommended for men who are preparing to conceive a child. Freshly squeezed nectarine juice is used to combat iron deficiency anemia and beriberi.
As with men, women can use the fruit as a beneficial addition to their diet. Nectarine kcal contains 45 — 50 per 100 grams. This feature is important to consider when leaving the dietary menu. Calorie depends on the variety, the sweeter the fruit, the more sugar they contain, of course, and the calorie content increases by several units.
It is recommended that pregnant women include sweet and juicy fruit in the diet. Nectarine helps to successfully fight toxicosis, normalizes the digestive system, preventing the development of constipation, which is faced by almost every woman who is expecting a baby.
The content of potassium and magnesium favorably affects the state of the cardiovascular system, which experiences an increased load during pregnancy. Nectarine juice has a pronounced diuretic effect, helps to get rid of edema and high blood pressure, accelerating the removal of excess fluid.
Nectarine rarely causes an allergic reaction in children, so it can be introduced into the diet at 7–8 months. The first feeding is better to start with small portions — 0.5 — 1 teaspoon. If the child’s body has well absorbed the product and no negative reactions have occurred, the portion can be gradually increased.
The fruit favorably affects the growth and development of the child:
- strengthens the immune system;
- helps to get rid of constipation;
- normalizes the work of the stomach and intestines;
- calms the nervous system;
- eliminates beriberi and signs of iron deficiency anemia;
- normalizes metabolism;
- strengthens muscles and bones.
When used correctly, nectarine is absolutely harmless to the body of adults and children. Per day it is allowed to eat 4 — 5 fruits for adults, and 2 — 3 for children. If the product is abused, diarrhea, flatulence may develop. Ripe fruits contain a lot of sugar, so people with a diagnosis of diabetes need to be introduced into the diet with caution.
The product is contraindicated for people who are diagnosed with such diseases:
- tendency to food allergies;
- spastic colitis.
Do not forget that in order to increase the shelf life, the fruits are treated with harmful chemicals, which, once in the body, can cause poisoning or intestinal upset. Therefore, before eating a juicy fruit, you need to thoroughly wash it in warm water. For greater safety, you can peel the fruit from the skin, but with it you will lose many vitamins. To protect yourself and your child from poisoning and other undesirable consequences, buy fruits in season and choose fruits that look natural.
Selection and storage of nectarine
The peel of ripe fruits is bright, saturated, usually orange-red, less often there is a yellow tint. When choosing, pay attention to the integrity of the peel. Quality fruits without defects, cracks, dark spots. The flesh should be elastic, give in a little when pressed. Too soft fruits of saturated color, most likely, are already overripe and have lost most of their useful properties. Greens are also not ready to eat. They do not have a very pleasant taste, hard flesh.
Ripe fruits can be stored in boxes by placing them in a dark, cool room. To keep fruits longer, you can wrap each nectarine with food paper. For long-term storage, it is recommended to periodically inspect each nectarine for darkening and rotting areas.
You can store fruits in the refrigerator. It is advisable to place them on the bottom shelf, after wrapping them with food paper. If you want to enjoy nectarines in winter, you can freeze them in the freezer. It is advisable to use an airtight container as a container, putting fruit slices into it and pumping out the air. You can also prepare conservation:
- compote with whole fruits;
Nectarine in cooking
In season, it is best to eat fresh fruit. Adherents of a healthy lifestyle use nectarine to prepare a multi-component vitamin salad. Nectarine is ideally combined with such fruits:
- mango etc.
You can add fruits to freshly prepared cocktails, smoothies. The fruit is suitable for making nectarine juice, which perfectly quenches thirst and refreshes on a hot day.
In summer, you can make fruit frozen ice from the juicy pulp. Pieces of fruit are ideally combined with homemade yogurt, curd mass, soft dessert cheese.
Sweet fruits are the perfect filling for baking, which can be added to such delicacies:
- cake cream;
Nectarine in medicine
Nectarine helps in the prevention of such diseases:
- arterial hypertension;
- heart failure;
- cataract and age-related retinal degeneration;
- asthma, bronchitis;
- constipation, gastrointestinal disorders;
- urolithiasis disease;
- immunodeficiency, iron deficiency anemia, beriberi.
In addition, ripe nectarines effectively combat premature skin aging, accelerate wound healing, and treat hyperpigmentation. Therefore, nectarine and seed extracts are added to cosmetic creams, gels, tonics, and cleansing milks.